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Product placement in movies

Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 11:45am

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I recently re-watched I, Robot, and it got me thinking how much the Converse All Star reference Will Smith makes a grand total of three times in the film had people really annoyed. So when reading the Wikipedia article for I, Robot I came across this part:

Wikipedia wrote:

The film makes heavy use of product placements for Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars, Ovaltine, Audi, FedEx, Dos Equis, and JVC among others, all of them are introduced within the first ten minutes of the film. One particularly infamous scene borderlines into actual advertisement territory in which a character compliments Will Smith's character's shoes to which he replies "Converse All Star. Vintage 2004" (the year of the film's release). Audi was the company that invested the most on the film, going as far as creating a special car for I, Robot, the Audi RSQ, which would increase brand awareness and raise the emotional appeal of the Audi brand, objectives that were considered achieved when surveys conducted in the United States showed that the Audi RSQ gave a substantial boost to the image ratings of the brand in the States. The Audi RSQ is seen during nine minutes of the film, although other Audis like the Audi A6, the Audi TT and the Audi A2 can be seen sprinkled throughout the film. I, Robot was ranked "the worst film for product placement" on a British site.
I went to the British site mentioned and their list of worst offenders in product placement was (I've edited the comments down):

10. Spider-Man

A completely gratuitous shot of Peter Parker firing his web at a Dr. Pepper can, and a scene in which Spidey himself lands on a moving Carlsberg truck (conveniently shot at an angle where the logo gains maximum exposure). What makes it worse is the fact that Sony lobbied for the new 12A age rating to be introduced, so they were basically selling beer to kids.

9. Evolution


Ivan Reitman’s action comedy tells of the evolution of an alien species, starting off as little more than a pile of goo, before morphing into dinosaur-like winged creatures and finally evolving into a gigantic puss-filled blob. The only thing that can kill this amorphous being just happens to be Head & Shoulders shampoo. Ignoring the fact that it’s fucking stupid, what particularly rankles is the end scene, in which Mulder, Stifler and the black dude from Office Space goof off to camera and perform a ‘joke’ advert for the shampoo, breaking the fourth wall and letting you know they’re in on the gag.

8. Back To The Future Parts I-III

An early example of the big brand names ‘synergising’ with the biggest movies of the year. Sure, you can argue that it’s all very tongue-in-cheek – Marty’s mother thinking he’s called Calvin Klein, the self-tying Nikes in Back to the Future II – and you’d be right, but it’s still utterly shameless in its constant referencing of modern day products. I’ve no problem with the inclusion of the DeLorean – hell, it made the film what it was and it’s not like it did them any good anyway – but watching it back now, with its jokes about Pepsi, flagrant advertisements for Mattel and AT&T and the aforementioned clothing products, it’s cringeworthy in the extreme.

7. Demolition Man


Having been thawed out to hunt down Wesley Snipes’ badly-dressed villain, Sylvester Stallone’s cop is shocked to discover that all fast-food restaurants are now Taco Bells (for the movie’s overseas release, the reference was changed to Pizza Hut). An awful joke, and one which Taco Bell paid handsomely for (I was quite surprised to learn that both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are companies owned by Pepsi, which I guess makes a lot of sense given that the soft-drink manufacturer is one of the worst offenders for product placement).

6. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me


Checking his e-mail in his car, international man of mystery Austin Powers is informed by the annoying AOL voice man that he has mail, complete with a full-screen shot of an AOL inbox and logo.

5. Minority Report

Steven Spielberg is arguably the guy who opened the eyes of Hollywood producers that they could make a hell of a lot of money via product placement, way back in E.T. with the inclusion of the Reese’s Pieces chocolate bar. Here, he’s up to his old tricks again, with Tom Cruise’s fugitive cop running through a shopping mall in the not-too-distant future. Holographic personalised adverts flash before our hero’s eyes, with ads for Guinness and Lexus addressing him directly due to the Iris recognition system that clocks him as he enters. Spielberg reportedly collected a group of brand analysts and those goobers that dictate what’s hot and what’s not to come up with the kind of ads we’ll be seeing in the future, and though it’s a scarily accurate prediction, it doesn’t benefit in the slightest by using real brands and companies.

