Canny advertisers have been caught digitally inserting their products into old TV shows.
Now here's an interesting thing.
Below is a still from the TV show How I Met Your Mother, which originally screened in 2007:
Here's a still from a 2011 rerun of the same episode, uploaded by Fickr user stjarna:
Can you spot the difference?
In the 2011 version, a magazine has mysteriously appeared in the background with a prominent advertisement for the new film Zoo Keeper. In the original scene, this advertisement didn't appear; mainly because the movie didn't exist yet.
This blatant manipulation was reported by consumer affairs blog The Consumerist, who picked up on stjama's paper spectre discovery. They then compared the rerun to the season's DVD to confirm what they already knew.
"For the past few years, networks have been digitally inserting ads and product placements for new products into old reruns," the Consumerist reports.
Presumably, this practice is popular with reruns of hit TV shows due to their ability to attract lots of eyeballs; even years after they have already aired. We don't know about you, but we find this jiggery-pokery of the past somewhat depressing.
What's next? Posters for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 turning up in Band of Brothers? Windows 8 appearing in old episodes of The Big Bang Theory? Matt Smith cropping up in the Tom Baker version of Dr. Who? ...Actually, that could probably work.