Could New Product Placements Be Coming To Classic Films?

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Yul Brynner & K.T. Stevens in Port of New York, public domain

It is hard to forget the giant Hello Kitty Pez dispenser in ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ during a car chase or the blatantly obvious army of products from Triumph motorcycles to Verizon in ‘Jurassic World.’

Product placements have been commonplace in television and cinema for generations, but more could soon be retroactively added to some of your favorite classic films.

The BBC reports that there are some advertisers who are interested in using digital technology to place a logo or ad in a movie. The effort would prove seamless as it has been tried successfully in television and movies previously from such companies as UK advertising firm Mirriad.

“We started out working in movies,” Mirriad chief executive Stephan Beringer explains. “Our chief scientist Philip McLauchlan, with his team, came up with the technology that won an Academy Award for the film ‘Black Swan.'”

He continued, “The technology can ‘read’ an image, it understands the depth, the motion, the fabric, anything. So you can introduce new images that basically the human eye does not realize has been done after the fact, after the production.”

It will not just affect films, but also music videos says Red Light Management managing director James Sandom. His company represents singers and musicians in the United Kingdom. He opined that singers will “leap” at the revenue that product placements being digitally added to their music videos will bring.

“The opportunity to carve open a new revenue stream is rare, and the ability to retrospectively use existing content and build new content with it in mind is exciting,” Sandom said.

While the move to replace Yul Brynner’s cigarette from ‘Port Of New York’ with a can of soup (as shown above) may seem lucrative to some, the suggestion does not come without its detractors.

Film critic Anne Billson told the BBC that digital advertisers could create a PR and copyright claim nightmare for some.

“I would be interested in finding out about the legal angle vis-à-vis digital reworking of a copyrighted work, or whether the advertisers would have to buy the film before they tampered with it,” she said.

“It also calls into question the role of the production designer, who has put a lot of thought into the look of something, only for some random advertiser to come along at a later date and spoil it with changes or additions that might be anachronistic, or that might not mesh with their other carefully considered design choices.”

Yul Brynner & K.T. Stevens in ‘Port of New York’ (1949) / Public Domain

Will viewers take to being bombarded with even more advertising in classic films and television, or will this  just become the new normal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[Source: BBC]


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