4. Cast Away

Two hours and twenty minutes of Tom Hanks doing nothing on an island, interspersed with ads for sports manufacturers Wilson and Federal Express. Tom, you see, works for Federal Express, and it’s while on a Federal Express plane that he crashes, with only the contents of Federal Express packages to keep him alive. Federal Express Federal Express Federal Express. Tom’s only friend on the island is a volleyball, with the manufacturer’s logo on the front. Naturally, as he starts going a little crazy, Tom converses with his new friend Wilson, continually referencing the brand name under the pretension of whimsy.

3. Blade: Trinity

Wins the award for most pointless product placement of all time. Because fighting vampires while dressed in tight leather trousers isn’t cool enough, the makers of the third Blade movie decided to give Jessica Biel’s character Abigail the quirk of listening to an iPod while she’s kicking ass, complete with a scene where she downloads songs from iTunes and creates a playlist for her next encounter.

2. The Island

The Island is a serial offender; just when you think [Michael] Bay can’t cram any more adverts down your throat, he shoves a Puma trainer up your arse and takes a swig of Michelob beer. Numerous Microsoft logos are littered around the future cityscape (incuding, bizarrely, an Xbox-related ad that was already out-of-date when the movie opened), plus lingering shots of Nokia phones, Aquafin water bottles, Macintosh trucks and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Unbelievably, Bay even uses a real Chanel TV advertisement which features star Scarlett Johansson, under the pretence that her clone’s doppelganger is an actress, and, y’know, appears in adverts.

1. I, Robot


“Converse, vintage 2004.” Never before has one line sunk a movie so fast. The first ten minutes of Alex Proyas’ I, Robot contains more examples of product placement than any other film I’ve seen, and there are none more odious than the completely unnecessary scene in which Will Smith reveals he wears Chucks. Who gives a shit, asshole? How about you go fight some fucking robots and stop trying to sell me trainers? Smith drives around town in an Audi (made exclusively for the movie, fact fans), listens to his music on a JVC CD player, has his mail delivered by Tom Hank’s FedEx and generally acts like a walking, talking billboard.




While I generally don't let product placement ruin a film for me, the worst offender in my eyes is Casino Royale and the entire Bond franchise. Remember when critics dubbed Die Another Day "Buy Another Day"?

The reason Bond stands out to me is because of the tiresome tie-in ads that run on TV during the whole cinematic release. I remember Omega, Ford, and Sony Ericsson ads going on and on, so when I finally saw the film I couldn't take it seriously when Omega, Ford and Sony Ericsson each got their 30 seconds of unnecessary (and blatantly obvious) screen time. On the other hand you have guys like Michael Bay defending product placement. I also recall Bay saying in connection with Transformers in 2007 that his sponsorship deals with GM were necessary to pay for the films expensive effects which could not be archived with only 150mill dollars. What annoys me personally most with Bay is his sucking up to the army so he gets access to their equipment. His deals are that if he "makes the army look good" and pays for the cost of running the helicopters/planes/tanks he borrows, he can have free access. Not only do I dislike paying money to see an ad for the army [EDITED what I think you must be considering as the offensive part], but Bay's movies actually make young men consider signing up.

So what are your thoughts on product placement in films? Is it wrong in every way, or doesn't it matter?

Last edited Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 4:50pm; edited 4 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 12:44pm

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RodyPolis

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First off, the last part of Bay and the army probably would offend some people.

But anyways, I still don't get why product placement annoys people so much. I catch them in movies, but I just keep on watching. It's really not a big deal. If someone contribute to the movie it's normal to pay them back through advertisement.

Sometime I love product placement cause it make me feel like this movie is happening in the world I live in. There's nothing I hate more then brandless cars where there's a blank where the logo is supposed to be. Or when someone drinks soda you've never heard of, eat places that doesn't exist.

So while I don't care much about whether product placement is there or not, I think having none irritates more then having it.

