Fast Company

Unlogo Eliminates Corporate Logos and Product Placement in Videos

Unlogo

Movies and TV shows are riddled with product placements, subliminal ads that appear whenever a character brandishes an iPhone or sips a Dr. Pepper with a smile. But those pesky placements could soon be removed at the click of a button, thanks to a new Web service called Unlogo.

Simply put, Unlogo is a filter that detects logos and corporate signage in videos, and eliminates them. The service was started by Jeff Crouse, who Brand Channel reports was originally hired to teach computers to recognize brands and logos.

"I thought if I could train a computer to recognize logos for the sake of making a brand more ubiquitous, why not not train it to erase them completely?" Crouse explains in a the below video. "We're trying to get people interested in this idea of controlling the presence of corporate messages...They represent an intrusion."

Now, Crouse's technology can be used to filter out corporate logos, and replace them with overlayed images.

Though Crouse has a strong anti-corporate message, his technology clearly has benefits in the corporate world. For one, with the advent of YouTube, millions of videos now exist online containing logos--videos that companies may not want to be associated with, such as, say, a gang fight in front of a Walmart, or a clip of rats dashing around a Taco Bell.

Corporations could take advantage of this new tech to filter out any connection to the content, similar to how record labels eliminate music from videos.

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1 Comments

  • MITDGreenb

    Very useful in the mode that Fast Company discusses: today, both the search and the obfuscation are done manually. Watch a reality TV show some time where logos on T-shirts have been blurred: this was done by hand during post production. Being able to do this on a wide scale is pretty useful. In fact, big brands might insist that YouTube or Vimeo implement this sort of functionality for "unapproved" use of their logos in uploaded materials. So much for anti-corporate!

    On the converse: removing logos or product placements from copyrighted materials may be illegal. That is, if you want to remove logos from your own mall video, OK, but if you remove them from a feature film you've downloaded? Probably not OK if you redistribute that in any fashion. Consult your attorney!

    Also, I would say that he may have misspoken the premise. The logos may or may not be an intrusion in your life... but they are not an intrusion in **the record** of your life, unless you'd like that record to be inaccurate.