July 9 2011

New Ad Digitally Inserted Into How I Met Your Mother Rerun

I know people are always looking for new ways to make revenue, but sometimes it reaches a level that just boggles the mind.  And when it goes to some of these extreme levels, you have to wonder how effective it could even be.  Do people really pay that much attention to advertising?

Case in point, some eagle-eyed viewer of a How I Met Your Mother rerun from 2007 spotted an ad for the new Kevin James movie Zookeeper that just came out this weekend.  No, it didn’t run during the commercial slots, it was in the actual episode itself, digitally inserted there so as to just be residing in the background.  The Consumerist posted comparison photos of the scene.

How I Met Your Mother with Zookeeper Ad

And now the original scene.

How I Met Your Mother without Zookeeper Ad

The original scene was taken from a DCD release of the show, and as you can see there was no book or magazine on the table behind the character.

Does this type of advertising even work?  Did anyone see this rerun and immediately go, “Leaping lizards!  I must now go see Zookeeper!”?  I highly doubt it.  Someone, somewhere, is selling advertisers a bill of goods, and I can’t believe anyone with even a modicum of sense would say, “Wow, I bet that would really work to get our product’s name out there.”  I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed with the ad rep or the schmuck that fell for it.

In general I don’t find TV ads have even the remotest impact on me anymore.  Even if I’m not zipping through them on my DVR, and I let them play naturally, I pay no attention to them.  I know they are full of questionable claims and results that they will only live up to under the most perfect of conditions.  And product placement in shows?  Absolutely no impact on me.  But digitally inserting magazine ads into a show in the background?  How does that even begin to have any influence on anyone?

Somewhere, someone is getting a gold “Thank You” watch for coming up with this idea while another exec is getting busted down to the mailroom for buying it.

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