Digital Product Placement

The above is a shot from a t.v. series in the US. The Bass beer bottle has been digitally inserted on the table in the shot by a new breed of agency called PVI. It is a digital virtual bottle added after the entire episode has been shot. Case for digital product placement: It is a way of getting your brand inserted into the right fit t.v., game and programing to gain awareness & association. It is also a way for a brand to be seen inside the entertainment instead of in the ads outside that people skip using TiVOs - in other words reach the full rating. Research or evidence that such techniques work is thin on the ground. Case Against: the content makers e.g. t.v. producers say that this affects the integrity of their product. The audience feels they've been 'had' if they discover that it was a 'superimposed' or over the top placement of brand in the content of what they want to watch. Admittedly it is an interesting technique for gaining some awareness for a brand and potentially some associations if the fit is right and the 'superimposed' effect is not noticed. But the actual consumer impact is likely to be no more than basic awarness and maybe some affinity borrowed from the entertainment value of the show. However, there is always the option of Brands actually making original programming instead of shoving their logos digitally into somebody else's entertainment content. Now, are there skills, capability or aptitude within client organisations or agencies to actually make original content that people would actively want to watch despite being made by a brand? Also who gets the credit in the end; the pope or Michelangelo for the Sistine Ceiling?