Most Egregious Instances of Product Placement in Movies/Television

The Blind Eternities forum

Posted on Nov. 22, 2021, 8:32 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

Product placement is an unfortunate reality of modern media, because most movies and television series are too expensive for a single person or entity to produce, so they require sponsors to fund the production of such media, and those sponsors wish for their products to be seen in the media. Usually product placement is subtle and does not distract the audience, but there are times when it is extremely blatant and makes the audience feel as if the movie is attempting to advertise that product.

Therefore, I wish to discuss some of the most egregious instances of product placement in movies and television series.

In E.T.: the Extraterrestrial, the titular character is fond of Reese’s Pieces, but, thankfully, the focus on those candies is brief; however, in Mac and Me, which most viewers regard as a blatant rip-off of E.T., the focus on McDonald’s is far more blatant, to the point that some critics called out the contrived coincidence of the extraterrestrial being being named "Mac" in a movie that contained a scene in a McDonald’s restaurant.

In the movie adaptation of I, Robot, Will Smith's character, Del Spooner, opens a box of sneakers from the year 2004, the same year in which the movie was made, but the movie is set in 2035, which was far into the future at that time (although not so far away, now), so those sneakers would have been very old, by that time.

The first Transformers movie by Michael Bay was very bad with its product placements, and one of the most egregious scenes was when scientists demonstrated the power of the AllSpark by giving sentience to a Nokia cell phone.

In the first Space Jam movie, Stan Podolak (play by Wayne Knight) mentions Nike shoes, Wheaties cereal, Gatorade, Big Macs in a single sentence; thankfully, any other product placement in that movie is minimal.

For me, the worst instance of product placement in any movie is The Wizard, which many viewers consider to be essentially a feature-length advertisement for Nintendo products.

What does everyone else say about this subject? What are some of the most egregious instances of product placement that you have seen in movies or television?

enpc says... #2

I mean, you're not going to reference the movie Evolution? They literally killed the giant alien with Head and Shoulders shampoo and there's even a mini advert for it before the credit scene:

Don't get me wrong, while it's overt product placement, the whole movie is really stupid and so very fitting. Good film though, would rate a re-watch.

November 22, 2021 8:49 p.m.

Icbrgr says... #3

Power Rangers Krispy Cream Donuts

November 22, 2021 9:04 p.m.

Metroid_Hybrid says... #4

The overwhelming supermajority of 80's & 90's era cartoons were created to sell toys..

November 23, 2021 2:33 a.m.

enpc says... #5

Metroid_Hybrid: are you telling me there's even subliminal messaging in this?! Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour!

November 23, 2021 3:20 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #6

enpc, I have seen Evolution only once, so I completely forgot about its product placement.

November 23, 2021 8:18 p.m.

Niko9 says... #7

We watched the show Supernatural not too long ago, and it was definitely brought to you by some kind of salt conglomerate. Salt: Your one and only defense against every ghost in the world. That show was also probably just the best thing ever for people selling old Chevy Impalas.

Just kidding :) For real though, I'm pretty sure that the original Charmed show was one big long advertisement for 90s belly shirts. And the new Charmed is one big advertisement for why you should be watching the old one.

November 25, 2021 7:45 a.m.

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