Worst To Best: Movie Product Placements

Mac & Me (1988)

"Hiya, kid. How's it going?"

The Product Placement: McDonald's.

Why It's Grim: For a start, it's targeting impressionable young things - the film features a kid's birthday party that's hosted at McDonald's. They even shoehorn in ol' Ronald McDonald.

And secondly, the titular alien really is named after his love for fast food…

Impact On Sales: We can't find any figures to back up an increase (or decrease) in McD sales, though it's a safe bet that every kid in the '80s wanted a birthday party there after seeing this.

Little Nicky (2000)

"Popeye's chicken is the shiznit!"

The Product Placement:
Popeye's Chicken.

Why It's Grim: Call us cynical, but when a movie's resolution revolves around a product, we start feeling a little used - especially when something like Popeye's Chicken is roped in to convert evil beings to good, and some guy utters the above, cringe-making line.

Impact On Sales: Unknown.

The Hangover Part II (2011)

"All I wanted was a bachelor brunch."

The Product Placement: Louis Vuitton.

Why It's Grim: A load of Louis Vuitton bags make a cameo in the airport scene of this lacklustre sequel.

Sadly, the bag designer sued because it deemed the product placement "offensive". Also, it argued that the product in the movie was actually a fake.

Impact On Sales:
Well, zero.

Inspector Gadget (1999)


The Product Placement: Yahoo!

Why It's Grim: A Yahoo! billboard collapses at the beginning of the money, and Disney decided to turn that into a clever bit of advertising by including the "YAAAAAHHHHOOOOO!" yodel as it falls.

Groans all round.

Impact On Sales: Undetermined.

Men In Black II (2002)

"Give me some cover fire!"

The Product Placement: Victoria's Secret.

Why It's Grim: Apart from the fact that Lara Flynn Boyle looks painfully skinny in her black two-piece, it just feels wrong to have a character strutting around in saucy underwear in what is meant to be a family flick.

Impact On Sales: Unknown, though you can bet the name 'Lara Flynn Boyle' was Googled a fair bit more.

Superman II (1980)

"General Zod does not take orders. He gives them."

The Product Placement: Coca-Cola.

Why It's Grim: Superman chucks Zod into a giant Cocoa-Cola sign, which smashes into pieces.

Just because this is the biggest movie ad ever for Coca-Cola ( Blade Runner included) it doesn't mean it's cool.

Impact On Sales
: Unknown. Also unknown: how many kids attempted to re-enact this scene using empty cardboard Cocoa-Cola boxes.

Blade: Trinity (2004)

"Scream if this hurts, chica!"

The Product Placement: iPod.

Why It's Grim: Alright, iPods are cool, and they're pleasingly shiny.

But turning them into a character's emotional crutch is a bit of a stretch - here vampire-hunting Abigail (Jessica Biel) just can't kill anything without listening to her iTunes-compiled playlist. Bleurgh.

Impact On Sales:
iPod sales were up by 44% in 2004. We're sure Jessica Biel had something to do with it.

Fantastic Four (2007)

"Is it a Hemi?"

The Product Placement: Hemi.

Why It's Grim: So the Fantastic Four are running away from the US military, their lives are on the line. But Johnny Blaze still takes the time to stop and ask Mr Fantastic "Is it a Hemi?" Mr Fantastic's reply? "Of course." Sigh.

Impact On Sales: Unknown.

Forrest Gump (1994)

"I must've drank me 15 Dr. Peppers"

The Product Placement: Dr Pepper.

Why It's Grim:
“Now, since it was all free, and I wasn't hungry but thirsty, I must've drank me 15 Dr. Peppers.”

Forrest Gump endorses mass-guzzling of fizzy drinks. That's after going on about boxes of chocolates…

Impact On Sales:
Unknown. Impact on Forrest needing a wee? Critical.

The Princess Bride (1987)

"A book?"

The Product Placement: Nintendo.

Why It's Grim: Fred Savage harps on about how amazing his Nintendo is for what feels like an age.

Hasn't he ever heard of reading?

Impact On Sales: Unknown.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.