STOP SELLING ME THINGS: Jarv takes an angry look at 10 of the most crass uses of Product Placement in movies

The modern world in many ways is a very depressing place. With the continuing and seemingly limitless chasing of profit over quality, almost everything we’re exposed on a daily basis represents nothing more to the whoremasters who work in marketing and advertising than another opportunity to push consumer products that we don’t need on the soft and flabby minds of today. I read recently that on average we’re exposed to up to 3,500 marketing messages (I wish I was joking about that) on a daily basis, and most of them don’t even register on a conscious level. Going to the cinema now is little more than exposing yourself to a plethora of hard sells, brand reinforcement and other such claptrap.

Picture this: I walk from work to the tube station. On the way to the tube, I walk past a billboard trying to sell me whatever soulless din Kasabian are currently inflicting on the world. A bus passes with a banner ad for Underworld 4 and every bus stop has a poster for a film attached. Once I’ve bought my ticket I stand on the escalator and stare blank eyed at 20-odd posters for shite like Lloyd Webber plays and local restaurants. Once on the train, I sit opposite a series of ads for vitamins, chick’s car insurance and so forth. In Leicester Square, I pass all manner of posters for films, wankers holding big signs with ads on them and so forth. I then spend £12 on the ticket to see my chosen film. The lights dim, the Curtain rises aaaaaaaand: I get 20 minutes of ads before the film starts (including trailers). This is why it becomes so insulting when the film, that I’ve paid to see, is little more than a two hour commercial for some shit that I’m never going to buy anyway, or already own.

Crass product placement can, for me, sink a film single handedly. I have paid to be entertained and diverted, not for some dirty cocksmoker to try to press tat on me for two hours. The 10 below are, In my mind, some of the worst instances ever put on the screen, and all worthy of nothing but derision.

I haven’t included Mac and Me, because I haven’t seen the whole film, but if I had, the clip I’ve seen would have merited a place

So, with no further ado, here we go:

Lifetime Achievement Award for sucking corporate cock:


I was originally going to include The Island in this for being little more than a glorified clothing commercial, but in retrospect almost all of Dark Overlord Bay’s movies are solely designed to cram as much product into them as possible. Particularly egregious are the Transformers atrocities, which to begin with only exist as 2 hour plus toy advertisements. As if that wasn’t insulting enough, they then waste not a minute of run time trying to push the likes of Mountain Dew, General Motors and so forth down our throats. There are countless other examples, from Will Smith going through the precise specifications of his Porsche before having it win in a drag race in Bad Boys, to the Hummer commercial that is the San Francisco scene in the rock, Bay’s motto is: “Pay me, and I’ll sell shit for you”.

Such dedication to whorishness is truly, truly commendable if you’re a minion of Satan, and given the quality of Bay’s films for the most part, I actually believe this paying back his part in the Saturnine deal by pushing this needless shite on us at every available opportunity.

10) The Italian Job (either). Offending Product: Mini Cooper

Let’s face it; this is the film that shifted more Minis than any other. Basically, both films are glorified heist movies, and the original has one of the most iconic car chases in history.

Our plucky group of gold thieves have a plan in Turin to outrun the cops using the redoubtable Mini Cooper. Now, given that they’ve emptied a vault of gold, and the Mini Cooper wasn’t renowned for being the heaviest of cars, this would, you would think, impact on performance a wee bit. Not here it doesn’t.

The plucky little motors lead the Italian rozzers on a merry old chase around Turin, rattling along through Piazza’s up and down stairs, up a stadium, along a ford, through a sewerage pipe and the Italian police never get closer than Milan.

It’s great fun, all in all, but it does make me wonder a little bit if this wasn’t one of the very first advertainments. However, annoyingly, it makes me actually want one of the damned things.

That it has become iconic is just a sign of us becoming number to advertising by the year.

9) Tomorrow Never Dies: Offending Product- BMW 7 Series.

Bond, to be fair, has been flogging crap at us from the moment Ian Fleming started writing specifically about what brand of cigarettes Bond smoked, and the type of Bentley Continental he drove. However, I honestly think that this hit its nadir with the car park scene in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Not only does Q lay out the exact specifications of the 7 series that will be Bond’s car, but he then drives it around with pinpoint precision by remote in a scene that looks as if it was shot to exact orders by BMW, the car’s sleek finish slashes around with a number of camera shots and angles straight out of Top Gear- it even shows off the ABS. This would be bad enough, were the exact same scene not repeated later on in a more dangerous context, which raises it up to the level of insulting. Although, to be honest, Tomorrow Never Dies is a crap film anyway, so I’m glad someone got something out of it.

To be fair, Aston Martin, Lotus, BMW and others pay bucket loads to get their cars in Bond movies, so it isn’t unreasonable for them to expect something back, but nevertheless, in the words of Moneypenny:

“Oh James.”

8) Cast Away. Offending Product: Federal Express and Wilson

Not only is this a fucking awful film, that basically exists as a showcase for fat and pompous Tom Hanks to try to snaffle another fucking unearned Oscar, but also the whole film is basically designed to try to push (firstly) Fed-Ex down our throats.

Tom works for Fed-Ex. He’s marooned after a crash from a Fed-Ex plane, and has nothing to help him survive aside from the contents contained in Fed-Ex packages. The amount of screen time devoted to repetition of the corporate logo and name is only beaten by its dedication to whorishly pushing Wilson.