Also, 'spidey uses a dr. pepper can' wow big deal lol what was he supposed to use, maybe he likes dr. pepper, I know I do.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 12:58pm

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Mike Q

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Just imagine if their was a painter who wanted help paying his bills. And along came Dr Pepper with a huge check, only catch is, in everything the artist paints from then on, there has to feature a Dr Pepper can, are you telling me that would be ok, or go unnoticed. The same goes with a recording artist. They need money when they first start off, in comes Audi, and every song after has to have him sing about a car, or in the video he drives an Audi, (actually this is a pet hate of mine, in music videos, how they alweays have a mobile-phone scene written into the story, just to show the new models, meh)

Okay they've put money into the film, but to see it so obvious really niggles me. Surely any product placement should go into cinema and tv adverts, or on the posters advertising the film, not actually in the film.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:05pm

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RodyPolis

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I was talking about product placement in movies, not in paintings or music.

But yea, I'm still sticking to my original post cause I have yet to see product placement in MOVIES that bother me much.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:08pm

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Simon K Jones

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I've got no problem with product placement as a concept. When used appropriately it can actually add verisimilitude to a movie. I've read lots of SF short stories and novels that feature real brand names to enhance their worlds - although those brands are often used with heavily negative connotations (which is how I read the Minority Report stuff).

In the case of Spidey webbing the Dr Pepper, I can't say I've ever actually noticed that it was a can of Dr Pepper. On the other hand, if it had been some random made up 'Supa Cola!' type prop, I probably would have noticed it for being unfamiliar.

Even I, Robot I didn't mind too much, because Will Smith's character is meant to be a retro kind of guy and prefer the old society to the new robotic society. They definitely go too far in a few scenes and shots, but the concept of him using circa-2000s era tech and clothing doesn't bother me.

On the other hand, I do seem to recall the Xbox advert in The Island and thinking it was particularly lame. It just made no sense.

The absolute worst offender is the recent Star Trek, however. The bizarrely incongruous mixture of a Nokia phone in Kirk's car at the start and the Beastie Boys song were the only two mis-steps in the entire film for me.

The rest of the film very convincingly set up the future world, but those two bits of product placement were horrible. In the post-capitalist, far future world of Star Trek it made absolutely no sense for a child to be listening to that song, or for Nokia to still exist as it does now.

Bay's military techno-porn is also particularly lame at times.

Last edited Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:08pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:08pm

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Mike Q

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RodyPolis wrote:

I was talking about product placement in movies, not in paintings or music.

Well I am

But yea, I'm still sticking to my original post cause I have yet to see product placement in MOVIES that bother me much.
"MUCH", so it bothers you, and for that moment that it does bother you, however small, you've been drawn out of the story, a big no-no.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:11pm

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Mike Q

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Tarn wrote:


In the case of Spidey webbing the Dr Pepper, I can't say I've ever actually noticed that it was a can of Dr Pepper.
Isn't that the idea, your not supposed to notice. confused
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:25pm

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Tarn wrote:

In the case of Spidey webbing the Dr Pepper, I can't say I've ever actually noticed that it was a can of Dr Pepper. On the other hand, if it had been some random made up 'Supa Cola!' type prop, I probably would have noticed it for being unfamiliar.

Even I, Robot I didn't mind too much, because Will Smith's character is meant to be a retro kind of guy and prefer the old society to the new robotic society.
Well, in my case those two instances "worked" on me, as I hadn't heard of Dr. Pepper (not famous in Norway) before I saw it in Spidey, and I didn't know about Converse (I suck at knowing clothes labels) before I, Robot. Now if we are to check if I actually bought any of that stuff, we could discuss if it's actually working. I've had three bottles of Dr. Pepper in my life, and would never wear converse as they look uncomfortable and judging by my friends who wear converse they fall apart. But I started noticing when people were wearing converse after I saw I, Robot (because I've seen the film an embarrassing amount of times) so marketing people could call it enhancing "brand awareness" or whatever.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:26pm

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RodyPolis

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Mike Q wrote:

RodyPolis wrote:

I was talking about product placement in movies, not in paintings or music.

