Product placement could soon be added to classic films with AI


Classics like the Great Escape could be retrofitted with ads (Photo: MailOnline)

A British technology company has invented a new technique for inserting product placement into films from any era.

Using artificial intelligence, advertising company Mirriad can insert displays for products directly into the film environment, such as a sign for the latest Samsung or Aldi’s caterpillar cake.

The technology analyses scenes from any film or TV show to find space where an ad could be inserted – subtly, of course.

Mirriad’s ability to work retrospectively means you could find yourself seeing a modern ad in films you’ve watched many times – a Sony PS5 in Gone With the Wind, for example.

The method would appeal to streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as sources of alternative revenue, as competition hots up for subscribers in an increasingly crowded market.

A Deliveroo ad is placed on a newspaper with Mirriad’s method used in the show ‘Demain Nous Appartient’ on French channel TF1 (Photo: Mirriad)

No two users would necessarily see the same ad, and products could be inserted based on the user’s browsing and viewing history.

Mirriad’s prior work is in the special effects industry, so they’ve used their Hollywood knowhow to make the inserted ads look as ‘realistic’ as possible, even for films decades old.

Inserting ads into videos is already par for the course in China, where Mirriad-inserted ads have been seen by more than 100 million viewers on YouTube alternative, Tencent Video.

Another French TV show ‘Dix Pour Cent’ on DPC France TV shows inserted coffee (Photo: Mirriad)

The British company has also worked with Samsung Electronics and another Chinese YouTube alternative, Youku, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

After an episode of Chinese show ‘Ode to Joy’ was shot, Mirriad inserted an ad for a Samsung Galaxy C into a scene where two characters emerge from an escalator, pasting over a real-life billboard with the Samsung ad.

‘The technology can “read” an image – it understands the depth, the motion, the fabric, anything,’ Mirriad chief executive Stephan Beringer told the BBC.

‘So you can introduce new images that basically the human eye does not realise has been done after the fact, after the production.’

But movie fans and legal experts alike are skeptical of the technology.

‘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,’ film critic Anne Bilson told the BBC.

‘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.’

The Truman Show played on the idea of product placement when Jim Carey’s character’s life falls apart. (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Though product placement is not a new phenomenon in Hollywood, having been used in US TV since the 1950s, this is the first time it’s been inserted on a personalised basis.

The product placement industry is big business, with revenues growing for 10 consecutive years up to 2019, according to a PQ Media report, with the total value of the industry, including TV, films and recorded music, totalling around £15 billion.

Mirriad’s technology isn’t just limited to traditional TV shows and films – the company hopes it could ad product placement into old music videos or football games, too.

Labels representing bands like the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand have already signed up to Mirriad’s music division, ‘Music Alliance’.


MORE : EU proposes new laws to limit use of ‘harmful’ artificial intelligence


MORE : A neuron only found in the human brain has appeared in artificial intelligence





Source link

Share via
Copy link