Advertising makes the world go ‘round, unfortunately. But even as people get more annoyed with ads, companies found new ways to cram product marketing into our lives. Thus, product placement was born. Let’s take a look at some real classic examples of product placement, and just how brazenly they push their products.
E.T. – Reese’s Pieces
Rumor is that M&Ms turned down an offer to be the beloved candy of the weird brown alien, which was a huge mistake because 1. It would’ve been a huge help, and 2. Reese’s Pieces never would’ve gotten their big moment in the sun. Maybe they would’ve just been a failed candy of yesteryear!
Mac N’ Me – McDonald’s
Maybe the most brazen piece of product placement ever, Mac N’ Me is widely regarded as a 90 minute commercial for McDonald’s. It’s certainly not regarded as a movie — it’s just way too big a piece of garbage. There’s a whole dance sequence in a McDonald’s, because the food is so good. Sure, guys. Sure.
Wayne’s World – a bunch of stuff
An insanely good piece of product placement, where the product placement itself is a big joke/meta-commentary on the “ideals” and “principles” of artists. In fact, this joke was so good I even got it when I was, like, seven years old.
Risky Business – Ray-Bans
Sometimes you’ve just gotta say… buy some Ray Bans! What’s extra crazy about this one is that Tom Cruise did it all over again with Ray-Bans aviators a few years later in Top Gun. He’s just got a face that sells sunglasses, I guess.
Happy Gilmore – Subway
Adam Sandler films feature A LOT of product placement — Jack & Jill is about making an ad for Dunkin’ Donuts, for God’s sake. At least that movie’s product placement lead to maybe the only funny moment in the movie, where Adam Sandler’s ad executive and Al Pacino watch a Dunkin’ Donuts rap. The integration of Subway into Happy Gilmore’s plot is similar, but even more impressive (even if it is shameless), since it works so well to make Subway an official sponsor of the character Happy Gilmore in the movie.
The Firm – Red Stripe
Red Stripe’s brief yet prominent appearance in The Firm caused its sales to jump almost 50 percent. Also, this is another Tom Cruise movie, so it’s not just sunglasses that the guy can sell.
The Wizard – a smorgasbord of Nintendo products
While The Wizard was essentially a giant ad for Super Mario Bros. 3, they manage to fit some other Nintendo products in there too.
I bought all of these things. I am a rube 2 be advertised 2. Are you? Let us know on Twitter!