Masquerading as a touching piece of whimsy, Tom makes friends with a ball, however, said ball is always placed with manufacturer’s logo towards camera, and eventually he even christens the ball “Wilson”. In a horrific example of reinforcement, he spends what feels like an eternity talking to Wilson, and repeating the brand name over and over again. Even to the point that when it’s lost in the seas he howls “WILSON” like a crazy person until the marketing whore that signed the check ejaculates in his pants at such a strong piece of commercial positioning.

Utterly terrible film and I’ve so far managed to resist the temptation to buy a fucking volleyball.

7) Blade Trinity. Offending Product: Apple

Apple are serial offenders here, coming up twice more later on in the list. However, this is one of the more staggeringly pointless bits of product placement out there, and is only in the film because someone paid for it and as a result they need this sequence to be there.

It’s not enough that Jessica Biel is hot and kicks undead ass. Nope, here we’ve got a scene where she’s preparing for combat to show that she’s properly equipped as well. As a result we get to see her downloading a new load of music from iTunes before plugging in her iPod to fight vampires.

Now, leaving aside the fact that I’d imagine hearing would be quite important to fight the undead, the music is, as befitting the film in general, crap anyway. Yet, Goyer in his infinite wisdom decided to include a blatant commercial aimed entirely at Blade Trinity’s target audience of mentally handicapped adolescents. The theory being that as Biel Is TEH HOTNESS, and she’s “cool” to boot, that she uses her iPod to help her fight means that were you to listen to an iPod then if you’re female you will instantly resemble La Jessica, and have her cache. On the other hand, if you’re male then you’ll have a chance with her, just so long as you’ve got Apple’s product to hand.

What a load of bollocks. A terrible piece of product placement in a true turd of a film, but it does beg the question: who’s more of a bloodsucker, the vampires or marketing execs?

6) Mission Impossible 2. Offending Product: Oakley

This is a film designed by marketing whores from the off, so it’s no real surprise that it’s massively stuffed full of product placement.

The film opens with Cruise being all “EXTREME” and shit, we get lots and lots of loving shots of him climbing up a rock face looking every inch the model of an xxxxtreeeeeeeme sportsman. He reaches the top, and Woo is kind enough to zoom in on the new pair glasses sent to him as his mission plays. Once done, he then throws them to the camera, so we’ve got a lovely shot of them from every angle.

Now, I understand that Oakley again paid a lot of money for their sunglasses to be used in the film, but it frankly becomes ridiculous. Almost every time you see Hunt in daylight, he’s sporting a pair of Oakley’s. It almost transcends parody towards the end of the film, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some sequences, such as the aforementioned rock climbing, ended up in an Oakley ad, because it seems to have been designed purely to fit in with their brand image.

I could have picked other examples from this film, such as Audi, or Triumph motorcycles, but I thought I’d keep it simple, as this is a scene in a movie conforming to a predetermined brand image, and therefore pretty god damned obnoxious.

5) Independence Day. Offending Product: Apple (again).

Motherfucker is this stupid and crass. Mind you, the whole film is stupid and crass, not to mention, dare I say it, terrible.

Armed only with a macbook of some description, Goldblum manages to take down a highly sophisticated alien culture capable of interstellar travel. Fuck me, where can I buy one?

‘Nuff said.

4) Demolition Man. Offending Product: Taco Bell.

Yes, this is played for laughs, true. However, this is the premise and the scene, so judge for yourself.

In the dystopian future, after the franchise wars, one restaurant chain remains standing: Taco Bell. To make sure that we’ve got the message, Hawthorne offers to take Stallone to dinner there, Stallone, understandably confused, says to Bullock “Why TACO BELL, I mean I like Mexican food” (completely forgetting that what Taco Bell has in common with Mexican food, I have in common with Stallone- the only similarity is that we’re both human and I’m not so sure about him), which forces Bullock to explain that after the franchise wars TACO BELL was the only restaurant standing.

Now, anyone that’s eaten there, would not believe that, I haven’t, actually, but Mrs. Jarv tells me repeatedly that a)it’s not Mexican, and b)it’s horrible so I don’t believe it either.

Anyhow, the dinner scene arrives, so they all put on their finest threads and sit down in a fine dining establishment for a posh feed. This bears no resemblance to Taco Bell in reality, obviously, but the goal here is to reinforce in the consumer’s mind that eating in Taco Bell is akin to a fine dining experience. Lying fuckers. It would have been infinitely better if they’d queued for ages before a spotty quasi-human grunted unintelligibly at them and served them some faux-Mexican slop that later induced an attack of Montezuma’s Revenge. Well, not better, but more accurate.

I quite fancy a burrito now. Just not one from Taco Bell.

3) Iron Man. Offending Product: Burger King.

Jesus suffering fuck this one annoyed me at the time. Tony Stark is a billionaire with more money than god. He’s just returned back from spending 6 months in a cave in Afghanistan, and his first request when he hits home soil is that he wants a “good American Beef burger”.

And what eating establishment would you, a billionaire, chose to purchase said burger from? Obviously, you’d get it from Burger King.

The only redeeming feature to this is that it isn’t McDonalds. That’s not great, to be honest. Nevertheless, the film is kind enough to give us several shots of him relishing the delicious whopper, and to show its versatility he even eats it on the move. It’s fast food, but fast food that even billionaire playboys eat, and not only that, they’re so delicious that he eats multiple of them. If you eat their burger, you COULD. BE. TONY. STARK.

Absolute fucking honk of the most mendacious kind, and there is absolutely no need for us to see Stark eating the fucking burgers other than that someone paid for it. So thanks for that, Burger King.

2) Scream 4. Offending Product: fucking Apple (again, again, again).

