Product placement in movies has gone too far

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic.
~Samuel Johnson

Is it just me, or does it seem like movies now are literally pausing over the various product placements? I’m not talking about the main character wandering around with a Coke in his hand, I’m talking about how movies are literally stopping in the middle of a smooth pan to clearly display the logo of something or other.

I noticed this in Tron and laughed it off as “they have to pack it in while they can.” I (unfortunately) got to see Fast Five this weekend and I noticed the camera spending far too long on logos. Not just the cars (although a scene involving a GMC comes immediately to mind), but also an oddly placed Fox (no relation) logo. Beer advertising, on the other hand, was conspicuous by its absence.

Others I’ve spoken to have mentioned the same thing…the product placement is becoming more and more obvious more and more often. I don’t mind product placement if it feels natural. You know, the main character holding a bottle of Coke in such a way that it looks like he just happens to have a Coke. Soon it won’t just be a character holding a Coke, it’ll be a character posing with the Coke and the camera spending several seconds on the logo.

However, the Sex and the City clips in this montage take the cake, walk out the door, and eat it in front of an orphanage filled with paraplegic kids with AIDS.


One Response to “Product placement in movies has gone too far”

  1. Dargon Says:

    I would say there is some degree of product placement that is almost necessary for realism. The Spiderman scenes in there do it nicely. The Times Square scene (or any Times Square scene for that matter) would feel very off without ads. The Dr. Pepper can, it would feel off if it were a generic (though the scene would have worked just as well with any small object). Others are a little less subtle.

    Now one thing I found a bit interesting were the Suoerman scenes. It is not uncommon for advertisers to want their product portrayed positively in the film. This is why racing game developers have trouble securing licenses to use the real cars; car companies don’t want their cars to get damaged, even in a video game. So it was interesting to see scenes where the product was being damaged.

    All that being said, I cannot tell if they are actually getting worse, or if it’s just the cynicism that comes with age.

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