Ever wonder why you walk about of the movie theater craving a cold Sprite, pie from Pizza Hut or a new pair of Manolo Blahnik’s? You can thank shameless product placement, like you’ve seen in these eight movies.
1. E.T. Really Loved Reese’s Pieces
The movie E.T. never actually comes right out and says that the alien’s favorite candy was Reese’s Pieces, but it was pretty obvious thanks to the recognizable packaging. Hershey made a good decision by letting the film use their candy, one which Mars, Inc. passed up when they banned Spielberg from using M&M’s. When the movie was in theaters, there was a 65% increase in Reese’s Pieces sales.
2. Renee Russo Shotguns Pepsi One
At the exact moment that Russo’s character in The Thomas Crown Affair puts the pieces together, she realizes just how parched she is. The can of Pepsi One is not just placed in the scene, but it’s also out of place in the scene. Russo says her lines in between gulps and probably forgets that she’s acting altogether because she’s just enjoying that refreshing sugar water way too much.
3. Popeye’s Chicken is the Devil’s Favorite Meal
Adam Sandler didn’t mess around when he decided to advertise Popeye’s Chicken in Little Nicky – it’s an “integral” part of not one but two scenes. First, a gross bulldog teaches Nicky how to eat the greasy chicken. Then, later on, a man who calls himself an actor exclaimed, “Popeye’s chicken is the shiznit!” Not that people are dreaming about Popeye’s as they sleep, but this product placement made KFC even more sought after than before.
4. Car Rivals Go Head-to-Head in Transformers
Director Michael Bay doesn’t do anything halfway. While he was making Transformers, he visited several auto manufacturers until GM offered $3 million to be featured in the movie. And featured they were: when Bumblebee is called a worn out Camaro, he quickly comes back as a new and improved 2009 model. It gets better – GM didn’t want any of their cars to play the bad guy cop car, so they got a Ford Mustang to be the evil vehicle.
5. Ads Within Ads
In Minority Report, Tom Cruise is almost literally bombarded with interactive, in-your-face advertising. That rings pretty true, since advertising is getting more and more clever as the years go by. Except, wait a second – that “pretend” advertising to show what the world will be like in 2054 is actually real advertising circa now. I don’t know about you, but I still think about some day walking into The Gap and having a virtual employee welcome me back by name.
6. “How to Order a Starbucks Coffee” by Tom Hanks
Both screechy dial-up AOL and jokes about Starbucks’ difficult ordering rules are now dated, but when Hanks talks about the tall burnt coffee in You’ve Got Mail, it was (sort of) cutting-edge back then. If you replace AOL with Google and Starbucks with any coffee shop at all, it’s almost kind of modern. (We’re rooting for Dunkin Donuts – there are now couches in many of the shops and their coffee doesn’t stink.)
7. Cool Kicks, Man
Will Smith is a Converse sneakers showoff in I, Robot, which is odd for a movie that takes place in the future, since Converse are classic and have been around forever. Maybe it’s a “vintage shoes in the future” thing? Which still doesn’t make a lot of sense, because Converse are vintage-ish now. It probably had something to do with Nike buying Converse right around the time the movie was made.
8. Hi Scarlett, I’m Scarlett
There are a lot of girls who wouldn’t mind finding out they’re Scarlett Johansson in real life, but Scar Jo’s character in The Island isn’t as impressed with this news as you’d think. When she gets off the island and heads into the real world, she sees a Calvin Klein ad with her face on it. The director (Michael Bay again) just decided to use an actual Calvin Klein ad that the real Scarlett was in, you know, in real life. Which frankly seems a little bit lazy.
Image by: Wikimedia Commons
Daniel Timmons is a professional blogger that provides tips and information on franchise opportunities and investments. He writes for Franchise Expo, the place to find the best franchise opportunities available.