Amazon is adding fake CGI products as advertisements to scenes in Prime Video and Amazon Freevee

Amazon has unveiled a new advertising method, called Virtual Product Placement, where it is adding fake computer-generated products to scenes in Prime Video and Amazon Freevee content. The image above was provided by Amazon as an example where, presumably, the M&Ms on the counter did not exist when the scene was shot and have been digitally inserted after the fact to advertise the candy. The program is currently in open beta and already being used in Amazon’s own original content, such as Reacher, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the Bosch franchise, Making the Cut, and Leverage: Redemption. Henrik Bastin, CEO of Fabel Entertainment and executive producer of Bosch: Legacy, says “it creates the ability to film your series without thinking about all that is required with traditional placements during production. Instead, you can sit with the final cut and see where a product could be seamlessly and naturally integrated into the storytelling.”

18 comments
  1. Ujn Hunter says:

    I mean… this is dumb… but as long as it’s planned before hand with the Director’s knowledge and this isn’t just something that Amazon is allowed to insert into EXISTING movies (especially movies you already own) ala George Lucas… bleh… let them be money grubbing CGI fiends.

  2. Charlie says:

    This is a low blow. I have been full on revolt lately about every opportunity imaginable being used to beat me over the head with advertising. I’m sick of everything from iHeart radio trying over and over to sell me a colon screening to Internet ads. I can’t imagine spending one minute on the web without Ublock. Amazon is breaking (almost) running a 3rd party launchers and now this. So my Shields can be made to function the way I want it. Nobody says you have to fireTV devices. Did I mention I hate advertising?

  3. Randy Reid says:

    Face tattoos!
    That would be so cool.
    Each actor would have a product tattooed on their face or forehead (if they did not have much hair).
    I can hardly wait.

  4. Mike says:

    This reminds me of an old saying.

    Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

  5. hdmkv says:

    This crosses the line for advertising. Enough really!

  6. Michael Nix says:

    It’s ridiculous that people are paying for programming already with Prime. And still have to ad crap into the content. Would be rather ridiculous I guess to see something you know is 21st century in a 24th century sci-fi based film. But yeah. Greedy, greedy, greedy.

  7. Mike says:

    If all the ads were as innocuous as that M&M insertion, it wouldn’t be bad. I STRONGLY don’t believe it will remain that way.

  8. KraziJoe says:

    What is this, Waynes World?

    • hdmkv says:

      At least they played it for jokes. Who knew it would become reality in almost the same absurd way!

  9. Jeff says:

    I can’t believe they have went this low I am sorry Amazon but this just makes me want to ditch all my streaming device’s 8 in total

  10. TechyChris says:

    A little too much overreacting in my opinion.
    First this is Prime Video/Amazon Freevee content that Amazon produces themselves (or is the primary rights holder) so they can advertise as they see fit. Amazon cannot add products into content they don’t own the rights to.

    That being said, it is possible that Amazon owned content could have a product placement that MIGHT alter the “directional flow” of a particular scene. This is a REALLY bad example but imagine seeing a bottle of wine on a table in a scene involving a character with a known alcohol problem. The viewer might wonder, why is that there? (Only example I could think of!)

    So, the real question is: Who decides what product gets placed where?
    If it’s just the advertising company than this will quickly become a dumpster fire. If it’s with the guidance and blessing of the director than that’s another story. Time will tell. I’ll be hanging onto my Fire TVs for now, I enjoy them.

  11. anon_001 says:

    NBCUniversal announced the same ad-insertion technology at their upfronts this week for their Peacock streaming service. This isn’t just an Amazon thing. Not sure how this is any different than Apple placing an i-something in the hands of every character on THE MORNING SHOW or Microsoft tablets being used in certain technology based shows. The producer for Bosch: Legacy commented that this frees them up to tell their story without having to worry about static product placements during filming. Not sure how that is a bad thing. If the insertions become 3D blinking neon signs it is too much. Otherwise, it allows these streaming services to dynamically change up advertising revenue over the life of content and hopefully produce more quality content for free w/ads or for reasonable subscription fees. It sure beats sitting through 16 minutes of commercials to watch a 41 minute show on broadcast linear television.

  12. Charlie says:

    Too much overreacting: is that redundant?

    • TechyChris says:

      No and I’m no longer putting up with the BS from “internet warriors” thinking they’re tough sitting at home. Get some friends get a hobby or I will end you.

  13. Charlie says:

    OMG! Talk about someone needing to take their own advice. I’m guessing Elias will think threatening violence is a step too far, even too much overreacting.

  14. Steve Paradis says:

    “Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.”?

    Of course the good news is that with added ad revenue, the streamers can afford to lower their fees . . . won’t they?

  15. Thomas Hoang says:

    Yep, this was weird. I had to pause and rewind when I saw a digitally added roll of Bounty paper towels when I was watching Bosch a few months ago.

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