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A short story of product placement in advertising France TV Publicité, which is pursuing its innovation strategy, launched in October, in partnership with the British start-up Mirriad, an innovative product placement offer using augmented reality technology.

This "transformative" solution makes it possible to contribute to strengthening the advertising impact of brands in a subtle and non-intrusive way for the viewer.

Radovan Aleksic, Deputy Sales Director at FranceTV Publicité, tells us about the genesis of this quest for innovation at France Télévisions' advertising network:

"The arrival of Marianne Siproudhis at FranceTV Publicité, four years ago, set the advertising network in motion and encouraged the emergence of innovative systems.  In order to offer creative TV and digital solutions, we have created "the Lab", which brings together all the expertise required to create original, tailor-made cross-media projects, including the famous product placement."

The latter was authorized by the CSA under the law of March 5, 2009 and its conditions of application were published in the Official Journal on March 5, 2010.

Product placement at France tv advertising at the beginning

Sequency of Plus Belle la Vie
Sequency of Plus Belle la Vie

Product placement required reading scripts, talking to producers and being on the set to determine the number of possible sequences within a fiction, depending on the brand. The law is clear on the subject: product placement is allowed in movies, music videos and fiction. The law also specifies that product placement must be subtle, light and fit within the script.

Mirriad, a simple and fast process

Mirriad is a start-up company that has developed an innovative solution that allows advertising content to be placed in already filmed content, thanks to a technique based on augmented reality.

This patented technology, using artificial intelligence and computer vision technology, has won numerous awards. It offers dynamic insertion of advertising products and innovative display formats in post-production. These new proposals enable the generation of new revenues for content producers and distributors.

Radovan Aleksic said: "We are entering a new era of product placement. It is no longer necessary for us to intervene at different points in the shooting process, we can now intervene before the delivery of the final PADs (ready-to-air). The process of the different operations is faster, much closer to the on-air launch. On France Télévisions' daily dramas such as "Un Si Grand Soleil" or "Plus Belle La Vie", we can intervene up to three or four weeks before airing, which makes it easier to market the product placement. »

Example of product placement with Mirriad - France Télévisions Publicité
Example of product placement with Mirriad - France Télévisions Publicité

How does the partnership with Mirriad actually work?

The partnership with Mirriad was announced in mid-October and offers, thanks to its Augmented Reality technique, static placements in post-production allowing innovative TV and digital communication that is perfectly integrated into the context.  

How does it work? Mirriad has developed a technology based on artificial intelligence that allows the product to be placed in a favorable environment and in an adapted and subtle way at the heart of the content of the French people's favorite fictions. Product placements can appear in set elements, displays, screens or newspapers.

As required by law, FranceTV Publicité of course excludes the placement of prohibited products such as alcohol, tobacco or medication, betting, etc. And it remains impossible to include a promotional or price message in the inserted elements.

Setting up a product placement operation with Mirriad requires an advertiser brief. Then FranceTV Publicité validates with Mirriad the feasibility of the operation, determines the period and on which France Télévisions content the product placements will be integrated. The advertiser or the agency forwards to Mirriad the product or products and the elements necessary for integration into the dramas . Finally, FranceTV Publicité informs the advertiser that the episodes will be broadcast with Mirriad placements.

In practice, this organization allows FranceTV Publicité to offer:

- A recurring product placement offer on daily dramas.

- Prime-time offers on more powerful but shorter dramas.

- An offer on event-driven fiction (example: Ten percent), directly scripted at the heart of the fiction.

Unlike the old system, FranceTV Publicité no longer sells a number of sequences but a volume of seconds that can be adjusted according to the communication schedule of the requesting brand and it is the volume that determines the price. The offer is clearer, more flexible and faster. The specifications defined with the advertiser and transmitted to Mirriad guarantee the client the type of scenes chosen to highlight the selected products.

Team work

Team at work - Marvin Meyer - Unsplash
Team at work - Marvin Meyer - Unsplash

In conclusion, for Radovan Aleksic: "It is a great adventure and a real teamwork with the branches, the fiction program unit and the producers. When FranceTV Publicité has innovative projects of this type, we share them with all the teams in the group that could be brought to work with us on these productions".