Tom Cruise gives sales of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses a boost in this ‘80s classic. He was responsible for a sudden surge in sales of the shades, with 360,000 pairs of Wayfarers shifted the year of
' release. Appearances in
The Breakfast Club
followed. Cheers, Tom.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
isn’t exactly celebrated for its artistic merits, so it’s no surprise it throws the towel in when it comes to product placement, as well. Just watch the scene in which Clark and Perry are discussing the proposed buy-out of the
, all the while surrounded by cleverly-positioned Dunkin’ Donuts cups. Oh, Supes.
Even Indie-roots Sam Raimi isn’t safe from product placement, though we imagine he didn’t get much of a say in this little moment of capitalism gone mad. As Spidey swings through the city, he lands right next to a well-placed Carlsberg truck – and Sony execs find their pockets suddenly stuffed with hundred dollar bills.
Love Happy (1949)
The critics hit out at
over one scene in which Harpo Marx escapes the clutches of the film’s villains via the old Mobil logo, the Flying Red Horse. Seems even back in the day film critics didn’t appreciate having brands shoved down their throats.
Days Of Thunder (1990)
Best known as the Tom Cruise flick that has him doing a little bit of auto racing, but also best remembered for introducing us all to citrus soft drink Mello Yello, the sponsors of a NASCAR racing team. Tom Cruise who?
Gun Crazy (1949)
Esteemed watch makers Bulova shoe-horned their product into this classic film noir. The flick’s climactic scenes take place in the Armour meat-packing plant, where a Bulova clock has been plonked right where audiences can’t possibly miss it. Sneaky.
Percy Jackson (2010)
Fun twist on a well-heeled legend? Or cynical bit of product-shoving in the direction of the young and impressionable? Either way, Percy manages to kill Medusa with his iPod – she’s bewitched by her reflection in the back of his musicmaker, giving him time to drop her dead. Nifty but somewhat sinister.
Casino Royale (2006)
“Rolex? Omega.” Bond may be turning up in different packaging this time around (here, a Daniel Craig-shaped package), with more emphasis put on re-grounding Bond after the frivolities of the Brosnan era - but he’s still not above a little name-checking.
Cast Away (2000)
FedEx apparently didn’t make a dime out of appearing in Tom Hanks’ stuck-on-a-desert-island drama, but we’re sure it considerably boosted their profile – especially for the overseas market, who previously wouldn’t have heard of them. Every little helps.
The A-Team (2010)
And here we thought the only vehicle that mattered in
was the GMC van. Apparently not. After the remake’s South American opener, every car in the film is a Mercedes. That’s when they’re not BMWs, of course. Still wondering where Hollywood movies get their funding from?
Alright, it’s a funny little character quirk for Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee who, despite being a zombie-killing bad-ass, is on a quest for a yummy food good that’s going extinct. Naturally, though, his hankering for Twinkies ends up being yet another cynical bid for marketing mulah. By the end of
, even Brits who’d never heard of a Twinkie before wanted one of the bloody things.
Notable for many reasons,
was the first film to nab the Best Picture Oscar. It also introduced cinemagoers to nudity and bloke-on-bloke kissing. Forget all that, though – what’s more important is the placement of a Hershey’s chocolate bar in two shameless money-grabbing shots. Earliest example of product placement ever?
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Matthew McConaughey’s client, Tugg Speedman, wants a TiVo delivered to him in the Laotian jungle. Considering McConaughey is the guy’s agent, it’s his job to do it. And also give TiVo’s burgeoning profile a massive big screen boost. Didn’t seem to help, though - TiVo’s not doing too great right now.
Iron Man & Iron Man 2 (2008-2010)
These two are packed so full of product shout-outs it’s enough to make you dizzy. Burger King, Audi (the R8’s a big deal in
Iron Man 2),
Chevy, Bulgari, Dell, LG,
are just a few of the products slipped into Jon Favreau’s comic book adap.
Fantastic Four 2 (2007)
What’s the first thing
do when you’re legging it away from the US military? Funnily enough,
don’t stop to namecheck the brand of car we’re getting into. Johnny Blaze does, though. “Is it a Hemi?” he demands of Mr Fantastic’s Dodge fourmobile. “Of course,” he replies. We vomit.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
Just because product endorsements fit into the story of a film doesn’t mean they haven’t been written in for the sake of a quick buck. Which is the case in
, which has a professional athlete being sponsored by Subway.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
“Of course you never. Only us explorers can get it,” boasts a young George in this sentimental classic. “I've been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society.” And, guess what, he’s brandishing a copy of
magazine. Maybe Total Film should get in on this?
Forrest Gump (1994)
“Now, since it was all free, and I wasn't hungry but thirsty, I must've drank me 15 Dr. Peppers.” Forrest Gump endorses soda – and glugs from a bottle that conveniently has the Dr. Pepper logo facing the camera. What would his mama say?
Horse Feathers (1932)
Though he shares his surname with a famous sociologist who knew all about the evils of consumerism, Groucho Marx is at the centre of this oldie’s product hoo-hah. When poor old Thelma Todd falls out of her canoe into a river, he helps her out by chucking her a piece of Life Savers candy. How ironic.
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Jessica Biel’s super-hip vampire slayer is
so damn hip
that she takes her iPod everywhere. What's more, she can’t kill vamps without her very own vamp-killing soundtrack –
compiled, naturally on iTunes
. Guillermo del Toro apparently slashed loads of gadget guff from the script of
, but with David S Goyer in full control of this threequel, they run totally and utterly wild. Painful.
Wayne’s World (1992)
It’s a film that decries product placement, but does it anyway. To be funny? Well, obviously, but it still whiffs of selling out. And, yeah, alright, it’s pretty funny, too. “Ah, Neuprin. Little, yellow, different.”