Well I am

But yea, I'm still sticking to my original post cause I have yet to see product placement in MOVIES that bother me much.
"MUCH", so it bothers you, and for that moment that it does bother you, however small, you've been drawn out of the story, a big no-no.
Fine Mike, you win. Product placement sucks and we should all hate it. As filmmakers we will never have that kind of bullcrap in our movies cause it will automatically ruin it smile
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:33pm

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Mike Q

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No one wins, I'm offering an opinion. What time zone are you in, is it bed time biggrin
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 1:59pm

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RodyPolis

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Mike Q wrote:

No one wins, I'm offering an opinion. What time zone are you in, is it bed time biggrin
lol it's just too early in the morning
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 2:18pm

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RodyPolis

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Now that I've had breakfast I can think of some cheesy product placement. The tv show Smallville has bunch of those.

Like in one episode, Lois Lane distracts a guard by showing him the inside of her brand new Ford Fusion lol

And in another episode, some dude got stretching power(like Mr.Fantastic) from chewing a kryptonite infected Stride Gum haha

So while it doesn't bother me much, there are some pretty dumb product placement in movies and shows.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 2:42pm

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Mike Q

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I think my big problem with it is how the "product" is given the scene, like the Dr Pepper example. He could have hit anything, I think he did hit a lamp actually, why couldn't it have been something random, a book with no title showing, a plant pot etc. The Dr Pepper can could have been in the background throughout this scene, but no, it's given the scene.

It's still the mobiles/cell phones in music videos that bug the sh!t out of me the most though.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 5:56pm

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fertesz

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I personally don't mind PP. Exluding extreme cases of course. If movie is set contemporarily, then it just makes sense that hero drinks a drink we know, uses a mobile we know or drives in a same car our neighbour has. Avoiding those brands makes little sense to me (as much as maniacaly showing them).

But as for the extreme cases (not film-related though) - anyone ever played Biker Mice on SNES? It is definately most hardcore case of PP I ever saw eek Just wow. Snickers must have funded whole damn game eek

But all in all - it makes me laugh more then anything else.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 6:20pm

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Mike Q

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hOk80p8K2w&feature=related

1:05 That's just blatant.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 6:27pm

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Mike Q wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hOk80p8K2w&feature=related

1:05 That's just blatant.
This was related.

I really laughed at 0.40. Man that shot always bothered me because she tilted the brand name into the camera so unconvincingly. I mean Bay really hit product placement out of the ballpark with Transformers. Was TF2 as bad to those who have seen it?

And this shows some of the more shameful parts of Casino Royale. The part where Bond is driving really took me out of the film the first time. I could almost imagine a dialog going on in Bond's head: "Just driving my Ford, driving in my Ford. Wow, time to check out my new Sony Ericsson!"
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 8:45pm

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No Respite Productions

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Casino Royale was incredibly bad for product placement. Mostly because it was fed into the actual dialogue of the film which was criminal to me (the bit about the watch when Bond and Vespa were on the train).

However I really don't find PP too bad, especially in a lot of cases when someone is watching a laptop, and that laptop just happen to be a Sony. I have a Sony laptop so it's just imitating life, no big deal I reckon.

The list referenced in the original post contains some very flawed points for me. Minority Report's over the top, intrusive advertising seemed to play a more negative angle than anything else.

Also, and I may be wrong about this, but I'm fairly certain that the events in Cast Away were based on a real life Fed-Ex employee, so I don't see it as a bad thing that the Fed-Ex company was used in the film, added to the whole realism to me.

Now what *really* winds me up is adverts in the cinema. I've had enough of sitting through half an hour of commercials. I mean excuse me but I'm fairly certain I just paid 7 quid to get in here, why am I being bombarded with the same crap that pollutes the TV.

In this day and age, it would be like paying to access an internet website only to still be bombarded by banner ads, pop-ups and commericals before the video or song loaded.

Anyway, anyone who wants to do product placement in films should really learn from the masters... Wayne's World wink

Last edited Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 10:14pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 10:06pm

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Atom

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Pfffft. You guys are ridiculous.

I love product placement in movies- especially Casino Royale, because the brands were so diversified. I believed the entire time MI6 would use all one brand of products, and Sony/Sony Erricson worked just fine for me. The chic-tech style of all the products in the movie gave it a grounded realism and meshed well with the overall 'classy' nature the Bond reboot seemed to push.

