On last night's "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert aired a short segment of Mirriad Chairman Roger Faxon showing off his company's technology on Fox Business. What Mirriad does is create retroactive product placements; in one example shown, characters from USA Network's "White Collar" walk past a nondescript storefront that has been seamlessly reskinned and now appears to be a Subway sandwich shop. Colbert notes that Viacom is a Mirriad client -- Viacom owns Comedy Central, which broadcasts "The Colbert Report" -- and being the consummate corporate team-player, he says, "I want to make it easy by providing plenty of blank surfaces to be content-enhanced." And then he pulls out a series of chroma-keyed objects onto which logos can be retroactively inserted.
You'll need to brace yourself for the last object he wields, which is, arguably, NSFW -- if you've got a dirty mind, because it's entirely green and nondescript and could be anything. "Maybe, just maybe," Colbert says, "it's a delicious Subway footlong!"
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.