Product placements annoy me. There was a time when they were more subliminal and appropriately worked into TV and films. Nowadays, networks and film producers slap brand marks and logos every place they possibly can for an extra buck.
It’s everywhere! For example, Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Ford have all paid millions to co-star in American Idol. (Yes, co-star). And do you remember “You’ve Got Mail,” where Tom Hanks meets Meg Ryan? It should really be called “When AOL meets Starbucks.” The movie is actually named after AOL’s claim-to-fame tagline and in one scene, Tom Hanks gives you exact instructions on how to order a latte at Starbucks (along with how confidence-building it can be).
Do you think GM helped pay for Transformers? Um, YES! All of the Autobots (the good robots) were GM cars. Funnier still, Megatron (the main antagonist in the series) is a Ford Mustang. It is laughably inappropriate.
What movie takes the cake? Well, have you ever seen The Island?
It’s absolutely packed with product placements, 35 of which were paid for. Among them were Puma (pictured above), X Box, Speedo, MSN, Aquafina, NFL, Cadillac, Reebok, Budwiser, Land Rover, and so many more. It’s kind of like watching a 136-minute ad with an Aldous Huxley-esque plot. And you know what? I still liked it.
How do I personally enjoy the movie experience in spite of all the blatant sponsorship out there? In my house, we’ve made a habit of pointing them out when we see them. It’s kind of a game. You should try it. You’ll see just how relentless they can be. Test your skills on any recent James Bond movie. Die Another Day is a good one for starters. Enjoy!
By: S. Cole Garrett