What is Virtual Product Placement and What it Means for Advertising

What is Virtual Product Placement and What it Means for Advertising

Say hello to virtual product placement

Product placement is rapidly changing in the industry. There is a transformation happening called virtual product placement, a new capability that allows advertisers to digitally insert their brands into content at scale. As marketing budgets are shifting away from linear, advertisers are reassessing how to best optimize their media spend.

Advertisers are losing the attention of a fragmented viewership

Audiences are not only hard to engage, they’re now extremely fragmented, spending their viewing hours across different video entertainment platforms which creates a challenge for advertisers to gain and secure reach and attention. The issue is a driving force behind over-saturating audiences with the same ads over and over, resulting in a counterproductive response from the viewer.

Virtual product placement is the right answer for advertisers

With these challenges in mind, marketers are looking for new ways to engage viewers at the right time and at the right place. This is where virtual product placement and in-content advertising provide a solution that places an ad into content where the viewer is most engaged and open in terms of contextually driven relevant. This resurgence and evolution of product placement is the answer for brands to reach their audiences while avoiding over-saturation and ad skipping.

Why not just go with traditional product placement?

Virtual product placement is scalable, flexible, and gives the brand control

In-content advertising allows media buyers to buy and execute at scale. Mirriad’s virtual product placement solution creates a streamlined workflow which cuts out long lead times, high costs, and the abundant resources required for traditional product placement.

Virtual product placement gives the brand control throughout the buying and execution process. Mirriad provides new level of flexibility and targeting that creates a higher performing ad placement – this is achieved through contextual, addressable, and other proprietary targeting capabilities.  This allows marketers to run their media during their campaign flights, precisely when they’re looking to deliver sales results. 

It also enables various versions of brand integrations within each campaign eliminating excessive frequency and audience fatigue. Additional benefits include higher levels of accountability, campaign measurement, and significant cost savings compared to legacy practices – both from a hard cost and resource standpoint. 

In-content advertising comes in many forms.

Virtual product placement and in-content advertising come in many forms. More than just placing the product into content, in-content advertising allows a brand to place signage, video in video, and other creative formats into the content.

So what exactly is virtual product placement and what does it do?

Mirriad’s in-content advertising platform is the leading, proven solution

Mirriad’s multi-patented platform with Academy Award-winning technology at the core, dynamically inserts products, signage, and video into relevant content post-production. Protected by 35 patents our solution scans content to identify the perfect moment for branding to appear for maximum audience attention and exposure. As a few other companies are announcing their beta propositions, Mirriad is a proven leader in the space currently activating across Television, SVOD/AVOD, Music, and Influencer content.

What does this mean as a media format?

This new ad format takes the best of brand integrations and is transacted as a media format. The evolution  of virtual product placement and in-content advertising creates an exciting new opportunity for brands to integrate into the content that aligns with the audience interests and targets.

This market leading solution creates a new revenue model for content owners distributing across traditional ad-supported and subscription services, and dramatically improves the viewer experience by limiting commercial interruptions.

How long does virtual product placement take?

Compared to traditional methods, virtual product placement offers a strong advantage in many ways but especially when it comes to lead-time. From start to finish, the process could take a few days or up to a week. This big improvement offers great flexibility to brands, eliminating a lot of the challenges that come with traditional product placement.

Mirriad’s in-content advertising platform eliminates the challenges and risks that come with traditional product placement, allowing advertisers to say goodbye to months of negotiation and long review processes.

Does virtual product placement look natural?

Mirriad works closely with over 80 of the most prestigious content companies in the world and with hundreds of blue-chip brands and agencies. Mirriad’s campaigns consistently appear naturally fitting and contextually relevant to the content they are placed in.

How do viewers feel about virtual product placement?

Speaking of brand placements feeling ‘natural’, audiences are prone to prefer virtual product placement and in-content advertising in general. According to recent Kantar research, 80% of viewers say they like in-content ads and prefer them 7x over TV spots. This is great news for brands and content partners alike.

How well does virtual product placement perform?

Just as the quality of virtual product placement depend on the platform used, so do the results. At Mirriad, our campaigns consistently show increases in campaign effectiveness such as a 27 ppt increase in ad awareness, 16 ppt increase in actual consumption, and 9 ppt increase in purchase intent. Additionally, Mirriad’s campaigns increase brand reach by up to 44% according to Nielsen research.

With these results, TV networks are more likely to retain viewers with a positive viewing experience. 

Virtual product placement also connects better emotionally

When brands are present in highly emotional scenes especially, campaign value soars. This is called “emotional carryover”. At Mirriad we have also conducted pioneering research to leverage emotional targeting by contextually placing ads within the storyline.

Mirriad was the first to establish this link between emotional trigger and impact that it has on how viewers value brands. This means we now understand how different emotions can drive brand value depending on the brand category, with multiple emotions showing unprecedented positive lifts per category: sadness (food and drink +17% lift), disgust (cleaning products +22% lift), and anticipation (automotive +7%).  This body of work enables further data that can be leveraged to improve a brand’s exposure and campaign performance.

Final thoughts on virtual product placement

Virtual product placement is rapidly becoming an essential component of a marketer’s media mix, at a time when reach and attention are becoming the biggest challenges in media and advertising.

The Mirriad platform paves the path for brands and content creators alike to benefit from scalable and flexible campaigns through Mirriad’s solution. With ease of use and quick activation, there are limitless opportunities for the future of virtual product placement.

Getting in touch with Mirriad

I want to learn more about Mirriad’s virtual product placement and in-content advertising


If you’re a brand interested in using Mirriad’s in-content digital ad placement technology to grow your reach, visit our advertiser’s page here. Learn more about how we connect brands to the audience they want to get in front of, at optimal moments. Contact us here.

Content Owners

If you’re a content owner or content creator and want to leverage Mirriad’s technology to maximize your video content earnings, visit our content owner’s page here. Our platform connects over 100 broadcasters, content creators and publishers to advertisers globally. Contact us here.

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