Amazon’s Original Shows Will Soon Use CGI for Product Placement

Posted on May 4, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Music + Videos with 7 Comments

Amazon is experimenting with a new way to let brands advertise their products on the company’s original shows. During its recent Newsfront 2022 presentation (via AFTVnews), the company launched the Virtual Product Placement beta program, which will let brands use CGI to insert their products in original shows on Amazon’s Prime Video and Freevee (previously IMDb TV) platforms after shooting has concluded.

Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the Bosch franchise, Making the Cut, and Leverage: Redemption are among the first shows to participate in Amazon’s Virtual Product Placement beta program, and the company is already seeing encouraging results from this new CGI-powered product placement technology. “A CPG brand experienced a 6.9% increase in brand favorability and a 14.7% increase in purchase intent for their campaign,” Amazon explained.

“Virtual Product Placement is a game changer,” said Henrik Bastin, CEO of Fabel Entertainment and executive producer of Bosch: Legacy. “It creates the ability to film your series without thinking about all that is required with traditional placements during production. Instead, you can sit with the final cut and see where a product could be seamlessly and naturally integrated into the storytelling.”

It’s too early to say if Amazon is about to start a trend with these CGI products digitally inserted during post-production, but the point of view of filmmakers not wanting to worry about advertisements during production is certainly understandable. From the viewer’s point of view, though, there has to be a certain balance to find for these ads not to start looking and feeling like subliminal messages.

As the intense competition between streaming services is pushing all platforms to increase their investments in original shows, Amazon’s Virtual Product Placement technology may well become a differentiator. Movie studios, filmmakers, and brands have a lot to gain from this technology, but you have to wonder if Amazon didn’t open Pandora’s box. Time will tell if future Amazon Originals will feature more ads, but maybe this will be the price to pay to make the production of increasingly costly shows more sustainable.

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Amazon’s Original Shows Will Soon Use CGI for Product Placement”

  1. bluvg

    Watch it today, they'll eat M&Ms. Tomorrow, they'll eat Reese's Pieces. If anyone involved with the show or with the advertiser gets involved in any kind of controversy, the brand will be scrubbed.

    George Lucas would have loved this. He could tweak Star Wars forever.

  2. TroyTruax

    Well, this is better than a character out of the blue suddenly saying, "What do you think of my new 2022 Ford truck?" followed by another character asking about features.

    • safesax2002

      Ugh...YES! This is so annoying and awkward.

    • jdjan

      Yes - I liked that show 'Heroes' a few years ago until one episode where they kept talking the Nissan Rogue. It was so cringy. "Hey let's get out of here in my Nissan Rogue!", "We we only able to escape the bad guy 'cause our Nissan Rogue!" etc. It actually put me off the car!

  3. hrlngrv

    Oh, rapture!

    All the sudden my DVD collection has transformed from archaic to retro.

  4. IanYates82

    We watch very little free-to-air TV in our house - the kind that has ad breaks every X minutes with 5-6 ads shown per break

    (literally one show on one of our locally channels about Lego has us watching, otherwise it has been streaming for years)

    Anyway, we don't have our antenna hooked up so use the "9 now" app (for channel 9) to stream to a chromecast. All good

    The other night we had the show on two TVs in the house due to someone being in bed early. One TV was streaming from my 9 account and the other was using my wife's.

    I noticed during the ad breaks that we received quite different ads. The breaks were at the same time and duration, but some effort went into knowing I was male vs female, etc.

    It was obvious in hindsight but still surprising to me as our TV networks in Australia aren't necessarily known for being up with the times.

    (the show is Lego Masters... For that show I'll tolerate ad breaks like it's the 90s)