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Top 10 Most Shameless Uses Of Product Placement In Film

Ah, good old fashioned movie product placement. Being an angst fuelled youngster, product placement is one of my favourite areas in which I can pin point and rant about corporate greed in the most cliché “stick it to the system” manner possible. The basic idea of product placement is to make more money to finance your film by placing specific products within a film, such as through characters, placements in the mis-en-scene, and often even in the dialogue of the script. In a certain way, product placement can add to realism within a film, as it would be silly if people were drinking from a can marked “Beer” or a packet marked “Cigarettes” in true Orwell’s 1984 fashion.

However, in the ever growing corporate dominated world we live in, the entertainment business has been a breeding ground for corporate greed and product placement. Sometimes it really does add to a film’s overall feel, and it is easy to understand a film that is struggling to get production money needing a financial boost from a company by promising to show, or advertise, their product in their movie. Nine times out of ten, however, it really is greed, and the placement is so cringingly obvious that it almost adds a humorous effect to the dialogue and in many cases ruins a film. Allowing product placement to take place in your film definitely effects the artistic and creative direction of your film, as you are made to accommodate for the different products within dialogue or shots on location etc.

What follows is a top 10 list of the most shameless examples of movie product placement, but first, some brief insightful words from the king of surrealist film making in the western world, Mr. David Lynch.

10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Converse)

Harry Potter seems like an unlikely place for product placement, as after all it is set in the fantasy world that is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, as the Potter franchise edges into the latter films of the series, up props some great opportunities for some product placement aimed directly at the kids. Young adults are the perfect demographic for Harry Potter, and indeed the new age revisited trend of Converse shoes.

The fact is; Luna Lovegood’s shoes could have been any brand, or even just some plain black shoes- but they just had to be Converse, didn’t they? What follows, is a clip from the scene in which the shoes most prominently feature. I particularly love the way that the camera pans down to reveal them like some sacred idol.

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81 Comments »

  • Samantha said

    Are you KIDDING me? What about Spiderman and the Dr. Pepper can that took up the ENTIRE screen while he was first learning how to sling web?!

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  • Lauren said

    Why was the new ‘Sex and the City’ movie not mentioned?
    The entire film was just one HUGE advertisement for designer clothing!
    It was pretty ridiculous.

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  • buggy said

    anyone remember the movie evolution?
    that movie is literally a massive ad.
    And after the movie the actors did a mock commercial for the product.

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  • katie said

    I def. think wanes world is the best example
    even though it was meant to be a joke about products in movies, it was still a product placement method

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  • Regari said

    I see no issue with any of these really. The fact is movies cost a lot of money to make and advertising helps pay for them.

    Either way I actually enjoy some of it. I have a strong attachment to Dr.Pepper for example. It’s very plausible that a 5 second frame showing a can of the holy nectar will outdo the rest of the movie in shear awesome. XP (Though It’s equally true I’ll be pretty angry if the movie isn’t deserving of the sacred beverage’s appearance. <.<)

    Even without the demi-patriotism though it helps people relate to things they know. It can be done wrong but I can’t immediately think of any instance of such.

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  • Nero-etc said

    So what you are trying to tell us is that every single product featured in a film should be fictional ? Film set in the real world can use real world products as a way to ground the film in reality. Like in men in black when she is sent to get a case of mountain dew .. if that was real life what else would she be sent to get ?

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  • Gabriel said

    What about The Island? I wanted my money back by the end of it, because the advertising was so blatant. I’m sure Cisco Systems, MSN Search, Xbox, Puma, Reebok, Miller Light, NBC, NFL, Budweiser, Apple, Aquafina, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Mack, Coca-Cola, Speedo, TAG Heuer, Amtrak, Ben & Jerry’s and Nokia are happy, though.

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  • Nick Giordano said

    What about Will Smiths latest movie, I am Legend?
    his car, his food supply, and not to mention that he somehow runs all his lab tests on Mac computers. Also ads on buildings even advertise new movies coming out.

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  • Almiria said

    A lot (read: all) of teen movies are crammed with product placement. Cell phones and service providers, fast food, brand clothing, drinks, cars, anything that they think a teen could possibly want.

    I thought, from this list, the will smith converse thing was the most outrageously blatant.

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  • stinkingbob said

    The real question that advertisers should be asking is whether or not the money they are spending to be featured in a movie is really motivating consumers to go out and buy their product. I really don’t think so. Personally, it doesn’t bother me to see ads by major companies thrown in as long as it is done with some kind of artistic “grace”. But honestly, seeing an ad for converse shoes in a movie is not going to compel me to go out and buy one. Ditto for an Apple computer.

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  • unkle lancifer said

    MAC AND ME was a giant Mcdonald’s commercial that even featured Ronald himself and a crazy dance number that took place at the fast food chain!

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  • pepsi said

    uh, didn’t pepsi cans save the day in the movie twister making them the actual hero of the movie?

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  • Peter D said

    They should have added Iron Man (pretty much every single car in that film was an Audi)
    And Transformers which was a giant commercial for GM and the amarican army
    oh ya, and the evil mountan dew vending machine.

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  • Kaos said

    What about Torque. The fighting scene between the two women near the end. The two shots of the women, one in front of a Mountian Dew sign, the other a Pepsi. The Signs take up the whole screen

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  • Tom (Hatori) said

    Hello all – some interesting discussion here.

    Obviously a top ten isn’t enough for something like this! haha. Some great suggestions and comments.

    As for waynes world, i didn’t use it because the key word here was “Shameless”; and sinse the Wayne’s World is a parody of product placement it didn’t fit the title.

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