I don’t know why, but I just love a good product placement in movies or tv shows. Sometimes they are just so obvious it’s funny to me and I tend to annoy everyone I’m with by pointing them out. Some though are so good that they really do leave a lasting memory after I’m done watching.
The most popular product placement of all time in a movie is probably “Wilson” the volleyball from “Castaway” with Tom Hanks. The name of the second most seen character(?) in the movie is the name of the brand… now that is some serious marketing right there. The most famous scene from the movie is Tom Hanks shouting “Wilson” as he [SPOILERS] floats away out to sea. Another famous product placement in movies, according to brandsandfilms.com, is Nike and Pepsi in the movie Back to the Future II. Pepsi is in almost every store they walk into and Nike’s new shoes are the hottest shoes when they go into the distant future of 2015. When the main character, Marty McFly, is seen putting on the shoes the camera zooms so that the Nike symbol is the focus point of the shot. It is pretty obvious but also really well done in that movie. One of my personal favorite product placements is in “Wayne’s World”. In that movie at one point Wayne Campbell very satirically goes through some of his favorite products, which happen to be Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Reebok, Nuprin, and Doritos. It’s a funny way to promote your brands and fans of the original SNL sketch will appreciate the comedy.
Sometimes though a movie or show will place a product into a scene with out any effort at all or it is just shamelessly done. The most popular one that I can think of is the new “Transformers” movies. According to cracked.com Michael Bay was paid $3 million by GM to use their vehicles and they make it obvious by zooming into the logos of the cars. Another example of blatant advertising, or so it would seem, is the movie “You’ve Got Mail” which at times feels like one long commercial for AOL or Starbucks. It’s still a good movie even with some of these faults which maybe helps the products it’s advertising. The biggest example of shameless product placement is the low budget movie called “Mac and Me” which is essentially one long commercial for Coca-Cola and McDonalds. According to Cracked.com, the plot of the movie is that a family of aliens crash lands on earth and the best way they can recuperate is by chugging Coke and eating McDonalds. It is such a bad movie that it is actually funny and you can find some of the most ridiculous sequences in a movie of all time just by googling “Mac and Me” when you’re bored.
Directors have gotten much better at sneaking products into their movies, thankfully, it is a key advertising strategy for big companies and so it won’t be going anywhere soon.