Hallmark sells virtual products

Oct 22, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Hallmark Channel International has completed a deal with Samsung to do virtual product placement in 21 countries, Electronic Media has learned.
Significantly, sources said Hallmark soon may try to entice advertisers to use virtual product placement on the company’s flagship U.S. Hallmark Channel.
Partnering with Hallmark on the deal is Princeton Video Image, the company that has pioneered virtual product placement.
The Samsung deal, which is part of a major sponsorship package that includes traditional billboards and 30-second spots, will run in all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, including Brazil.
In the virtual product placement part of the deal, Samsung computers and screensavers will appear in various Hallmark movies. The virtual Samsung computers will be on desks that didn’t have computers on them when the movies were filmed.
Mr. Frey said Hallmark International is talking with other advertisers about virtual product placement in Europe and Asia and about more virtual product placement on Hallmark’s Latin America lineup.
“One of the reasons we like this deal is that it’s a unique, uncluttered environment to show off the product,” said Elena Guerrero, regional associate media director for Samsung’s ad agency, FCB Latin America.
Furthermore, “Post-Sept. 11, a lot of advertisers are weary of blaring their message,” Mr. Frey said. “This kind of virtual product placement is more subtle, yet it can be very effective.”
Princeton Video Image has long been trying to get networks and syndicators hooked up with advertisers to use virtual product placement in the United States. While the company has had a lot of success with virtual signage and such in sports programming, for the most part getting virtual product placement in domestic shows has eluded it.
However, that could change if Hallmark can convince some marketers to sign up for virtual product placement on its U.S. cable channel.