LONDON: Digital product placement in TV programmes can increase engagement levels with brands and offers interesting possibilities for personalisation, leading practitioners have claimed.

New editing tools now enable programme-makers to insert marketing content, like bus shelter ads or outdoor posters, into shows and films during the post-production process.

Mark Popkiewicz, chief executive of MirriAd, a digital placement firm, told the BBC that early trials of this process delivered "almost double the engagements of traditional campaigns".

Popkiewicz suggested this is because "when a consumer watches a show they are not 'defensive' against advertising as they might be with advertising online or commercials on TV - they are in 'receive mode' and are not blocking."

He also noted that "when brands are integrated they are placed in such a way so it is clear to the audience that they were always there and are part of the scene".

As an example of this process, Popkiewicz said an open can or bottle can be placed alongside a glass containing a beverage.

Nor is this development restricted to static objects. "The technology is capable of placing or replacing moving objects and even replacing products being handled by actors, like mobile phones," he said.

This holds interesting possibilities for the future. "The time will come … when the adverts inserted could be as personalised as a piece of direct mail," said Adam Fulford, strategy and planning director at digital branding consultancy Rufus Leonard.

Digital product placement has already been utilised in Italy to take advantage of the trend towards dual-screening, as more and more TV viewers go online via their mobile devices as they watch.

Images of the Ypsilon Methane, a new car model from Lancia, the automaker, were dropped into a property show, while an inaudible soundtrack activated a Lancia Interact TV app on smartphones to offer promotions related to the car brand.

Data sourced from BBC; additional content by Warc staff