New Ads Injected Into Old Shows, Making Syndication Even More Profitable

Why does this 2006 episode of How I Met Your Mother include an ad for a 2011 movie? Because it can. Entertainment Weekly has a fascinating profile of SeamBI (Seamless Brand Integration), a company partnering with distributor 20th Television to inject new ad units into the content of old syndicated shows. The result might be a bit disorienting for some viewers, but it's a nice extra revenue stream for the distributor. Because few shows actually include advertising space such as billboards within a shot, SeamBI has had to digitally retrofit some scenes to include branded real estate. For example, a flat-screen TV was dropped into the background of a coffee shop scene, and, like the previously nonexistent poster shown above, it featured a prominent ad for the raunchy new Cameron Diaz flick, Bad Teacher. The ads were even geo-targeted to New York viewers only, showing the level of customization the technology is opening up to marketers. Apparently, this trick was first attempted on My Name Is Earl reruns. What's next, Matt Smith Doctor Who ads in Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes? Wait, that might actually work pretty well. Hat tip to Kammie Avant.