Hollywood Now Digitally Inserting Product Placements Into Sitcom Reruns

As someone fascinated with human nature and psychology, I’ve long been intrigued by the ways marketers/advertisers sell their products — and the myriad of ways that Hollywood tries to lure people into theaters has been a particular interest of mine. Nothing serious, mind you, it’s just a curiosity of mine.

With that said, the promotional machine that’s been in place for weeks for the new Kevin James vehicle, “Zookeeper” — or, as Vince at Filmdrunk calls it, “Paul Blart: Zookeeper” — has been one that I’ve found myself quite taken with and amused by, now even more that a Redditor has taken note of the fact that product placement promotions for the film are being digitally added to reruns of old “How I Met Your Mother” episodes.

Here are the two images — one a still from an episode that first aired in 2007, one the still shown above from a recent rerun airing — side by side.

Crazy, right? I mean, does this sort of thing even work? I mean, there’s no way in hell having some “Zookeeper” imagery subliminally planted inside my head is going to make me shell out $12 to see this film. There’s just no way. I should add that, once during a period when I was out of work a few years back, I worked for Nielsen part-time helping them track product placement in shows, and the way that they determine the success of these sorts of things is just so unbelievably skewed and messed up (Perhaps that’s a post for another day), there’s just no way it’s accurate. NO. WAY.

Anyway, my fascination with the “Zookeeper” and the machine pushing it on all of us continues to grow. This even after learning that the film was basically manufactured by Hollywood because foreign moviegoers seem to love talking animals.

Animated family comedies such as “Rio” and “Kung Fu Panda” remain hugely popular around the world, but live-action ones are a tougher sell. That means filmmakers need to include creative elements in their comedies — be that in the casting, storytelling or setting — that are specifically designed to appeal to foreign audiences.

With this Friday’s release of “Zookeeper,” Sony is hoping star Kevin James will buck his weak track record overseas because he’s surrounded with computer-generated talking animals, which traditionally have been popular internationally.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how your Hollywood sausage gets made. Isn’t it just hypnotizing?

(HT: Slashfilm)