New technology could add product placement to old TV programmes

The Guardian
Kate Bulkley

Your favourite episodes of Friends could soon come with added product placement following the rollout of new technology that digitally inserts branded goods into pre-existing video programmes.

The technology, described as “product placement on steroids” is being premiered for Bushmills whiskey in specially created content on Vice’s Viceland TV channel, but it could also be used to introduce product placements into older shows.

The technology is the result of a partnership between Mirriad Advertising Ltd and media agency Havas Media Group, which claims it will attract $25m (£17m) in spending over the next 12 months.

“The potential going forward is to use this for other, perhaps older programmes as well, for instance episodes of Friends where ad products can be inserted pixel by pixel into the content beautifully creating new possibilities for brands.”

The choice of Vice as a rollout partner reflects the company’s willingness to experiment with different forms of advertising, and it has been especially successful with sponsored content. . Chief executive, Shane Smith, has said that digital advertising is faced with a “blood bath” if it doesn’t become more relevant to viewers.

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