Product Placement in Syndication

I have always been a proponent of product placement. It doesn’t interrupt a show like commercials do, and if done tastefully, it serves to further ground the story in reality. What’s more real to you, a lead character drinking a Coke or a “Cola,” or a family a stopping for food at a Subway or “Sandwiches?” Real products make shows real, and they provide real money to the content creators who then either increase production or consider running fewer commercials.

The problem with product placement is that it’s not viable for syndication. Ford isn’t going to pay for your lead character to drive a car that’s four years out of date, and Subway isn’t going to pay for the camera to swing by a billboard for a sandwich they stopped making three years ago. What if the car and the billboard could be changed?

A company called Mirriad is seeking to do just that, and if the technology takes off like it rightfully should, we could be seeing a future filled with commercials replaced by a future of constantly updating product placement. We deserve a future with uninterrupted shows on regular TV, and content creators deserve to be compensation for their work’s on-air lifetime. Product placement with something like Mirriad’s technology could make both happen, and that’s pretty cool.

4 thoughts on “Product Placement in Syndication

  1. Wow, that’s pretty cool. Though it’s weird to me that if I were, say, to watch the same movie 20 years later, it might have all sorts of things that have been changed.

    Oh wait, haha, my bad. George Lucas already did that….

    • I think this will be bigger for TV than film, as films (with the exception of those aired on TV, of course) tend to be financially support via other means (subscriptions, rentals, purchases, etc).

      Regarding the type and amount of things replaces, I doubt that the content creators would ever replace something with major aesthetic significance to the show, unless they actually did it themselves (like with Star Wars). The focus of Mirriad’s product seems to be more about replacing abstract elements and other elements with could have been product placement to begin with, which are arguably of no aesthetic significance.

      • That makes sense. Yeah, the only example from the video that struck me was when they switched out the car. That one in particular seemed like a pretty drastic change and not in the “of no aesthetic significance” category, but maybe they were just illustrating what they’re capable of doing.

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