10 Weird Product Placement

Posted on March 09, 2010
Views: 180,809

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisements

Product placement, sometimes called “embedded marketing”, is a form of advertising where an ad is placed somewhere that is usually devoid of ads, often subtly and without the viewer fully noticing it. In some cases, product placement is not strictly a matter of business. Including familiar brands and products in the world characters inhabit can make that world seem more realistic. For instance, most movies feature cars – not every movie in history has gotten money from car companies, though. Still, some instances of product placement are so obvious, so transparent as to be strange and jarring.

1.

Superman II

Marlboro paid the producers of Superman II $25,000 dollars for a Marlboro truck to be smack dab in the center of the final epic fight of the movie. At one point, the near-invincible Man of Steel is thrown right through the logo, and then climbs back out. Of course, the moral implications of putting a children’s superhero in a cigarette truck have not escaped people, and many parents objected to the imagery.

superman ii

2.

Sideways

In some instances, forms of product placement are not even intended, and compensation may not be received at all. In Sideways, Paul Giamatti’s character is lovably snobby in regards to wine, and disparages Merlot throughout the film while praising Pinot Noir as the superior variety. Following the film’s critical acclaim, an indisputable impact on the wine industry was made – Pinot Noir sales jumped 16% in the Western United States, while Merlot sales dropped 2%.

sideways

3.

Code Geass

Code Geass is a Japanese animated television show that has also enjoyed a translated run in the United States on the popular Adult Swim block. The show was sponsored in Japan by Pizza Hut, and despite the fact that it takes place in an alternate reality, Pizza Hut pizza is prominently featured throughout the series. One character in particular, C.C., frequently orders Pizza Hut pizza. She also carries a stuffed toy of Pizza Hut’s mascot at the time, Cheese-kun. A variety of videos have since sprung up on YouTube with montages of C.C. enjoying Pizza Hut, often backed by music. Apparently, even if you’re in the future, and in space, Pizza Hut will still deliver to your starship.

code geass

4.

Fight club

Fight Club is about fighting The Man. It is scathing in its treatment of corporations, brutal in its anti-establishment cynicism. And yet, several companies backed David Fincher’s film in exchange for a little product placement. Supposedly Fincher had no choice in the matter, and the studio pressured him into featuring products from the film’s backers. So, he did, but not in the way they imagined: he destroyed them.

Edward Norton’s home is filled with IKEA products, which is blown to pieces (the scene that shows his apartment is even rendered exactly like an IKEA catalog). A Starbucks is wrecked. Characters break into an Apple store, and Brad Pitt and Edward Norton smash a Volkswagen. If you’re going to slam multinational corporations, why not let them pay for it, too?

fight club

5.

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire, like Fight Club¸ also bit the hand that fed it. Cameron Crowe’s famous story of a sports agent finding himself features a breakthrough performance from Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays a rising football star. Throughout the film, he is courting an endorsement deal with Reebok that just won’t come. The Reebok executives apparently were under the impression that the film would end in a happy resolution in which a Reebok ad says: “Rod Tidwell. We ignored him for years. We were wrong. We’re sorry.”

However, this never made it into the movie, and instead Reebok ends the film portrayed as the cold conglomerate that never recognizes the heartfelt talent of Gooding Jr.’s character for what it is. The misunderstanding resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Tristar Pictures. Reebok claimed they were promised that their company would be portrayed in a very positive light, but Tristar countered that it was mutually understood from the beginning that the complimentary scene would not necessarily make the film’s final cut.

jerry maguire

Advertisements
Random
Page 1 of 3
Loading...

Latest Articles

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

20 Bizarre Flavors of Food You’ll Find Around the World

People all over the world have different tastes in all sorts of things. Music, movies, television, politics, and so forth. And in some cases, it’s their actual tastes that vary...

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

20 of the Most Terrifying Things Kids Have Ever Said

Kids say the darndest things, as the old saying goes. They also say some of the most horrifying things, as well. Most of the time it’s just because they don’t know any better...

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

20 Creepiest Abandoned Hospitals From Around the World

Hospitals can be scary places. They’re sterile and often impersonal, and oh yeah, there are often people dying all around you. And let’s not even get into the fact that...

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

7 Weird Ways People Try to Get Drunk

People like their booze, and have for centuries upon centuries. It’s not a secret that basically as long as there have been human beings roaming the Earth, there have been human...

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

8 Ways Science Says Sex Is the Best Medicine

With a few odd exceptions, people love sex. Sex sells, people enjoy watching it, and more importantly, people enjoy having it. That’s because sex makes you feel good, and it...

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

10 Absolutely Baffling Celebrity Cameos in Music Videos

Believe it or not, music videos are actually things that still exist, despite the fact that channels like MTV would have you believe otherwise. Celebrities popping up in a music...

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

7 TV and Movie Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Spinoffs

One of the hardest things about writing fiction is coming up with interesting, fully developed side characters. After all, you can’t spend too much time on them because you...

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

8 Incredible Facts About Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is an absolute juggernaut. There’s no denying it. Along with Walking Dead, you’d be hard pressed to find a television show that gets more online chatter that...

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

7 Books That Should Would Make Great TV Shows

With the return of the immensely successful and wildly popular Game of Thrones, it’s only natural to look at the bookshelf and imagine what books may have a chance to rival the...

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

8 Completely Off the Wall Zombie Movies

First things first, let’s not pretend that zombie movies are ever going to be exactly “normal.” After all, we’re talking about movies that center on the conceit that the...