New product placement may be digitally added to classic films

Advertisements for new products can now be digitally inserted into classic films. This means there could suddenly be a Pepsi billboard in the train station in North By Northwest or a pair of Nikes in the shop window in Breakfast at Tiffany's. These brand images can be swapped out over time and some companies are developing technology so that the product targets individual viewers, changing brands according to who's watching.

UK advertising company Mirriad is already using AI to insert new branding into their clients' television programs, including a Chinese streaming show and the U.S. sitcom Modern Family.

"Mirriad's chief executive Stephan Beringer expects such digital product placement to become widespread. His firm came up with the process after previously making movie special effects.

"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 realise has been done after the fact, after the production."

via BBC

Anyone who appreciates the sanctity of production design might want to be sure to preserve original copies of their favorite classics. Another great argument for continuing to hoard your dvd/vhs/hard drive movie collection.