Your Placement is in the Post

So ITV is trialling technology that fills empty spaces with brand logos. After a thoroughly unscientific poll of those I met today the general response is “Ugh!” but I think it’s unjustified – and missing the point.

When I first skim-read the article I thought ITV was proposing an on-screen advertising overlay a la YouTube, which would have been truly horrible. But no, this is a smart techno way of getting brands involved in the editorial at a time when no one wants to see them interrupt the story.

It’s a silly supposition that ITV will allow advertising brands to unsophisticatedly plaster the walls of The Rovers Return with their posters, or for Microsoft to spray its logo in the sky while Morse solves another provincial conundrum. The creative force that gets these shows on air is just too strong to let the channel screw it up so badly.

No, what strikes me is this is just product placement ‘in post’. Whether a brand pays for a neon sign to be digitally superimposed on the Woolpack door, or whether it was there during shooting – if the brand paid for it, then it’s product placement. Pure and simple. And forgive me if I missed a meeting, but doesn’t Andy Burnham have a dim view of such nefarious practices?


About Morgan Holt

Morgan Holt is senior strategist at Wolff Olins, the global game-changing brand consultancy. He is also chairman of the Branded Content Marketing Association, and a non-executive director of CN Media Group.

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