Back To The Future (1985)
Sure, Pepsi is used as a running gag through the franchise to signify the passage of time during Marty’s time-hopping (in the first
, he asks for a Pepsi Free, and is promptly told he’ll have to pay for it), but that didn’t stop Michael J. Fox
signing up to star in the fizzy drink’s commercial
The Princess Bride (1987)
Fred Savage is a sad little kid who's forgotten the value of good storytelling.
The Princess Bride
opens with him furiously jabbing buttons on his Nintendo before going on and on (and
) about how amazing it is. Come on grandpa, sort him out.
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
The plot of this comedy from Jamie Uys is almost entirely crafted around a cola bottle, which is no meat feat. When bushmen discover a coca-cola bottle in the Kalahari desert (it's just been dropped from a plane), they can’t fathom what it possibly is. Ho-ho. Ha-ha.
The Wizard (1989)
Fred Savage is doing it again! In this near-forgotten '80s gem, he kidnaps his disabled brother, whom he then embarks on a quest with. It’s a movie almost entirely built around Nintendo games, with endorsements for the Nintendo Power Glove, the Nintendo Game Hint Line, the Nintendo Power magazine and a whole load of games – it even involves the debut of
Super Mario Bros 3
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
If you’re going to make a movie about email, it stands to reason there'll be people writing emails in it. But director Nora Ephron spied this as a canny opportunity to get a little funding from AOL, shoving the service provider all over of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan's computers. Thank goodness the film at least has a good story. Or, wait…
Product placement guru Michael Bay knows exactly how to squeeze top brands into his movies, but he sunk to new depths with
. No, nothing to do with cars. The most shocking bit of market pandering came in the form of a Mountain Dew decepticon - a drinks machine transformed into ‘Dispensor’ by the All Spark. Groan.
James Bond is synonymous with gadgets, which gives anybody flashing the right amount of cash a perfect opportunity to showcase their brand on the big screen. In
, it’s the BMW Z3 that gets a look-in. Sales of the car boomed after the film’s release, and prompted product placement specialist Karen Sortito to create a $100m promotional campaign for
Tomorrow Never Dies
. Eaaaaasy money.
Fritz Lang’s frenetic thriller may have waded through serious issues like child murder, but that didn’t stop it caving in to a little product placement – notice the huge Wrigley’s PK Chewing Gum ad that is displayed on a stair case in one scene. It's enough to drive a man mad.
I, Robot (2004)
Ah, Alex Proyas, a man after Michael Bay’s heart. How so? Well just about everything in his futuristic sci-fi is branded in one way or another, and Proyas makes sure that his camera lovingly caresses every little logo and emblem to ensure maximum market saturation. That reminds us, we need a new pair of Converse…
The Island (2005)
Michael Bay’s at it again, ramming hot new brands into our eye sockets like there’s no tomorrow – there are a total of 35 paid-for placements in
. Which is 35 more than we’d asked for, frankly. The Xbox gets the best deal, afforded its own massive techno-wonderful gaming booth, but the Cadillac also gets a look-in. Of course.
Surf Ninjas (1993)
Boy turns his brother into a ninja by playing a Sega Gamegear, in a truly horrible bit of product placement that makes
look positively restrained. We’ll say nothing more on the matter.
Little Nicky (2000)
“Popeyes Chicken is the shiznit!” proclaims one demon in this execrable ‘comedy’, in one of two scenes that reference the food chain. If that wasn’t enough, Nicky also seems to love K-Mart. He carries one of their plastic bags all around town, and then leaves it strewn on his bed – handily so we can still make out the logo.
How to take down the aliens in this laugh riot from Ivan Reitman? Get a shampoo company to sponsor you, and then write in a
twist in which the only thing that can kill aliens is... Head & Shoulders. Brilliant.
Demolition Man (1993)
“Now all restaurants are Taco Bell,” Sandra Bullock tells Sylvester Stallone in this tongue-in-cheek, camper-than-a-drag-queen-in-a-Barbie-shop sci-fi. Which restaurant was that again? Don’t worry, if you missed her mentioning it there, Taco Bell is brought up about a dozen more times anyway. Whew.
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
Hey Rene Russo! What you got there? Oh, a can of Pepsi One? Neat-o! Can we sit and watch you drink it sexily for almost an entire minute? WE CAN?! Amazing! *Rene Russo proceeds to spend almost an entire minute drinking a can of Pepsi One. Sexily. Fails to star in anything of note ever again*
Independence Day (1996)
Jeff Goldblum relies on that most modern of ‘90s computers to help him take down invading aliens in Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster sci-fi – yes, a Macintosh PowerBook. It was such a pivotal plot point, of course, that Macintosh went the whole hog and used the film for their entire PowerBook marketing campaign. Ah, movies - bringing the world together.
Steven Spielberg’s friendly alien drama and Reese’s Pieces are now so inseparable that the chocolate company freely use ET as their mascot. Check out this advert, which coincided with the film’s 20th anniversary. It’s enough to make a person cynical.
Josie And The Pussycats (2001)
Josie And The Pussycats
is basically one massive advert for every product ever made - meaning it’s perfect for liver-destroying drinking games. A staggering 70 products get a look in here. Don’t believe us? Just check out the jaw-dropping video above. And sob. Or drink.
Mac And Me (1988)
It’s the party that everybody wanted to have as a kid, but somehow the kids parties thrown at MacDonalds never quite reached the highs of this devious little scene. And yes, the titular ET (himself already a rip-off of Steven Spielberg’s
) really was named after his love for fast food. Talk about cheap.
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