Are apple the worst company out there for this? I’m actually genuinely interested, because they come up time and time again when I was looking through films for this list. Dishonourable mention here to the latest Powerbook/ Macbook/ whatever the fuck it calls itself nowadays, which appears quite gratuitously logo positioned front and centre half way through.

Not content with in the past being the music system of choice for vampire killers or the computer sophisticated enough that it can halt an alien invasion, in Scream 4, the terrible most recent instalment of Craven’s postmodern slasher series, Apple must have had it written into the script that their products be on screen as much as possible.

In the Scream movies, the telephone is an important plot device. Being as this is 2011 when the film is set, every kid out there has a smart phone of some description. However, our main characters all have iPhones. So, every time the phone rings, the camera pans on to the front of the sleek telephone for a few seconds so we can marvel in the glory of its design and the clarity of its screen.

This happens many times during this film. However, the reason this is so notable, is that not every person has an iPhone in the film. Nope, that’s just totally unrealistic. So, instead, when a phone that isn’t one of Apple’s finest rings, the camera is placed way back from the character who answers it with the speed of Knowles elbowing his way to the front of a breakfast buffet, therefore denying the opportunity for the other manufacturer to share the limelight with apple.

As if that isn’t enough, in the finale, the douchebag killer holds up what he’s been using to film the murders and it’s, wait for it, a fucking iPhone.

Well, if I was going to film my victims, then I’d want something with a screen as clear as that one.

Incidentally, I have an iPhone, and the camera on its shit.

1) I, Robot. Offending Product: too many to pick, but I’m going for Converse.

“Converse, 2004 Vintage”

And with that simple line, my heart sank.

“Nice Shoes”

And with that simple line, I started to hate the film.

The scene(s) in question here are blatantly just advertisements. Will Smith, one of the world’s biggest stars and therefore most desirable endorsers gets his “new” shoe delivery. He’s very excited, because, you see, he’s managed to procure a pair of brand-spanking-new Converse from fucking eBay or somewhere. We’re treated while he lovingly laces them up, then he looks at them and nods approvingly. These trainers are clearly tha bomb, tha shiznit and YOU MUST FUCKING BUY A PAIR NOW. WILL SMITH WEARS THEM!!! BUY BUY BUY BUY!!!

And so forth.

This, were it by itself, would be bad enough to make the list. However, what cements I, Advertisement in the number 1 spot is the sequence later on where he meets his boss, who parts with the “nice shoes” closing shot. Will just nods sagely at this, because it’s good that someone else recognises quality footwear when they see it.

I, Robot is laced with crass product placement- Audi are also front and centre, but I can’t think of another attempt as blatant as this one to try to flog me shit in the middle of a film I’ve already fucking paid for. It’s hugely aggravating, because I, Commercial is actually a highly enjoyable film, a knuckleheaded sci-fi action movie that in theory I could get right on board with.

I’d love to see a fan edit of this film with all the egregious advertising cut out, I bet it’s awesome.


So, why does this matter? Well, firstly, I’ve paid to see the fucking film. My money has already been taken out. In no other walk of life do you expect to pay something as a pastime and then spend the next two hours having people attempt to sell you things. To be fair to product placement, it’s only really offensive when it crosses a line, when it moves from the background to the foreground, and it is this that gets on my nerves. As soon as you have characters discussing the minutiae of the product on screen, then it is no longer a film: it’s an advertisement, and as such I don’t want to pay to see ads.

I’m already saturated with marketing messages on a daily basis, but we don’t live in the world of They Live! We don’t wander around with messages flashing “Consume” at us from every angle, and I’d rather the world did not go too much further down that path.

At the end of the day, I am not a target market, so don’t treat me as one.

And now a word from our sponsors*


*Sadly, I don’t have any, but I’m a complete whore with the sense of shame of an alley cat, so if any corporation out there wants to send me free stuff, go right ahead. I promise to be nice about it.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

195 responses to “STOP SELLING ME THINGS: Jarv takes an angry look at 10 of the most crass uses of Product Placement in movies”

  1. Jarv says :

    Millions to go at here.

    I love a nice rant.

  2. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    Wait where’s Mac and Me and The Wizard? Both are more egregious than anything in any of these.

  3. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    Oh I see the disclaimer now. You should af least include the clip. A
    Nd that one scene is far more mindboggling than anything in ironman.

    • Jarv says :

      I thought in fairness that I hadn’t seen the film, so shouldn’t include it.

      Also, Fantastic Four has the record for most brand logos appearing in a film, but it’s mostly because of one scene.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        Eh knowing that there’s a scene where the creepy blond kid and his Pervy Teddy from The Pit have a fullout dance session with Ronald Mcdonald qualifies it. You do know that the alien is named Mac after mcdonalds right?

      • Jarv says :

        I’d honestly not even heard of it until you bought it up the other day. Sounds awful.

  4. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    You never saw The Wizard jarv?

    • Jarv says :

      Nope, not seen that either. Or at least I don’t recall it.

      • Echo the Bunnyman says :

        The wizard is about an autistic kid whose one amazing ability is that he can get high scores on nintendo games. The kid wants to go to California and his brother Fred savage kidnaps him essentially and takes him there while hustling people at videogames and heading to the nintendo championships where he faces off with the villain a spoiled kid with a power glove.

        along the way they call the helpline at nintendo power.magazine to help them with levels. Following behind are beau bridges and Christian Slater who bond over playing the teenage mutant turtles nintendo game.

        Worst is that when the kid plays they have traded out the arcade screens for the home version screens. And the big climax? That the kid must play a new unreleased game….super Mario bros 3.

    • Droid says :

      I saw that when I was a kid. I barely remember it though, apart from it featuring the Nintendo glove.

