In a move that underlines just how far television executives are willing to go to bump up ad revenue, studios have begun digitally altering reruns of popular TV shows in order to add new product placement. Entertainment Weekly first spotted the phenomenon in an old episode of How I Met Your Mother, which, despite having originally aired in 2006, had been boldly retrofitted to display environmental ads for the recent Cameron Diaz vehicle Bad Teacher (see above).
20th Television, which distributes How I Met Your Mother, sold the anachronistic Bad Teacher ad and others as part of a relatively new practice that lets them tap already syndicated programming for that much more revenue. The marketer's dream is made possible by a digital firm called SeamBI, for Seamless Brand Integration, which specializes in "insert[ing], very efficiently, brands into content in a natural way and in a way that is valuable to advertisers,” according to its CEO.
So don't be surprised when you see the Friends outfitted with matching iPhones.