Does Viral Marketing Include TV Show Editing?

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As the explosion of social networking completes itself -- hey, Mark Zuckerberg agrees -- viral marketing is a very real aspect of today's world. The best examples of successful viral marketing attempts normally comes from movies, with examples like The Dark Knight and Cloverfield come to mind. It should be noted that this kind of marketing is not limited to using Internet resources, but with the popularity of social media, it's a natural fit.

If you watched any of the NBA Playoffs, you saw a massive marketing campaign for the upcoming Kevin James vehicle, Zookeeper. Ads and other related content were forced upon the basketball-viewing public because, apparently, the target audience for such schlock are people who watch sports. Never mind the fact that these ads should've been shown to children during viewings of Sponge-Bob, instead of NBA fans. The fact is, Zookeeper had a hefty marketing campaign, however misguided, but apparently, the product placement was not limited to Dallas/Miami basketball games.

How does editing reruns of television shows that, in this case, were shown four years ago, to include promotional material for a 2011 movie sound? Does that sound savvy or ridicule-worthy? Thanks to an eagle-eyed Consumerist reader, it may be easier for you to answer that question. As the Consumerist revealed, the marketing arm that does the promotional work for Zookeeper decided that a 2007 episode of "How I Met Your Mother" was a great place to include such marketing materials.

The edited image in question:

Zookeeper Edit

As you can see by the circled portion of the image, there sits a magazine advertising the upcoming James calamity film. Take a look at an unedited image, again, courtesy of the Consumerist:

Zookeeper Unedit

There seems to be something missing from the original image that's all-of-a-sudden appearing in the reruns. In reference to viral marketing, is that too far? Is that overreaching and perhaps overvaluing the effectiveness of viral marketing? Much like the reaction at the Consumerist, doing something like this runs the risk of having your product mocked, but then again, this is a movie about a zookeeper who can apparently hear other animals talk. Doctor Dolittle copycats aside, does such creative editing increase your desire to see the Zookeeper or does something like this make you think even less of the upcoming movie?

What's next? Placing bumper sticker ads on for Super 8 on new copies of the Back to the Future DVD? Or maybe an inserted ad for the upcoming Captain America movie in M.A.S.H reruns?

Lead image courtesy.

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