  5. Echo the Bunnyman says :

    ‘This happens multiple times during the phone’
    Product placement in this review!

  6. Droid says :

    hmmm… I agree and disagree about this. I agree about the shoes in I, Robot, although it does come from a the place we know and love called “character”. He worships a time before robots. Eh. It’s not a very good rationale, but whatever. It doesn’t effect the film for me, which is a lot of fun. The Audi car in I, Robot is fine. The only “non-offensive” option is to have an unbranded car.

    Cast Away, the ball is fine. Sure, it could’ve been a brandless ball and he could’ve called it Chuck or Bob, but part of the charm is that he begins to call it Wilson. I quite like Cast Away until he gets rescued.

    MI2 is cynical sure. He actually stops to put on his sunnies before escaping on the motorbike towards the end. Never mind about the hoard of minions shooting machine guns at him.

    ID4 was just idiotic. Not only because it’s Mac (nothing on earth was Mac compatible in 1996, let alone from another planet), but because it’s just an idiotic plot development.

    The Italian Job remake was largely funded by mini cooper because their new version was coming out. So that is a 2 hour ad. I still enjoyed the movie though. And I’ve never bought a mini cooper, so it didn’t work on me.

    • Jarv says :

      The point about Castaway is the reinforcement.

      They disguise it behind whimsy, but the motivation is the need to repeat the brand name as many times as is possible, and the howling into the storm but is absolutely shocking.

      • Droid says :

        Well he’s losing his best friend, who’s name is Wilson. He’s not going to howl “Jerry!” into the storm.

      • Jarv says :

        I hate the film, to start with, but it’s almost a textbook example of association:

        Everyone knows that the Volleyball is called Wilson, and everyone knows why.

        Fed-Ex is just as bad in that film.

      • Droid says :

        Well, Fed-Ex chose to advertise their plane going down and the loss of everyone’s parcels. I’m not sure how effective that is.

      • Jarv says :

        I agree with that, actually, but there’s a school of thought in marketing where it’s better to be talked about than not at all. This was an example.

    • Jarv says :

      Re I, Robot.

      Now, I actually want to like this film, but it’s just so obnoxious. It’s probably the most blatant of all time.

      • Droid says :

        Nah, I really like that movie. I don’t get upset over the main character wearing chuck taylors. Doesn’t really effect me.

    • Droid says :

      Also, what is the advertising in The Island? I remember ScarJo on some sort of perfume ad or something, but nothing really apart from that. X-Box maybe? When they play the fighting game?

      • Jarv says :

        Microsoft. All over it. The clothing is also branded by Puma, particularly the trainers, which Bay lovingly shows us her putting them on and so forth.

        Hilariously, there’s an ad for an X-Box game in the background that was out of date when the film was released. So not only does Bay do more of it than anyone else, he’s not very good at it either.

      • Droid says :

        Man, you really do spend too much time noticing silly things like adverts in the background. I really don’t care about things like that.

      • Jarv says :

        I know. It’s sad, I just remember it.

        I thought about including Minority report and the advert sequence as well.

      • Droid says :

        Like Scream 4 for example. I couldn’t really give a shit about the phones they use. To me, a lot of douchey kids have iphones. And since it’s a satire of shiny hollywood horror remakes, where all kids seem to be rich, young and pretty, I don’t think twice about it. I honestly just see it as a phone. I didn’t even notice they were apple. Or it didn’t register.

      • Jarv says :

        I do work in marketing.

        It was some of the most offensive that I’ve seen in ages, and really pissed me off. It wasn’t so much that they all had iPhones (I was fine with that) it was the way the film shot them, and the amount of screen time devoted to Apple products.

      • Droid says :

        It’s funny though. I’m just pointing it out, that I think I’m just immune to it. I don’t notice it. Apart from MI4, because there’s lots of shots of the samsung galaxy s2 which is the phone I have. It’s the only reason I noticed, because I recognised it.

  7. Droid says :

    What’s Mac and Me?

    And where are the Adam Sandler entries? Every single fucking film of his features some sort of gratuitious product placement.

    Subway in Happy Gilmore springs immediately to mind. Hooters in Big Daddy.

    • Jarv says :

      Subway in Happy Gilmore is a shocker, but I’d already got Taco Bell and Burger King. Also, he uses Subway to choke someone with.

      Incidentally, Subway are also serial offenders for this.

  8. Kloipy says :

    Mac and Me is probably the worst, as the MD sequence goes on for like 7 minutes with singing and dancing Ronald.

    But I remember that scene in Iron Man and just feeling sick to my stomach. It just stops the movie dead

  9. Droid says :

    The worst I’ve ever seen is Buried. The whole damn film is just filled with loving, lingering shots of a pine box. Sales must have gone through the roof from all the nutjobs planning on burying people alive. Just blatant, obvious product placement.

    • Jarv says :

      Yes, but it’s an unbranded box. I suppose sales in whatever Mobile phone company lets you bash the blower lack that went through the roof.

      It gets a signal when he’s underground!

      • Droid says :

        Yeah, I’m not sure what the brand was. Nokia maybe? I dunno. Speaking of Nokia, Jurassic Park 3 has a scene where the nokia theme comes from inside the dino’s belly!

      • Droid says :

        Oh, fuck I’ve just remembered one of the most blatant product placements. In Twister, towards the end they realise they have to attach the little monitor gadgets to something or other to assist them being carried off by the twister. They decide that aluminium cans are the answer. Cue a scene where every character is surrounded by Pepsi cans.

