Amazon NewFront 2022: Virtual Product Placement (VPP)

Amazon's NewFront 2022 advertising presentation showcased a variety of new content and technologies to help companies increase brand awareness and reach relevant audiences.

Virtual Product Placement (VPP)

Among other things, Amazon unveiled a new open beta program for virtual product placement (VPP), which allows products to be integrated into scenes of movies and series retroactively. This allows approved products to be seamlessly inserted into participating Prime Video and Amazon Freevee content even after filming has been completed. For example, old series or movies can also be filled with new advertising. 

What is Amazon Freevee?

Amazon Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) is an ad-supported, free video streaming service that can be used without a subscription, offering hundreds of series and movies. Freevee is currently only available in the U.S. and the U.K., but the streaming service is expected to be launched in Germany in the next few months.


How are the product placements presented?

Amazon's presentation shows various ways in which the virtual product placements can be used. On the one hand, there is the possibility of including advertising in the form of posters or banners, as in this example. 

Virtual product placement poster

However, there is also the possibility of integrating products three-dimensionally into a given scene.

Virtual product placement


What are the advantages of virtual product placements? 

From the point of view of advertisers, the advantage of VPP is quite clear. It creates numerous new opportunities for promoting products. Suitable advertising placements can be integrated into popular movies or series, which in the best case scenario are also thematically relevant to the product.  

From a production perspective, VPPs offer the ability to shoot a series without having to think about product placements beforehand, which is required during a traditional production. Instead, during editing, it is possible to consider where product placements can be naturally integrated into the story. Since some series develop into bestsellers only over time, they can still be marketed later at a high cost, which is not possible with traditional product placements.

The VPP program is currently running in a test phase with selected series, such as Reacher, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Making the Cut or Leverage: Redemption. To ensure high quality, the advertising integration will be offered as a paid service in the future. It is possible that the 2D variant, as a poster or banner, will be provided with automated placements.  


Advanced campaign planning and reports 

Amazon also unveiled several Amazon Ads products that provide advertisers with a consistent solution for planning, reporting and optimizing their ads. These include a new Media Planner for Streaming TV Ads, which allows advertisers to view their incremental streaming TV reach across Amazon Ads and compare it to their linear reach. Advertisers for consumer goods can now easily and quickly get a holistic overview across all sales channels using Omnichannel Metrics - currently a beta product.

In the BidX tool, you also get an overview of your most important advertising key figures. The special thing about it is that you can compose your dashboard individually and thus directly see the figures that are most important to you. 



How these developments are changing the advertising industry

The advertising industry and in particular the advertising opportunities on Amazon are continuously developing. There is a clear trend that shows that visual and auditive advertising options are becoming more and more important. For this reason, several of these advertising formats, such as Sponsored Brand Video Ads, Fire TV Ads and other streaming TV ads, have already been introduced by Amazon within the last two years.

What’s special about this type of advertising is that it is presented in a “natural” environment, allowing long-term connections to be made with customers in everyday interactions. It also allows companies to incorporate their brands directly into the content and offers customers more opportunities to discover products easily.

Another advantage is that advertising measures in media can be exchanged dynamically. This also allows advertisers to respond more quickly to trends by updating product placements in a selection of movies at the same time.

Key figures on Prime Video provide an indication of how successful this type of advertising could be. In the USA alone, 80 million households use Amazon Prime Video. The number of Amazon Prime Video subscribers worldwide is expected to rise to 252 million by 2027, according to Statista.

Amazon Freevee is currently still rather unknown. However, Amazon is now increasingly focusing on the streaming service and rolling it out in other countries as well. As a result, Amazon Freevee could also gain importance in the future and become interesting for advertisers - especially since the placement of advertising here will presumably be more cost-effective than with Prime Video.