Worst To Best: Movie Product Placements

Wings (1927)

"You can kiss the girl you love."

The Product Placement: Hershey's.

Why It's Great: It's one of the first examples of product placement in movies. Plus it's chocolate.

Impact On Sales: Undetermined, though Hershey's is still around nigh on 90 years later.

Toy Story (1995)

"You are a toy!

The Product Placement : Etch-A-Sketch.

Why It's Great: Toy Story could have been a hideous exercise in product placement gone mad at the movies (something that Wreck-It Ralph could also be accused of).

Instead, it turned our adored childhood toys into even more adorable characters. Genius.

Impact On Sales: Boosted Etch-A-Sketch sales by 4,500%.

Meanwhile, Mr Potato Head sales rocketed by 800%.

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)

"We gotta go to White Castle."

The Product Placement: Fast food joint White Castle.

Why It's Great: It's completely, hilariously outrageous, with the entire plot of this Harold & Kumar adventure revolving around the titular duo's quest for the perfect White Castle burger.

Impact On Sales:
There's no data to support this, but we're pretty sure the fast food joint will have seen a rise in guys looking for the perfect burger.

Gran Torino (2008)

"What the hell does everybody want with my Gran Torino?"

The Product Placement: Ford Gran Torino.

Why It's Great: Clint Eastwood uses the Ford four-wheeler - in itself pretty damn cool - as a narrative device with which to chip away at cultural differences, with Eastwood bemoaning the fact that he worked at the Ford factory for 50 years, while his son's out pawning Japanese cars.

Impact On Sales: We're gonna say minimal - the Torino hasn't been manufactured since 1976.

Demolition Man (1993)

"Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the franchise wars."

The Product Placement: Taco Bell.

Why It's Great: Like the rest of the film, it's a fun little tongue-in-cheek moment.

Though it's glaringly obvious that we're having Taco Bell rammed down our throats, it's done with a feather-light coyness.

Impact On Sales: Unknown, though Taco Bell sales did jump 5% at the end of 2012 - could Demolition Man 's prediction have been correct?

Dirty Harry (1971)

"'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

The Product Placement: .44 Magnum.

Why It's Great: Mostly because it's wielded by a never-tougher Clint Eastwood, who aims the gun right down the camera as he delivers that unforgettable line.

Impact On Sales: Unsurprisingly, they went up, with the Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver enjoying a hike in sales around the film's release.

The Firm (1993)

"Anything I can do for you?"

The Product Placement: Red Stripe.

Why It's Great: Let's put it this way: any beer that Gene Hackman and Tom Cruise enjoy on a hot day is alright with us.

Impact On Sales: Not only did sales of Red Stripe increase by 50% in the USA, a few weeks after that the company sold their brewery for $62m to Guinness Brewing Worldwide

GoldenEye (1995)

"Enjoy it while it lasts."

The Product Placement: Omega watch.

Why It's Great: Well, it's a watch owned by James Bond for a start.

It's also a pretty nifty gadget - this Omega comes with its own laser, useful for, among other things, slicing through the floor of a train. Brilliant.

Impact On Sales: After the film was released, Omega's sales went up by 35%.

Bullitt (1968)

"I never had it so good."

The Product Placement: Ford Mustang.

Why It's Great: This particular Ford Mustang is central to one of the greatest on-screen car chases ever filmed, as Steve McQueen burns rubber over a breathless nine minutes and 42 seconds.

Impact On Sales: A special Bullit-inspired Ford Mustang wasn't manufactured until 2001, but 5,582 were sold.

Fight Club (1999)

"Like so many others, I had become a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct."

The Product Placement: IKEA.

Why It's Great: It's hilarious - Jack (Edward Norton) is so obsessed with IKEA that he sits in the bathroom looking at an IKEA catalogue (which is a far more savoury reading choice than most men who hide in the bathroom).

Impact On Sales: Undetermined, though it did coin a fantastic new phrase in 'IKEA nesting instinct'.

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.