Likewise, although The Island was a bit overkill- I'd much much much rather have MSN/Live videophone booths and Puma tracksuits for the Islanders than just nameless stuff- it adds such a cooler, more-believable futuristic element for me. And Spider-Man? You've gotta be kidding me! The Dr. Pepper swing is some of the best product placement I've seen, subtle and necessary. Like Tarn says, I like something more natural than if I saw 'Super Pop! Soda'.

The Xbox and Mountain Dew machine in Transformers were too much, yes, but the rest just worked for me. High school kids eat at Burger King, web people use SD cards, people drink Pepto Bismal in interrogation rooms, Army soldiers probably use HP, government people probably use MacBook Pros. Air Force One reads USA today,

It's all very believable and understandable and, well, supplementary to me in these kinds of movies. It's not like they're all only drinking Pepsi and driving Fords in Casino Royale or Transformers. There's an Aston Martin in CS, there's a variety of drinks, cars, etc. in Transformers.

There are Dell, HP, and Apple computers shown in the movie, for christ'sakes. Sure, money might've been made off of it, but ultimately it just adds to the realism of the movie universe- and most people don't notice it.

Take Minority Report, for example- one of my favorite all-time movies. It would not be as good of a movie as it is were there not product placement galore in it that allowed you to really feel this future world, see it in a believable way. I loved it, I love it.

I love product placement, when diverse and appropriate- plain and simple.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Jun 2009, 10:59pm

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rogolo

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I really am fine with PP. As long as you can look at something onscreen besides the brand name, I'll just look there and continue to enjoy my movie. And I may very well be in the minority, but I have always liked the "vintage 2004" line from I, Robot.

Anyhow, I think this scene beautifully demonstrates how tactful and subtle product placement can mesh with a script in a non-destructive way.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 12:17pm

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Oh dear lord.

That's going to be so distracting. I don't know where to begin.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 12:41pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hehe, brilliant. That should be entertaining in its own right!

Still, the worst bit of product placement in recent years by a LONG way for me is the Nokia stuff in Star Trek. Awful.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 1:28pm

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NuttyBanana

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The only time I've noticed and been bothered by pp was the ipod/itunes in Blade Trinity. Those parts in that film just made me cringe so badly I cannot believe someone even thought of it.

I mean surely a quick "oh she like to listen to music while kicking ass" accompanied with a shot of the ipod somewhere would've done. But nooooo, we had everything besides full instructions on creating playlists.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 1:32pm

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Simon K Jones

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At least that still makes vague sense in the Blade universe. Nokia being around in the Star Trek universe is utterly ludicrous, given the communications technology - let alone using the same ringtones, interfaces and that Beastie Boys song (a song which I otherwise realy like).

Bah.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 1:39pm

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Tarn wrote:

Still, the worst bit of product placement in recent years by a LONG way for me is the Nokia stuff in Star Trek. Awful.
Really? (Don't worry I'm not going to flip out on a moderator again like last time someone said anything against Abrams-trek around here. wink)

Because in all the screenings I went to, the futuristic Nokia ring-tone doubled as a comic relief-moment after the tragic opening-scene. It always got a big laugh. Also it lasted less than 3 seconds. I suggest you watch Casion Royale again. You can start despairing when Bond is driving a Ford Focus (family car) and using a Sony Ericsson K800i James Bond Edition simultaneously. That's all that happens in that scene. Now that phone is a relic that dates the film, and Bond driving a stupid Ford Focus is still as dumb. I haven't seen Casino Royale in years, and I didn't go back and check my facts in this paragraph; but trust me it happened just like a said because that stupidity is etched in my mind and took a lot away from a solid film.

You can also see the recent Natalie Portman-film; No Strings Attached. In that film the editing-rhythm and pacing of the film is several times completley broken so they can have 20-30 second long shots of an Audi driving along the road. I knew there was something up when every character in the film drove an Audi, and I'm fine with that, but when a scene was over and they cut to an exterior of Portman's character's car, I was thinking; "Aaaand cut. No? How about now? This shot is really long, wha-? Oooh. No. They didn't. Did they really not manage to meet required Audi screen-time subtly, so they just gave up and had 20 second shots of a car moving along the road? Oh dear."

