Peacock and Amazon Prime Video reveal virtual product placement ads

A new push by under-pressure streaming providers to bolster their bottom line has swept up both NBCU’s Peacock and Amazon Prime Video with parallel moves to carry virtual product placement ads on their services.

Announced at NewFronts, NBCUniversal-owned Peacock is strutting its streaming stuff with two new ad experiences designed to strengthen commercial opportunities with marketing partners.

In-Scene ads will reportedly permit a brand’s product and/or messaging to be seamlessly blended with content during post-production to ensure viewers don’t miss advertisements during the most appropriate scenes.

Frame Ads meanwhile harnesses first-party data to enable brands to deliver contextually-relevant marketing messages and offers.

Not to be outdone, Amazon has begun surreptitiously inserting virtual product placements of its own into the freshly-minted Freevee and Prime Video content to subconsciously showcase brands such as M&M’s to viewers.

The virtual product placement beta program permits marketers to drop ‘approved products’ into selected content such as Reacher and Bosch after filming has wrapped to reach box-set bingers.

Billed as a more flexible mechanism for reaching audiences than traditional product placements, the technique is said to have seen one early adopter, an unnamed consumer goods firm, experience a 6.9% uplift in brand favorability and a 14.7% rise in purchase intent.

John Jelley, senior vice-president of product and UX at Peacock, said: “The majority of Peacock customers are opting for our ad-supported experience and we remain focused on collaborating with our brand partners to develop innovative, personalized ad experiences that continue to enhance the customer experience.”

Both announcements were made during the IAB Newfronts conference, an invite-only gathering of brands and agencies, which was held this year on the theme of ‘Stream On.’

Netflix was recently forced to ditch its longstanding opposition to advertising as slipping subscriber numbers force it to entertain alternative revenue streams.