      • Jarv says :

        Pepsi are another serial offender. Back to the Future is riddled with Pepsi placement.

      • Jarv says :

        Twister, actually, is fucking riddled with it.

      • Droid says :

        Nike shoes as well.

      • Droid says :

        And Calvin Klein!

        “Why do you keep calling me Calvin?”

      • Jarv says :

        The thing is, I like BTTF enough that I let it slide. Most of these I really don’t like.

      • Droid says :

        I honestly don’t care. Some of it’s integrated into the film, so it’s a joke. The Calvin underwear, the TAB drink. “I can’t give you a tab unless you order something!” No, BTTF is awesome. Don’t care about product placement.

      • Jarv says :

        No, me neither. Calvin Klein works in that she thinks he has his name on his jocks, it doesn’t stop the film or induce a groan. Neither does the Tab thing.

  10. Droid says :

    Fright Night remake has product placement, with the use of the real estate company sign as a stake.

    • Jarv says :

      Heh, and the Golden Delicious apples in the original.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, to be honest, every film does it to some extent. What I’ve picked are particularly sales-y ones, where the needs of the film are subservient to the needs of the brand.

        In the case of the Italian Job, the whole film was funded by Mini, so that’s not a surprise, but the others are all about getting their “message” across, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have some input into the script/ filming.

  11. Kloipy says :

    I’ll second the liking of Cast Away. I, like droid, think it’s good up until the ending. They should have done a Descent ending, where it shows him at the crossroads, and then pans out from his eye as he’s dying on the beach of the island. just roll credits of the outline of his body under the moonlight as the waves crash in

  12. Droid says :

    So, a question… I see a correlation between your opinion of the film and your offence taken from product placement. Can you name films you like where the product placement has offended you?

    • Jarv says :


      The Italian Job.

      • Jarv says :

        Also, I don’t dislike I, Robot or Demolition Man and Iron Man was OK as a one off.

        Those three are particularly bad examples of Product Placement, though.

        Sometimes it infuriates me hugely, but if I’m really invested in a film, such as BTTF, then I don’t really notice it. If I’m not, as in the Island, or Minority Report, then it pisses me off.

      • Droid says :

        I guess I just don’t notice them for the most part. Like MR. I remember that there was a scene with “personally tailored ads”, but I don’t remember what was advertised.

      • Droid says :

        Right, but do you honestly find the original (because you don’t like then remake) offensive? Is it really that offensive? I mean, the whole film is a lark, built around the idea of tiny cars navigating the alleys and little streets of Rome. Since mini coopers are particularly tiny cars, it seems like a natural step to use them in the film. I don’t really see how it’s particularly offensive.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s the idea that it is a 2 hour ad that I find obnoxious. Not the film itself. Minis were racing cars in the 60’s but a mini laden with gold isn’t going to outrun a morphined sloth let alone the police.

        Basically, if I pay money, then I’m not doing it for the privilege of some cunt trying to sell me shit for 2 hours. That’s what gets me.

        With the Italian Job, the film is good enough and enjoyable enough that I can get past it. Most films aren’t like that.

        I, Robot, while I don’t hate it, comes to a crashing halt for me at that point. It takes me ages to get back into the film again, and then the fucking chief says “Nice Shoes” and it crashes again.

  13. Kloipy says :


  14. tombando says :

    Watch ‘Big’ sometime, look for the Coke Machine(TM) scene. Trust me, it’s there, and it’s the star of the scene. GAG. The 80s were rife w/ this shit.

  15. koutchboom says :

    Taco Bell in Demolition man? HUH? That’s more of a joke than product placement. I see no Mission Impossible 4 on this list, FAIL. It’s much worse than Oakley in MI2. I’m fine with stupid teens in Scream using Apple Products, but since when did they become the main creators for super secret spy computers? Also since when did Apple start making spiderman gloves?

    • Jarv says :

      I haven’t seen MI4, K.

    • Jarv says :

      Also, it isn’t that the teens have the products, is the way they’re filmed, presented and used.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I haven’t seen Scream 4.

        Also in Demolition Man in nonAmerica Taco Bell was dubbed to be Pizzahut so BOOYA! It’s a joke.

        Pizzahut and Tacobell are both owed by Pepsico.

      • Jarv says :

        I know, and I get the joke. It works in the film, but better from their point of view, it raises the public perception of Taco Bell.

        Well, let me give you an example in Scream 4.

        The phone rings in the car, and Jill takes it out, she then turns it to the camera so we can see that it is a lovely iphone and says “It’s trevor, shall I answer it” (We can read the name Trevor). They have a conversation, and she then answers it. The camera never leaves the phone- so for about 5 seconds it is all that’s on screen. This is repeated later on with Cheerverine’s phone as well, actually, it happens practically every time the phone rings (which is a lot, it’s a Scream)

        UNLESS as in this case: Nev’s publicist’s phone rings. This is clearly not an iphone, so she doesn’t even look at it, just whips it out of her handbag and answers it straight off.

        Shot totally differently. One places the product front and centre and makes a big deal of it, the other de-emphasises the prop in favour of the scene.

      • koutchboom says :

        What was funny during MI4 was I turned to my wife and said, wow spies really like iphones seems like they should be using droids though because they are more personalized, and just then cut to Peggs spy computer with a giant fucking Apple logo on it.

      • Jarv says :


        Almost that exact same thing happened last night with Scream 4. I was bitching about it being a big iphone ad, and I turned round to the wife and said £20 says she’s got an imac or shiny macbook or something like that.

        Next shot: Laptop on bed with apple logo massive and pointing at camera.