I get a little cross when people pick on Star Trek 09 for all kinds of reasons, and I'm not really accusing you, but I always jump to the conclusion that Star Trek-fans saw that scene and thought: "Holy Vulcan! Product placement in Star Trek! Blasphemy! DIE ABRAMS!"

But I'm really glad that a giant Trekkie pretty much detailed why Star Trek-fans have no right to say anything against Abrams-trek as Abrams is actually competent at his job, while the Next Generation-films are like they were made by monkeys. Considering the abysmal quality of those films (I love The Next Generation and I have never, and will never, sit through one of those), nothing Abrams could possibly do would be worse for Star Trek than those films.

Yes it's the same guy who analyzed the prequels so well:

Star Trek: Insurrection

Abrams-trek

Little off topic, sorry.

Tarn wrote:

At least that still makes vague sense in the Blade universe. Nokia being around in the Star Trek universe is utterly ludicrous, given the communications technology - let alone using the same ringtones, interfaces and that Beastie Boys song (a song which I otherwise realy like).

Bah.
Okey, Tarn. I get your reasoning. But to me product placement was never about universe-building or credibility. It's about if the product is "just there", or if they make a big deal out of it like in Casino Royale, i,Robot and No Strings Attached. To me, you just don't do that. It is inexcusable to actually give products exclusive screen-time instead of just keeping them in the background. It will always annoy me more than Star Trek. Also I'm pretty sure Abrams thought about your argument because the whole point of the old car and the "That car is an antique!"-speech was so that Abrams could:

1. Use his favorite song
2. Put Nokia in the scene
3. Ease the non-trekkie into the film with a scene devoid of "nerdy-sci-fi-stuff" until the police guy shows up.

So he didn't just throw it in there. There is an entire line to try to explain it.

Last edited Wed, 4th May 2011, 1:52pm; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 1:42pm

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danielgwood

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Most of the time I don't notice PP, or spot it and just don't care.

The iPod bit in Blade was distracting for me because its just plain silly. It still would have been silly if it hadn't been a particular product though.

Casino Royale's product placement.. the use of the Ford-Focus-esque car in the film was a bit lame. It's not a cool car, and not very Bond at all. The rest of it fitted in quite well, suited Bond films typical use of a lot of electronic gadgets. It's also a series which has done product placement practically since the beginning, so you expect to see Omega watches etc.

Didn't notice the product placement in Transformers, or the Dr Pepper can in Spiderman. I agree with Simon there, some obviously-fake can might have been off-putting.

As for PP in Back to the Future, whaaaaaaaat? Can't recall ads for Mattel or AT&T, and I've seen those films a lot. I don't remember the self-tying trainers being nikes either (probably too excited by their self-tying-ness). Calvin Klein worked well in the plot - he needed to avoid using his real name, and it sounds like a name.. well, is a name.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 2:15pm

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alienux

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I wasn't here for this thread the first time around, but I'll jump in and say that product placement doesn't really bother me. Sure there are some that go too far and that are distracting, but I guess in those cases I just cringe a little and move on. I'd even say that in some cases, it gives viewers who are already users of a product something else to connect with. And there are also situations where a product, while still being used as product placement, is cleverly tied into the story line and that can be entertaining.

RodyPolis wrote:

Now that I've had breakfast I can think of some cheesy product placement. The tv show Smallville has bunch of those.
For the last year or so on Smallville it's been Windows 7. They don't even bother trying to be subtle with most of the computer screens showing the Windows 7 desktop prominently during those scenes.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 2:46pm

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Aculag

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You guys want to see some hilarious product placement, you should watch Fringe. Lately I wonder why they even have commercials anymore for all the plugs they give Ford and Sprint.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 3:00pm

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RodyPolis

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I don't really seem to mind product placement when they don't interfere with the story. For example I can't count how many times a character in White Collar gets stuck in traffic, then they use the fancy GPS system on their new Ford to find out where traffic ends.

