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Tuesday, 16 June 2009



I agree that if the brands are a good match for the film then it adds to the realism. Using FedEx in castaway rather than a made up delivery company definitely added something to the film.

Though I think it needs to be seamlessly blended into the story and not be too blatant or out of place. If in the middle of pirates of the Caribbean Johhny depp had pulled out a bottle of coke to quench his thirst that would of ruined the make believe world and annoyed a lot of people. I'm sure movie execs wouldn't be greedy enough to do something like that, well you'd hope so anyway.

You have to wonder how effective the product placements are when you have so many brands in a film though. The sheer volume of brands could cause people to switch off from them. If you look at films like risky business, top gun and men in black that all featured the lead characters wearing ray-bans, you can see how that could have a real impact as was demonstrated by the increase in sales each time. Going back to when I saw the first transformers movie that had 60+ brands in it; the only brands I could remember afterwards were ebay and apple(maybe partly as they were integrated more into the story than some of the others). 2 out of 60+ dosn't seem great, obviously different people would have remembered different ones but out of those 60+ there must have been some losers in terms of recall.

It's been said that product placement leads to better recall than adverts, that's what they found in a study talked about in Buyology; but that was in a TV show with only 2 placed brands not 60+ which is a bit of a difference! It would be interesting to see a similar study but on a film with a large number of brands in it.

oh and apparently a sylvester stallone film called 'driven' had 103 in it!


I think you're right in that product placement can actually give a fictional scene additional meaning and actually better reflect real life. The usual rules around relevance apply tho - the best product placement should be almost invisible. James Bond climbing out of a Ford jarred and to see Terminator 4's John Connor using a Sony Viao in a post-armageddon war-zone was also rather odd!

Tangential but vaguely related thought - why don't the characters in Eastenders etc watch soaps?

chris stephenson

tangential good, awesome question...

the reality is that if PP is inappropriate then it reflects badly on all parties. it's in everyone's interest to get it right. that doesn't make it wrong in principle.

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