      • Droid says :

        Taco Bell was in the movie in Australia. No one knew what the fuck Taco Bell was. We actually had Taco Bill in Melbourne, which was a decent Mexican restaurant chain. Actually a sit down restaurant, as opposed to the drive through garbage that Taco Bell is (I had it once in the US, and it’s inedible).

      • Jarv says :

        Yeah, we didn’t have a fucking clue what it was either.

      • Droid says :

        It’s seriously complete garbage. The only way Taco Bell could’ve won the “fast food war” is if they conducted a dirty tricks campaign and poisoned the enemies food with their fajita mix.

      • Jarv says :

        Taco Bell is owned by Pepsi isn’t it?

      • Droid says :

        Dunno. Didn’t Koutch say it is? Wouldn’t have a clue. Why?

      • Jarv says :

        I think we should get the experts opinion:

        Koutch, Taco Bell, Yay or Nay?

        I remember stopping at a Jack in the Box so my friend could get a jack ball for her car. That was particularly grim.

      • Droid says :

        What the hell is Jack in a Box? Sounds disgusting.

        The only one I’d go to is White Castle, just to say I went to White Castle.

      • Jarv says :

        Jack in the box is fucking rancid.

        I’m not sure of the ranking in terms of quality, but I think it comes last.

        True story- when we saw Demolition Man none of us knew that the fuck Taco Bell was. One of my mates went to America in the next holiday and insisted he ate there. Got food poisoning.

      • Droid says :

        Sounds about right. We got Taco Bell in Miami. We both ate about 3 bites of a fajita or some dogshit like that end chucked it away. It’s totally disgusting.

      • Jarv says :

        Americans really have so much fast food that its ludicrous.

        Just off the top of my head:

        McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Arbie’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Jack, Domino’s, KFC,

        There’s probably more.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well Pepsico owns A LOT OF SHIT. But I think Taco Bell is owned by Yum Corporations now…maybe they still serve Pepsi Products.

        I mean Jarv you smoke a lot of weed….so you’d love Taco Bell. I’ve pretty much stopped going there except on rare occasions for their cheesy potatoes. Jack in The Box had some issues where there rare meat killed some kid so they’ve turned it around a lot recently. The worst place though is White Castle, pretty much ever White Castle is Jarv’s envision of what America is, but with only British like space.

      • koutchboom says :

        Oh Yum Brands is a subsidiary of Pepsico.

      • Jarv says :

        Wiki reckons pepsi own it.

      • Jarv says :

        Interestingly, Taco Bell was sued in Australia when they opened by some other restaurant and so pulled out of the country.

        In the UK:

        The United Kingdom was the first European country with a Taco Bell, although it remains extremely difficult for UK inhabitants to patronise a store. In 1986, a location was opened in London on Coventry Street (between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus) followed by a second location in Earls Court near the Earl’s Court tube station. One other store opened in Uxbridge but all closed in the mid 1990s.[46] In 1994, the university food provider Compass announced plans to open stores in its university and college sites. However, only one store was opened in Birmingham University, no other stores were opened, and the Birmingham site is now closed.[47][48] There are 2 Taco Bell sites in the UK in operation at the Strategic Air Command and United States Air Force bases at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, but, commensurate with existing security controls, access is restricted to relevant service personnel.[49]
        Yum! Brands announced that it is considering reopening Taco Bell locations in the United Kingdom as part of a large planned expansion into Europe, with trial outlets opening first in Spain in early 2009. Yum! is taking advantage of the recent recession which led to increasing sales at other fast food outlets; it also said that there is now a greater awareness of Mexican food in the UK and that it can be successful with improved menu offerings and marketing.[42][43] The first new store opened at the Lakeside Shopping Centre on June 28, 2010.[50] Taco Bell opened a second store in Basildon on November 29, 2010 and the third in the Manchester Arndale on November 7, 2011.

        Luckily, I have no idea where any of these places in the UK it is are.

      • Droid says :

        Same thing happened with Burger King, which had to open in Australia as Hungry Jacks. Only about 5 or 6 years ago did it get the rights to the name.

  16. koutchboom says :

    There’s a funny episode of the Sarah Silverman Show about product placement and Tab.

    YOU KNOW what’s not a funny anything or anything useful….POM Wunderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Jesus Christ is Morgan Spurlock a fucking worthless human being.

  17. Joachim Boaz says :

    What about Mac and Me (1988)?!?! hehe, there’s a breakdance in front of McDonalds AND the alien dances inside McDonalds — McDonalds as town center.

    And the title!

    Here’s the imdb entry.

  18. Kloipy says :

    I’d love to see the Iphone Siri feature get used in a horror film

    “Siri, find good location for teen hiding spots”

    • Jarv says :

      “Siri, take memo, must remember to buy more duct tape”

    • Droid says :

      What the hell is iphone siri?

      Nerd 1: “Ghostface is after us! We need to hide!”

      Nerd 2: “There’s an app for that.”

      • Jarv says :

        It’s this thing where you can talk to your iphone and it will do shit for you. Apparently.

        If I really want, I can talk to mine and ask it to play music or call someone or shit like that. However, it’s no easier to use than just using it normally.

        Say I want to call you, there are two ways I can do it. I can either press “Phone” then select “contacts” then your name, or I can hold down the button until the voice thing comes on and shout “CALL DROID” at it.

        Whereupon it will call anyone other than you.

  19. koutchboom says :

    What about ET and Reese’s Pieces which was a huge success for them.

    • Jarv says :

      I thought about ET, but I couldn’t remember it. I also thought about ET, because of the phone ads which I seem to remember ran for years after it.

      Not to mention that The Berg was one of the first to popularise this.

  20. Droid says :

    Speaking of White Castle, what about a film based around two potheads with the munchies trying to get to a restaurant called White Castle? Sounds like some subtle product placement.

  21. koutchboom says :

    One weird thing about product placement is beer, most of the time its some made up brand or you can never see the brand. I wonder if there have been issues in the past with beer companies suing a movie where it shows someone drinking there beer then going crazy or doing something stupid so people know not to associated crazy things with beer. I mean I know movies have to be super corporate concious these days it’s just funny. Like I notice when you actually see a beer brand in a movie, sometimes its some small ass micro brew. But like in Mission to Mars there are the futuristic Buds then the normal looking Coronas at the party at the beginning. I saw Longboard beer on something recently i think it was The League.

    Also the movie Splinter which was filmed in Oklahoma the gas station has a display of a beer made in Oklahoma called Choc beer.

    • Jarv says :

      Beer is weird. If it’s some mexican beer like Corona, then you may well see it in a movie. The other example is if it’s European like Carlsberg (Spider Man) or Heineken.

      It’s probably due to the weird American attitude to alcohol.

      • Droid says :

        Fast Five. Every single scene that doesn’t involve Vin and Paul driving cars features them with a Brahma beer in their hand.

      • Jarv says :

        Again, though, Brahma isn’t American. It falls under the import category.

        You do see Coors trucks and shit in American films.

        Most of the time in movies though, if you see Yanks drinking it’s either shots, kegs or something else unbranded.

        There are exceptions- such as Jack Daniels appears a lot (Mystic River).

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I remember some story about a Bond movie (Casino I think) about some Scotch company paying a shit ton of money to have them show their bottle. Actually the Bond movies (even though I just bitched about MI) are the worst about Product Placement, they should’ve gotten the lifetime award just for their length, maybe that’s why they are so successful?

        BUT to be fair the difference between Bond and MI is Q, Q makes the gadgets more real and Bond is all about looking suave and cool so having designer brand shit would make sense.

      • Jarv says :

        Bay is the worst. Bond is second worst- Tomorrow Never Dies is a particularly bad example in bond movies.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah but Bonds lifetime is much longer than Bays.

      • Jarv says :

        I did make that point. Bond has been like that since the books- Seriously, Fleming rams them with detail about Bond’s consumer preferences. The most famous examples are the Bentley Continental with the supercharger and the Morland Cigarettes with the three gold rings.

      • Droid says :

        That’s the problem with MI2. It’s trying to be a Bond film.

      • Jarv says :

        I was going to write a big diatribe how that’s not true, and then I thought about it, and it was trying to be a Brosnan bond.

        Brosnan bonds= shit.

      • Droid says :

        Goldeneye is great. Other than that you’re right.

      • Jarv says :

        Goldeneye is good.

        The problem with the rest of them is that they have bad villains and lack scope- Tomorrow Never Dies: Carver just wants to sell papers, World is Not Enough: Elektra has discovered that if she controls this pipeline she can make loads of money, Die Another Day: Haven’t a fucking clue what he wanted. Wretched film.

        Best Bond Villain is Goldfinger: DO YOU EXPECT ME TO TALK? NO, MR BOND, I EXPECT YOU TO DIE.

      • Jarv says :

        I think I’m going to treat myself and do the Pterodactyl review I’ve been putting off.

      • Jarv says :

        Oh hell, I’ve got Mansquito to do as well. Thought I was nearly caught up for a minute.

      • Droid says :

        Haven’t seen it. What did the die another day villain want? Diamonds? WTF was his problem? Dickhead lived in an igloo and fenced. That’s all I remember.

      • Jarv says :

        I think he had a space laser he was going to do something or other with as well. Shit.

      • Droid says :

        There’s always a laser.

      • Jarv says :

        Should have used it on Madonna.

      • Droid says :

        And I remember there was talk about halle berrys character getting a spin off movie of her own. What a crock.

      • Droid says :

        That’s because yank beer sucks.

      • Droid says :

        Did you say that you were referring to American beer only? I must have missed that. Thought it was just beer in American movies.

      • Jarv says :

        Beer is weird. If it’s some mexican beer like Corona, then you may well see it in a movie. The other example is if it’s European like Carlsberg (Spider Man) or Heineken.

        My fault. I should have been clearer. I meant that you aren’t likely to see an actual American beer, BUT you could see imports easily.

      • Droid says :

        Ah, didn’t register that.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Foreign beers are willing to pay for product placement much more then Bud or Coors would. Coors got Smokey and the Bandit made and that got them huge nationally. Budweiser owns so many brands,both foreign and domestic that it doesn’t matter for them. Plus the illegals drink that crap like water because you can get a 30 pack for dirt cheap.

        Plus those two Corps are huge advertisers in and sponsors of sporting events.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s a different set of priorities. They either support the big events like the Superbowl or fork out to get in films. They’ve gone for the sport.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Sponsoring sporting events is probably more economical. For the price they pay they get more people viewing and the product over the life of a game then a few seconds or minutes in a movie.

      • Jarv says :

        I’d agree. Also, branding sport has a way of seeping into public consciousness the way product placement in films doesn’t.

      • koutchboom says :

        That’s one thing that Greatest Movie Ever Sold brought up about how Nascar is the king of branding, mainly because they don’t even fucking try they just admit to doing it buy slapping the logos over every fucking thing.

      • Jarv says :

        All motor racing is like that. No surface unsponsored.

  22. Xiphos0311 says :

    some points already covered

    Taco Bell was actually alright before Pepsico bought it. I ate there occasionally when I lived in LA as a kid usually if I went into LA proper from the beach. Jump forward a few years and they opened up a restaurant in Arizona and I damn near threw up eating it the first I went to one, killed any good will I remembered of the place. It was doubly embarrassing since I had been talking the place up. A few years later it managed to get worse. Haven’t eaten in one since the mid 90’s.

    Yum brands is a spinoff of Pepsico they dumped their restaurant arm because at the time they weren’t doing well and dragging down profitability(This was just before KFC became hugely popular internationally). I use to own some Pepsi stock and they offed to switch shares and you could buy more below the projected offering price before the spin off went public. I thought yeah right I’m going to switch a blue chips for a company that will probably fail in a year. Now Yum trades higher then PepsiCo on average and awards larger dividends. I’m an idiot and that cured me of my belief I knew anything about picking stocks.

    TV show are even worse movies for blatant product placement. Chuck and 30 Rock come to mind. Those two shows are like prison rapist of product placements.

    • Jarv says :

      I’m an idiot and that cured me of my belief I knew anything about picking stocks.

      To be honest, I don’t think you are, because I don’t think anyone knows shit about that. Particularly not those paid to do it for a living. I reckon they throw darts at a copy of the financial times.

    • koutchboom says :

      30 Rock admits to doing it and not caring, the Snapple episode. I think Chuck doesn’t really give a fuck anyway, the way they sell them Subway subs.

  23. Droid says :

    Jarv, have a look and let me know what days you would be interested in going.

  24. Col. Tigh-Fighter says : Cracked seem to agree with you, Jarv 😉

    Also, apparently FedEx didnt have to do jack for Castaway. They approached them and asked if they wanted to be involved, ie money. They said no, but said they could use the likeness.

    So basically got an entire films worth of publicty and advertisement whichout having to pay a penny.

  25. koutchboom says :

    Apple should get a lifetime award as well. Just saw 2 close ups of THE NEWTON in fucking Under Siege 2.

    • koutchboom says :

      You know speaking of Gangsta’s Paradise, I wonder if you can sort of use the same idea of Product Placement with music? Because I’m willing to bet more money was made off of that song than was made from Dangerous Minds, also I bet it was probably the biggest reason people even saw that movie. Lemme see the time difference from when the single/soundtrack was released to when the film dropped.

      • koutchboom says :

        Also around the same time you have Space Jam which Echo lovingly refers to as one giant commercial, I wonder if that soundtrack made more money than the movie.

      • Jarv says :

        I wouldn’t be surprised. I quite like that film.

      • koutchboom says :

        What has happened to soundtracks these days? The only one that has seemed to matter in recent years is Twilight. I’m not talking about scores, but sound tracks. I can’t really the last time I associated a song with a movie except for that recent Twilight song which incorporates the Twilight theme music into it. Like before Twilight all I can really think of is some Spiderman songs. The recent use of that shitty Foo Fighters song with Thor didn’t work out too well.

      • Jarv says :

        Tarantino used to be really good at it. Not any more.

        I think things have changed, and proper scoring has come back into fashion.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well QT usually used old songs, though that Pulp Fiction song was made for the movie, it got an Oscar nom. Maybe after MM and then 3-6 both won Oscars they realized that they had pushed the original song as far as they possibly could. I mean where do you go after a gangster rap song wins an Oscar? I guess some Norwegian Death Metal Band could’ve made an original song for The Girl With the Dragon Tats? Hehehe which is semi true with Industrial God Trent Reznor winning an Oscar last year, and may as well win one again this year for another one of his unreleased B-Sides filler music collection.

        Maybe it hasn’t gone away it’s just gotten more respectable?

      • koutchboom says :

        Wait Urge Overkill’s song was just a cover and wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, don’t know why I thought that.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s cyclical, I think. It’ll come back.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah seeing the success with Twilight…..which hopefully will change the face of cinema like it was intended to.

      • Jarv says :

        Soundtracks are different. They tend to be a spin off from the film. Where the comparison works is with Levi’s advertisements where the song was invariably a massive hit afterwards (and Guinness too)

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah Gangsters came out Aug 8th and the movie came out Aug 11. I guess the movie was a bigger hit then I thought, it made 179 million worldwide. It was a Don Simpson movie I forgot that.

      • Droid says :

        I was going to say this about product placement, but I ultimately couldn’t be arsed writing it. But bands allow their songs in movies to sell records. It’s advertising.

      • Droid says :

        And let’s be honest, the biggest product placement offenders are Marvel. They’ve made five 2 hour ads for The Avengers.

      • Jarv says :


        Longer than that.

  26. Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

    Audi in the Iron Man films.

    No-one as rich as Tony Stark would drive an Audi of any sort. Dont care how top of the range it is.

  27. ThereWolf says :

    I don’t pay that much attention to advertising in movies, goes straight over my head & to my knowledge I’ve never bought any of the crap they’re peddling… Oh, wait I’ve got an I-phone – but not coz I sawd it in a movie; a work colleague had one and I thought, hmmm, could do with one of those. But, stuff like Cruisey chucking his specs at the camera just doesn’t register in my noggin. I’ve got Raybans anyway.

    Tell you what though, I’ve seen several films with a bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey placed on a desk or in a cabinet. Weird one that…

    Excellent rant.

  28. Just Pillow Talk says :

    Unless it’s overtly obvious, it doesn’t really bother me. Iron Man was bad, I, Robot takes the cake though.

  29. MORBIUS says :

    Would the use of an Aston Martin in the early Bond films qualify?

    Or a Walther PPK?

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