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Product placement blues

March 21, 2013


Michael and I both agree.

One thing that bugs the shit out of me is the blatant, obvious product placement that’s done in movies. It’s bad enough we now are forced to watch commercials before the previews in the theatre ( when you get there early for a good seat) but when big companies help finance these blockbusters they get their product placed all throughout it…and well, lets just say its a bit distracting. And annoying.

Take, for example, one of my favorite movies; Back To The Future. I watched it recently…and was shocked at how many mini commercials are strewn about from start to finish. Yup. I counted them. No less than 40 or so unique product placements, and once you notice them, they are really obvious. The damn film even starts out blasting a bunch right from the get go, even before all the credits have run.

They are:

1. JVC (video camera)
2. Toyota (radio commercial)
3. Kal Kan dog food
4. Milk Bone dog biscuits
5. ? Skateboard/trucks
6. Nike
7. Burger King
8. Toys-r-us

And it keeps on going:

9. Broadway Florist
10. Texaco
11. Mountain Dew (hat)
12. Yamaha (drums)
13. ? Guitar logo band try out
14. Zales Jewelers (bench ad)
15. Miller Lite (beer truck)
16. Kellogg’s Coco Krispies
17. Sophie Mae Peanut Brittle
18. Diet Pepsi
19. Milton Bradley (Life game)
20. Budweiser Lite
21. ? Popov Vodka
22. Panasonic (clock radio)
23. Diet Pepsi Free
24. Huey Lewis and The News (Sports album)
25. DeLorean Motor Cars
26. J C Penny
27. Goodyear
28. Flux Capacitor, inc.
29. Fox Photo 1hr lab
30. Robinson’s (department store)
31. GMC/Volkswagen (unintentional)
32. EC Comics
33. Vintage: Miller High Life, Bell Telephone, Pepsi
34. Tab
35. Pepsi Free
36. Calvin Klein Underwear
37. CBS/Jackie Gleason Show
38. Saturday Evening Post
39. Mystery Science Theatre
40. Edward Van Halen (because “Eddie” was probably trademarked)
41. Star Wars/Star Trek
42. Fantastic Story Magszine
43. ? Obscured Gibson guitar logo
44. Bank Of America

Crazy huh. Then I began noticing more. And more. And some of these aren’t even trying to be sly about it.


Here is Harvey Keitel and his co-star Dunkin Donuts in Mortal Thoughts.


And here is Richard Dreyfuss and his co-star Budweiser in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (While the old 70’s Bud theme plays on the TV in the background)


Arnold and Pepsi starring in Terminator 2


But see now, I enjoyed this next movie Raising Arizona so much, I don’t mind that Nicolas Cage is giving Huggies diapers a full 5 minute plug. When it’s done slyly, I don’t mind it at all.


Like in Cape Fear when America’s greatest actor Robert DeNiro has Marvel Comics characters in his jail cell. He’s even wearing a Spider-Man-esque shirt in the bar scene.


Or when it’s done inadvertently like the record cover for the band Kid Dynamite, which was painted by Ken Kelly.


But my favorite is when it’s done by accident…like this free ad for my flash right above Henry Winkler’s head in National Lampoons Dads Week Off from 1997.

Yea, I don’t mind that kinda product placement at all.


From → miscellaneous

One Comment
  1. I feel you on this, Dave. Hence my “anti Hollywood” filmmaker stance. Can’t wait for my finished tat. Great work so far!

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