Photo: Worst Product Placement
Product placement can be glaring and ridiculous, or it can hover subtly under the radar. Either way, advertisers have paid lots of money for the opportunity to shape your buying decisions.
Here are our favourite ridiculous product placements >
The history of product placement dates back in the late 19th century when print publications started strategically positioning products in photographs. But if you fast forward to today, product placement is everywhere. Here’s how it got there.
- 1873: Jules Verne becomes the literary hero of the world with his newest book “Around the World in 80 Days.” As it was republished in serial form in newspapers and magazines, travel and shipping companies lobbied to have their names mentioned.
- 1922: The first paid radio ad airs. It’s a 10-minute presentation on apartments in Jackson Heights, Queens.
- 1927: A product placement for Hershey’s chocolate appears in Wings, the first movie to win Best Picture.
- 1930s: Radio shows themselves start getting underwritten by different companies. Companies pay a fee in order to be mentioned on the air. The term “soap opera” is coined in this era because it was so common for radio dramas to be sponsored by consumer goods and soap companies.
- 1957: More than one-third of television programs are created and controlled by ad agencies. When Camel sponsored Man Against Crime, there were strict rules about the depiction of characters smoking — it had to be glamorous.
- 1961: The Studebaker cars that made subtle but strong appearances on the famous television show Mr. Ed were purposeful placements by the company.
- 1964: The idea of brand integration, in which brands or products are included in the plot of a movie, is introduced in the movie Man’s favourite Sport. Rock Hudson plays a man who works at Abercrombie and Fitch, where much of the movie takes place.
- 1982: Steven Spielberg iconically includes Reese’s Pieces as a plot point in ET: The Extraterrestrial.
[Source: “Handbook of Product Placement in the Mass Media” by Mary-Lou Galician]
And the rest as they say is history. Since the eighties, product placement has become a routine part of most hit movies. Whenever you notice (or don’t) a Nike logo flash onscreen; whatever cars are driven in the movie you are seeing the product of a costly ad deal.
The now-classic movie franchise included Pepsi as being so permanent that it sticks around well into the future.
How much does it cost to have your brand mentioned a movie in such a way that there aren't even any competitors?
One of the best-known product placement scenes in contemporary memory, this movie hilariously included several brand placements, all while saying it would never happen.
Casino Royale: Bond receives text messages on his Sony Ericksson phone and uses a Vaio on a sailboat.
Apparently he's got a licence to shop as well.
Just the sheer number of products getting plugged in this music video will blow you away. Each one has been helpfully annotated.
Simply unbelievable. Michael Bay loves product placement.
Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame takes a look into the world of corporate sponsorships and advertising.
The enigmatic David Lynch makes himself quite clear when it comes to product placement.
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