Reverse product placement? whats that?

If you are a frequent reader of our little blog here then i am sure you are well versed in the art of product placement! But what exactly is reverse product placement? Reverse product placement occurs when a company starts creating products in real life to match those seen in a fictional setting.This has happened in movies and TV series alike. The way it works is that a fictional product created for a movie or television series gains such popularity, that a company sees an opening to exploit this product and make it in real life. there a few obvious and not so obvious examples today. One of the most famous examples of reverse product placement comes from the much loved movie Forrest Gump, in the film Forrest and his friend bubba dream of setting up a shrimp company together and wouldn’t you know someone saw this as an opportunity
to set up a chain of restaurants and name them after the lovable duos dream, here you can see one of their viral ads!

Another example of this phenomenon is from the movie ”Drive” Ryan gosling plays a super cool yet misunderstood driver who by day is a stunt man but by night is a getaway driver for hire! in this movie Gosling sports a super cool scorpion jacket, this movie recieved such a cult following that a clothing company decided to replicate the jacket and sell it online, heres where you can actually buy it”>”Goslings Jacket”. As a movie by itself i highly recomend giving it a watch!

But this reverse product placement has worked in telivision as well, examples include the much loved television series the office (the american version), the creators of the show struck a deal with office supplies company staples to sell Dunder-mifflin branded paper! Last but definitely not least is one of my favorites from the Simpsons. Homers beer of choice ”Duff” has become a real beer that you can purchase in selected off-licences, and yes i have tried and its not bad, it has more of a novelty quality to it but hey its drinkable! so next time you see a product in a movie or tv series you like, keep an eye out it might just be on your shelves!

Fergus Finlay O’ Donnell


Why use product placement in the first place????



It’s assumed movies use product placement for companies to promote their product, but it’s a two way street. A simple example is the transformers trilogy. Its generally seen as the movie with the largest amount of product placement in history, the video i put up shows relentless product placement. Instead of the companies going to the studios asking can they advertise within their movie, it was the other way round,with director Michael Bay actually promising to direct 5 commercials for General Motors if they allowed the use of cars that were not even released. It also helps production companies keep their costs down. In regards to the Studios and Production Companies, it offsets production costs. Products and / or services are provided free of charge to the Studios and Production Companies. The Departments of props, set decorations, wardrobe and transportation can save a sizeable amount of money by using product placement.Placement agencies. If there were no placement agencies, these departments would be forced to buy or rent these items. Therefore we see the reason behind product placement.


My Big fat Greek Wedding


Don’t ask how or why I was forced to watch this Independantly made RomCom but what is relevant are two major facts about this film is: from a Budget of $6 Million it made Revenue of over $241 Million Domestically but never actually made it to the Number one on the Movie Charts. And Secondly that the Product Placement in this Movie is only just below Waynes World as far as Subtle goes.

For those of you unfamiliar with the film, It’s your Typical Chick flick where the Main Girl is getting on and her Family is waiting for her to meet a nice Greek boy and settle down but of  Course when she does meet someone, He’s not Greek. (Shock-Horror)

ImageThis is her Father, his answer for all of Lifes Problems is to spray Windex on it. Perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world to  spray window cleaner on your Face. but apparently it works for getting rid of Zits? He suggests this unconventional solution a good ten times or so which would leave me to believe they may have paid for this placement….


Budweiser; a GIANT in Product Placement

Everyone knows the well established brand that is Budweiser beer, but did you know when it comes to product placement in movies they top the charts! Whether its deliberately put there and paid for or just out of luck that its there, Budweiser have a huge amount of product placement in movies. In the last twelve years, Budweiser has appeared in nearly one-fifth of all of the films that reached #1 at the box office. During this time both Budweiser ans Bud-light have appeared in 87 of the top 463 films.



Some of the top movies of 2012 have featured Budweiser including; Looper, Ted, The dark night rises, and Contraband, but as well not forgetting placement in classics such as Top Gun. The thing that always seems to work to Budweiser’s advantage is the fact that if there is a bar scene in a movie you will see a neon Budweiser sign. Budweiser make no attempt to hide this they actually openly call themselves Hollywood’s ”go to beer”, they have ready-to-go inventory of branded props a set dresser needs, like neon signs and pool table lights, this makes it much easier for film-makers as they don’t have to go looking for props because Budweiser drops these things on their doorstep. Some of their advertising is a little less secret, for example Will Ferrels movie Semi Pro in which Budweiser were a partner, in this case the main character Jackie Moon played by Ferrel is seen to be shooting a commercial for Budweiser, the ad is in fact for the movie but promoted Budweiser’s sponsorship of it, you can view it here

Obviously its clear Budweiser have an unbelievable record for product placement, but as they always say be careful what you wish for. Im talking about their latest placement, Budweiser were up in arms and rightly so when its brand appears as the drink of choice for the alcoholic pilot played by Denzel Washington in the new thriller Flight. Budweiser are a massive presence in Hollywood, and it looks like it will continue to be for a long time. Currently Budweiser is sixth in the charts for product placement being beaten by products like apple and coca-cola, but in the alcohol industry it’s still number one.

By Fergus Finlay O’ Donnell

Horror movies and brand placement.


Product Placement In Movies Secret Advertising Paranormal Activity 4

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of horror movies and it’s become evident to me that product placement is very much within these intense stories. If I take the 2 big release horror films in the last year I can show you where some of these products are placed. Some are very obvious and some are not but the fact is that these brands are purposely placed

Paranormal Activity 4, (released:  19th October 2012) is a major advert for Xbox Kinect. It is featured several times throughout the film as part of the story line and not just as a background. This is the most obvious brand placement within the film. It’s not that I myself would disagree with brand placement within any film but when it becomes part of the major plot then it just seems to take away from the scene. So instead of focusing on the moment with the moving of the demon the audience ends up thinking “oh cool, I didn’t know I could do that with my Xbox Kinect”. The film is just one long advertisement but now is the time to stop criticising it. It is indeed smart of them to buy into the franchise and allow them to use their product and explain how it works within a film. That is all.

Another major brand within the film is Apple. Everything they use is apple based.  Their phones and laptops are all apple and not just place they ACTUALLY say “IPhone” instead of just phone. They are all placed conveniently to show full on camera that this is the product they use. Whether Apple bought into this or they allowed permissions for their brand to be used it is still advertising for them and they are receiving an audience for their product. Yes most in America use the Apple brand more so than we would in Ireland but instead of covering up this brand it is used openly therefore becoming part of the brand placement within in the movie.

Personally I feel that branding in horror films where the story line is a key aspect can take away from the actual fright one might receive from the build-up in the story.  If a big brand takes over a movie, like paranormal activity 4 and the Xbox Kinect there is no focus on the story and it is not enjoyable for the audience.

By Courtney