Have you seen any ads for the upcoming Kevin James film Zookeeper? In the flick, James stars as a man whose girlfriend refuses to marry him because he's a zookeeper — is that a thing that people find somehow distasteful? — who turns to the talking zoo animals for help with getting her back. I'm going to assume that, along the way, he ends up actually falling for the other female lead, played by Rosario Dawson. I think we can all agree that this movie sounds/looks terrible. In fact, I only found out it even existed because the film's ads have been inundating Hulu the past few days.
But you may have seen an ad for the film without even knowing it, if you watch repeats of How I Met Your Mother. Because ads for the film have popped up in the background of an episode filmed in… 2007. Via Splitsider:
I have two main feelings about this. First of all, it is gross. I think we have all recognized and begrudgingly accepted product placement in TV and film. Obviously, money to finance these projects doesn't just come from nowhere, and as long as it's not egregious or completely out-of-universe for the show, we can grumble a bit and move on. But going back and plopping your ads — and not even in a subtle, or particularly sensible way — into the finished product of reruns just seems… blech. Like I want to wash my hands a lot.
Second of all, it is genius. How many people do you think watched that rerun? And how many of those people even noticed that blurry background ad? And would then bother to put a picture of it on the internet? Almost nobody! But all you need is one, and that person did their job. And now we are all talking about Zookeeper. (I'm sorry for being part of the machine. But let's just all agree not to see it, okay?) Well played, Zookeeper marketing team. I resentfully tip my hat to you.