Product Placement in Movies: Out of Control?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Friends,

    I have really been noticing very increased product placement in the movies. Although I liked Minority Report a lot, it was littered with placements. The USA Today paper on the Metro was very blatant.

    Does anyone else feel that things are starting to spiral out of control here?
     
  2. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  3. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Real products are fine. But ensuring that the product logos are clearly visible (magically all soda cans are turned to face the camera head-on, vending machines are perfectly clean and tidy, etc). can break realism. Depends how they do it.
     
  4. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I think the best example of how there is "too much" product placement(I say "too much" because I feel if it isn't blatant and done well it's no problem) was the movie 'State and Main'. The struggles to get a product placement for a computer company in a turn of the century period piece was hilarious.
     
  5. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    I'm particularly bothered by the product placement in Minority Report because it seems to me that Spielberg is trying to have it both ways. He collects all the advertising money from Lexus, Pepsi, Guinness, The Gap, etc. and defends it by claiming he's making a "serious point" about loss of privacy and the invasion of advertisements into our lives. But who are we supposed to be concerned about our privacy being lost to, but the very corporations that Spielberg is using his movie to endorse? If those companies thought that the movie was going to portray them or their advertising in a negative way that would make consumers suspicious or skeptical of them or their adverting campaigns, they would never have paid Spielberg to feature their products in the movie. Do you think Volkswagen would have paid Spielberg to show Nazis driving VW jeeps in Saving Private Ryan? In short, if Spielberg had the courage of his convictions (if they really are his convictions, which I doubt), he would have used fictitious companies and rejected any product placement money.

    As for the Coke ads in "Blade Runner"--Ridley Scott just wanted to show a believable vision of the future. Those ads were never meant to show that in the future society would be dominated by greedy corporations. Nothing was ever made of them--they were there for ambience.
     
  6. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  7. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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  8. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  9. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    Regardless of whether or not Spielberg believes that it will or could happen, it's apparent that he believes that if it does happen it'll be a bad thing. No one wants to walk through a shopping mall and have every placard screaming at them by name? Why would companies pay to have their products associated with something negative? I think it's because they realized that Spielberg's barbs were half-hearted and ineffectual. Would Budweiser pay the Simpsons to substitute their brand name for Duff? Would Milton Bradley have paid Paul Verhoeven to use their "Battleship" game in Robocop rather than "Nuke 'Em"? No, I don't think so, because those parodies are serious in the criticism of the products and companies they mock, unlike Spielberg's.
     
  10. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    While I agree that the product placement in some movies (Think Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) is outragous, I thought it fit Minority Report like a glove.
     
  12. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I was fine with the placements in Minority Report; as Damin mentioned, it would have been disconcerting to see made-up names rather than existing ones. One movie that I thought had blatant unnecessary placements, however, was Panic Room. When you watch someone open a Coke and carefully pour it and drink it in such a way as to maximize the label's exposure, then I think you've crossed the line.
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What's the big deal about such products in films??????? I just don't understand the seriousness of the problem, therefore, somebody enlightenment as to how this is detrimental to me and my enjoyment of any film.




    Crawdaddy
     
  14. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, we all have principles, but I rather enforce mine on more important issues beyond how many times I see a Coca Cola bottle or Lexus in a particular film. Advertisement only works for those that accept what they're shown or heard.



    Crawdaddy
     
  16. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Just to followup on my previous posts. It might just be me, but I feel people get upset or irritated at so many smaller things in life that they never have any time to relax and just enjoy what life gives them like a good film.[​IMG]
    Crawdaddy
     
  18. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Robert Crawford wrote:

     
  19. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  20. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I do have a problem with in-your-face product placements, but I feel they were handled appropriately in Minority Report.

    In my observations, Adam Sandler films are some of the worst offenders of having pseudo-advertisements. In Big Daddy a whole scene is based on informing us when McDonald's stops serving breakfast. (I believe there's also another scene which makes a big deal about going to Hooters.) I think KFC was the restaurant of choice in Little Nicky, although I could be wrong. In Mr. Deeds the action stops so they can eat at Wendy's, followed by repeated references to Frostys and other Wendy's produts as the film progresses.
     

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