The things is almost every episode some character has to say "I'm on my way. There will be traffic on so-and-so street, so I'll just turn at another street. I should be there in 15 minutes." They of course say all that while playing with their fancy GPS. It gets annoying.

Other than that I like product placement. When someone is driving a car, I prefer it being an actual brand rather than those no-name cars we see in movies a lot. Or when they drink something, I like it when it's an actual drink (as long as everyone doesn't drink the same drink all throughout the movie). Product placement makes it seem like the real world which I like.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 3:07pm

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Aculag

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RodyPolis wrote:

The things is almost every episode some character has to say "I'm on my way. There will be traffic on so-and-so street, so I'll just turn at another street. I should be there in 15 minutes." They of course say all that while playing with their fancy GPS. It gets annoying.
Just wait until they're like "Hold on, I'm just using the automatic parking assist feature in my new Ford Focus to parallel park." wink

I agree with you though, that I don't really mind seeing real-life products in TV shows and movies, as long as it isn't blatantly displayed, and interrupting the flow, like it has a tendency to do.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 3:12pm

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Arktic

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danielgwood wrote:

As for PP in Back to the Future, whaaaaaaaat? Can't recall ads for Mattel or AT&T, and I've seen those films a lot.
Bah whaaa?! Get your RAM checked, dear boy, your memory seems to have gone on the fritz!

The Mattel one in BTTFII is *so blatant* I have no idea how you would miss it - there's a massive Mattel sticker/logo on the hoverboard. And if I'm not mistaken, it actually jumps around from shot to shot, so that it's never covered by Marty's feet. I don't remember the AT&T one, but probably because we don't have it in the UK, so I would never have picked up on it. There's also a LOT of Pepsi placement.

Talking of bad product placement and Pepsi, the worst I've ever seen is in Terminator 2. I don't have it to hand now, but there's a scene where the actor turns his Pepsi branded cup mid-scene so that the logo isn't obscured. Once you know it's there, it's so blatant it's awful. It's the scene in the lab just before Dyson goes to get the arm and the chip out from storage. There's also the guy who gets shot up holding a can of Pepsi in the corridor in front of a Pepsi machine.

I'll see if I can find clips smile

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 3:22pm

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danielgwood

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Arktic wrote:

I don't remember the AT&T one, but probably because we don't have it in the UK, so I would never have picked up on it.
That's probably the key thing to PP. I don't remember any of the PP Aculag mentions in Fringe, because I don't know the brands. That's probably also why I didn't pick up on the Mattel placement in BttF.. not a brand I remember (I just had to Google it, still don't recognise the logo!)

To be honest if this is how some of the films/tv series I enjoy get their funding, that's fine by me!
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 6:05pm

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pixelboy

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I noticed a rather amusing bit of product placement while watching an episode of Smallville, I think somewhere early in Season Seven. There's an effects shot where Lois' cellphone is smashed and shatters in rather an unconvincing way. Going through the shot frame-by frame, I noticed that one of the CGI shards of plastic flew directly toward the camera, filling the screen with a Sprint logo for a single frame. As has been mentioned, Smallville is mad about product placement - typically this doesn't bother me, except for the awful "Stride Gum" episode that was brought up earlier. The script includes: "Maybe next time, they won't let the flavor last quite so long."
Really?
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2011, 9:39pm

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NuttyBanana

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Oh, after catching up a bit with some Hawaii Five-O I recall the iPhone spam I've had throughout the series so far.
Posted: Sat, 7th May 2011, 12:48am

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DVStudio

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NuttyBanana wrote:

Oh, after catching up a bit with some Hawaii Five-O I recall the iPhone spam I've had throughout the series so far.
Heh, yeah they certainly went a little bit overboard. I have to say though, Hawaii Five-O has made me want to buy a Camaro, heh. wink
Posted: Sat, 7th May 2011, 1:31am

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Terminal Velocity

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I'm surprised how much product placement bothers some people. It's not really a problems to me (have to admit that I usually don't even notice it, cause I don't care). Seems like there are so many more things to take issue with in movies that giving a crap about product placement is just kind of silly.