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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 »

  • bunhyung said

    The Bond films were pushing Omega (and Seiko) far earlier than Casino Royale.
    Also don’t forget the Lotus Esprit was far cooler in its many iterations than the Astons have been.

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  • raequin said

    Homey, you must include Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Dodge placement therin just made this bad movie almost unbearable.

    “It’s got a Hemi”

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  • Whitechapel said

    Cloverfield has a scene where they are right fuking next to a mountain dew vending machine for like 8 hours trying to find a way out of the subway.

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  • Hakim said

    Not to forget; Back to the Future (Mattel,Pesi,Nike..) and last but not least…E.T! the story about M$M’s not interested in featuring in the movie is until today one of the biggest strategic company mistakes ever,Old Spice doubled business after the movie was out…

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  • Adam said

    Actually, James Bond doesn’t wear a Roles, he wears and Omega. I know this because in the new Casino Royale he actually says it on screen that he wears this watch. A more obvious product placement I’ve never seen.

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  • Huey Freeman said

    Good job on leaving out just about every Michael Bay film; too obvious and way too easy.

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  • uh said

    OK. how about Transformers ( 2 hour long Ford/ GM commercial ) and pretty much every Michael Bay flim. This list needs a revision.

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  • Jeca.farr85 said

    How about the holiday that blatantly was promoting the movie I know who killed me,Because cameron diaz sopussedly works in edititing movie trailers.There’s even a part whre cameron says:now thats a gonna be a hit!!!(Refering to the movie trailer:I know who killed me)

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  • sbUdk said

    Well, The Island got the most and abvious Ads in Movie history, like Cisco, MSN , a couple of Sneakercompanies, XBOX, and many Automobile companies,

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  • Craig said

    These are fantastic. I would say, however, that there are two that are worse, or at least as bad:

    1. Free Willy: I wasn’t a kid when I saw it, so I noticed that there is a scene written in JUST to have two Coca Cola Bottles in it (among other offenses), and then another scene where the camera shot focuses so intently on the Nike logo that it is full screen AND the only thing on the screen. It was a just 40 foot Nike billboard in the theater for a few seconds.

    2. Happy Gilmore (Subway) and Wayne’s World (Dorito’s). I know they attempt to use it ironically, but it is barely less embarassing than these.

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  • rebecca m said

    How can you forget Eagle Eye? From Porche Cayenne to Macys, to Visa and Capital One credit cards and even Circuit City, it was practically a series of commericials than a movie.

    who uses a SUV as the lead car in a car chasing scene!?

    now THAT’S shameless product placement.

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  • BW said

    No Cellular on this list, what a shame..

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  • thebonodelusion said

    James Bond was a pioneer of this crap. If you read the original novels, Ian Fleming was very specific about which brands Bond used. Whole pages are sometimes covered in a list of brands, from cigarettes, booze, cars to suits and pens. The car changed in every novel too. Originally it was a Bentley. There’s a point where he gets a bonus payment, and then thinks “I’ll go out and buy a Bentley”.

    Conclusion – it’s all Ian Fleming’s fault.

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  • Azazael3 said

    They had to PAY Fedex a large sum of money for Castaway, as the movie demonstrated that their pilots suck and have a tendency to crash into the sea a lot. If you want your package or documents there at all,(forgetting about timeliness) don’t send it by Fedex. And Wilson balls are prone to punctures….

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  • Katelyn said

    All I can think of is Josie and the pusycats. Target is all I remember when I remember that movie

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