Universal Signs Deal to Retroactively Alter Product Placement in Music Videos
Published Sep 29, 2014As if you didn't already have enough advertising in your life, Universal Music Group has signed a deal that will allow advertisers to retroactively superimpose their products into music videos.
Working with UK tech start-up Mirriad, the label (whose roster includes artists like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and the Rolling Stones) has developed a method for altering product placement after the videos have already been filmed.
The technology will apparently allow for advertisers to target audiences better — for example, a video watched in China will feature a different product than the version viewed in North America to cater to each market. It also addresses the advertisers' problem of viewers skipping or blocking online video ads, integrating the advertising right into the music video.
"Being inside content is more valuable than being outside content," said Mirriad CEO Mark Popkiewicz, speaking to the Financial Times.
The project will begin with a Grand Marnier spot in an upcoming Avicii video. Following the contract with the cognac maker, other advertisers will be able to bid to have their product replace Grand Marnier in the same music video.
The news is good for artists like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, who infamously featured pretty much one brand of every product ever in their video for "Telephone." Maybe now they can swap some different cars, breads and mayonnaises for a little extra cash. Relive the unabashed product placement and lit-carton-of-cigarettes-sunglasses below.