AOL Time Warner unit Turner Broadcasting System could soon be striking paydirt with a new hi-tech virtual product placement system.

The broadcaster will feature the new technology from June when it starts the re-run of hit series Law & Order. Thanks to digital manipulation, images of products can be inserted into the action as if they were part of the original filming, enabling an advertiser to place an actual product in actors' hands – even brand the precinct’s water-cooler.

The technology, developed by Princeton Video Image, will be featured courtesy of a tripartite agreement between the developer, TBS, and Studios USA along with the show’s producers. It has already successfully debuted in a Mexican soap opera.

Several unnamed advertisers are said to be discussing product placement opportunities with TBS, although the broadcaster has yet to finalize its sales strategy and prices.

As from June 5, Law & Order will air on TNT at 8pm with a repeat at 10pm, following the program’s recent move out of A&E Television Networks.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline