Of all the inventions of man, advertising is the finest: it serves to present an ideal that we must achieve through objects of relative utility by pouring out the hard-earned tribute by the fruit of our work to pay for them. And to make a place for themselves in our hearts and brains, brands stop at nothing, sometimes daring to use clumsy, controversial or simply shameful product placements in our favorite films. And we’re going to talk about it right away because I love advertising and commercialism, I’m not at all a small anti-capitalist crevice as you might think.
1. The brand of soda and the rapists in “Supergirl”
The American brand of soda A&W had signed a nice deal to appear in the film Supergirl, that’s why during a scene we see the heroine being thrown into a vending machine of the brand, it’s not phew, but it’s a product placement. The real problem comes in the very first scene where the superheroine arrives on Earth, she is directly cornered by two truckers who try to rape her and whose face she quickly bursts. What’s wrong? One of the truck drivers/rapists has a t-shirt of the brand of soda in question.
2. Samsung products that don’t help people in “Jurassic World” at all
In Jurassic World the brand Samsung probably spent a lot of money so that his phones, his connected watches and his computers find themselves filmed several times. The problem is that the phones are unusable at certain times in the film (and fuck the characters in the shit), that we understand that the brand’s computers manage the security of the park (in which almost everyone is eaten ) and we even have a shot of a blood-covered smartwatch hanging from the arm of a corpse. Does it make you want to buy yourself?
3. The brand of beer that made money to show off AND get drunk
Do you think it’s a good idea to advertise beer in a family film for children? It was in any case that of the brand of beer Coors who had spun a nice ticket to appear in the film. The thing is that the scene where we see the product is the one in which the alien gets drunk alone at home and where little Elliot who is then at school also finds himself drunk because he is connected telepathically with ET Not great salesman to show a kid half-asleep in class from an alcoholic drink if you ask me.
4. The Calvin Klein brand in “Back to the Future”
Be careful, it happens with big hooves: the brand Calvin Klein really screwed up everything in the movie Back to the future because it is quoted a lot of times. When Marty goes back in time, his mother sees him in boxer shorts with the mark on it and she thinks it’s his first and last name, so she calls him that for the rest of the movie. What’s funny is that in the French version she calls him Pierre Cardin because it’s more French, and that, my friends, is free advertising and overused product placement.
5. The suggestive piano scene in “Desperate Housewives”
How to make a suggestive scene between two characters while selling pianos? It’s a stroke of genius from the creators of Desperate Housewives who managed to do a scene with a bit of pressure where the character of Susan ran her fingers over a Yamaha piano to make another character understand that she really wanted to play the piano naked with him. Subtle? No. Seller ? Neither, but they did.
6. The completely failed Reebok ad in “Jerry Maguire”
The boring thing with editing is that sometimes stars are cut during editing and sometimes ads are too (ok it’s rarer). For the movie Jerry Maguire Reebok had spent 1.5 million dollars to appear in the image and we shot a scene in which we spoke well of the brand. Except that we deleted this scene during editing. But where it’s worse is that a line from the movie that talks about the brand was left and it roughly said “fuck Reebok”. Unsurprisingly, the brand asked for 10 million dollars in compensation.
7. The Xbox Kinect in “Paranormal Activity 4”
the Xbox Kinect was a video game system with a camera that allowed you to see yourself on the screen and play a whole bunch of video games. So it’s nice and like Microsoft wanted to sell his product they offered to advertise it in the film Paranormal Activity 4. Only small problem: the choice of the film was not incredible since the scene in which we see the product consisted of showing the ghosts and demons through the camera of the game. Not so good.
8. The totally WTF ad of the California Raisins brand in “Back to the Future 2”
The California Grape Company thought the Calvin Klein product placement played very well in the first film. Back to the future, suddenly she decided to try her luck in the second part (like Pepsi, Nike, Mattel and many other brands). Except that we don’t know why but the producers did anything: the only time we see a reference to the product is on a bench in the middle of the street on which a homeless person is sleeping. The production was therefore forced to give $50,000 to the brand because it was completely bullshit.
9. The Pittsburgh Penguins team and the movie “Mort Subite”
In this incredible film, Jean-Claude Van Damme finds himself fighting terrorists in an ice hockey stadium (a kind of diehard less well). The film was directly produced by the owners of the stadium and the team, which is why we see the appearance of real players and commentators of the time, as well as a scene where Van Damme fights to the death against the mascot of the team and ends up killing her.
So we summarize: terrorists take a hockey stadium hostage, there are lots of horrible things going on there and the mascot tries to kill the hero. Do you think attendance at the famous stadium increased after the film’s release? Not really.
10. The iPad scene in “Modern Family”
It’s a bit boring when a series as acclaimed as Modern Family uses clumsy product placement like this in one scene. In one episode the father of the family Phil Dunphy was offered a iPad which he had been dreaming of for a long time (already it was subtle), then we saw him in a scene whispering to his new object “I love you”. Well, it wasn’t particularly controversial, but it was a bit overused, like not a super-smart sales technique.