Product Placement

Successful, unsuccessful and unexpected product placement cases

Product placement has been an advertising tool in which companies pay for a time slot in a movie. Then the characters of the movie appear sometime in the movie with the brand.

Below, there is the 1st product placement done in the US, in Wings movie by Hershey`s chocolate.

Hershey’s chocolate at Wings movie

Many companies, – not all of them – get the same results. Some brands success, others…let’s say they haven’t obtained as successful results as they expected. The usage of product placement can be a great tool for advertisers and also an exceptional support for the movie budget; however, an abuse of it might turn into a double-edged weapon.

One of the last movies released in summer 2014, in which there is a high presence of product placement, is the ticket record seller production, Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie poster

Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie poster

There hasn’t been detected ­– by the time this post was written – all the brands listed in the Paramount Pictures production movie, although countless brands were tussling for a spot in the movie, few signed with the Hollywood production to have their ‘glory moment’. So far, I listed 12 of all the brands that appeared: Beats, C’est bon, Bud Light, Yili Shuhua Milk, Tom Ford, Vogue Magazine, Armani, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Victoria’s Secret, Coca-Cola, Nutrilite protein-powder, China Construction Bank, …and the list goes on. Chinese brands have been the ones with more presence.

Armani product placement in Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie

Armani product placement in Transformers: Age Of Extinction movie

The usage of the product placement in this movie though, reaches the highest levels seen on cinema so far, in a way that looks like how many ads is the audience able to handle in an already quite long movie (165 minutes ~ 2 h 45 min.). I experienced the movie and I’m passionate about advertising, but there is an over-presence of product placement in the movie, and when it is, it fills in the screen in a too obvious way that might affect the viewer’s attention.

Another different case is for instance, Reese’s candies in the awarded and famous movie E.T. The candy brand from Hershey’s got an increase of 40% of its sales and an increase of 65% of profits after the release of the movie.

Reese’s in the E.T. movie

Reese’s in the E.T. movie

One of top two most popular cases but with different results are first, Nike in Back to the Future, and second, BMW in Goldeneye 007. The sportswear brand did not capitalize its investment and only released 1,000 pairs of their hyperdunks sneakers featured in the movie. BMW and its Z3 roadster two-seater model, did well and received 9,000 orders when the movie was released. Their US$3,000,000 investment were worthy after having US$240,000,000 sales.

BMW Z3 roadster in Goldeneye 007

BMW Z3 roadster in Goldeneye 007

FedEx and its appearance in the Castaway. Surprisingly, the courier company didn’t pay for the spot, however it’s appearance in the movie unexpectedly increased brand awareness in Europe and Asia where there was insignificant brand recognition.

FedEx in the Castaway movie

FedEx in the Castaway movie

On the other hand, Louis Vuitton wasn’t as happy as the previous advertiser, when The Hangover. Part II movie decided that one of their characters, Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner, would wear one of their bags for an scene in the movie. Louis Vuitton sued Warner Bross for the unfortunate appearance.

Louis Vuitton in Hangover. Part II

An unexpected high demand of inexistent device is what Tiger Electronics had to handle after the Home Alone 2 movie was released. The gadget didn’t exist by that time but it did in the movie. The brand released a retail version of the Talkboy when they noticed there was a potential market for it.

Talkboy in Home Alone 2

Talkboy in Home Alone 2

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