Product Placement in films is highly commonplace nowadays. The consumer society that we are, we are familiar with casually displayed products like soda cans, computer brand names, cars, trucks, toys, books, etc. Never completely hidden, this merchandise is only slightly obscured so as to not be 100% obvious, but clear enough that we subconsciously render that image in our heads, so later when we think of that movie, we remember, “Hey, they had Dunkin Donuts coffee in that movie, I want some, too!” As devious as it sounds, product placement is considered highly effective (otherwise, they wouldn’t keep doing it), plus, some products are so commonplace in our own society (like Coke) that seeing in a movie may not even be product placement, it’s just natural for someone to be using it. Moreover, product placement is an excellent way to secure more funding for your film. Use our product somewhere in one of your scenes, and you can count on additional money for production. Now, some films are more blatant about it than others, and I’ve found what I consider to be the top three biggest culprits.
3. Casino Royale
It’s funny how you try to let things go when watching a really good movie, like product placement. As much as I love Casino Royale, I am only slightly distracted by the numerous consumer products in this movie. Companies like Sony and Ford make up the majority of materialism on display in this movie. Everyone in Casino Royale uses Sony products, from DVD players (for recorded camera surveillance) to cell phones to televisions. Most notably, since Bond himself uses a Sony Ericsson, that means only the good guys use them, so you should buy one and be a super spy like he is. Additionally, there are several Ford vehicles in this film, most notably the Range Rover in the scene where Bond crashes the valet-driven car into another car in the parking lot.
How can you have a Michael Bay film about robots in disguise as cars and NOT have product placement? Every car is a character so you can’t hide the vehicle brands. It’s so obvious! Included in both Transformers and Revenge of the Fallen are the following cars: Hummer, Gremlin, Cadillac, BMW, Audi, Monte Carlo, Camaro, Silverado, and Caravan. It’s a smorgasbord of vehicles that would make any car lover have a motor-gasm. Companies like General Motors, Dodge, and Chevrolet must have had a field day of sales after the release of these movies. Moreover, even without the mountain of automobile goodies, you still have products like the iPod, Panasonic cameras, Apple computers, and even Burger King on full display.
1. Wayne’s World
All it took was one scene. JUST one out of the entire movie to beat both Transformers and Casino Royale out of the top spot. But why just one scene you ask? Because that one scene is making fun of product placement; they make it so obvious, and they know they’re doing it. In the scene, Wayne and Garth are protesting selling out in the use of product placement on their own show, Wayne’s World. But in a clever bit of satire, both Wayne and Garth are arguing against materialism while simultaneously using a variety of popular products, like Pizza Hut, Doritos, Pepsi, and Reebok. Not only is it funny, but it’s smart enough to attack the issue of product placement in a way that satisfies the film’s own sponsors in a sarcastic but efficient way.