Thursday, March 21, 2013

Effective Product Placement: Portal 2

This weeks subject came to attention through unconventional means. Following last weeks massive content update I decided to take a well deserved break from work and opened Steam and decided to revisit one of my favourite games released by Valve - Portal 2. Portal 2 is Valves much adored sequel to their cult-like hit Portal.

While playing this game I found myself distracted in a testing room by a strange sound coming from a mysterious location. After a little investigation I found myself in a secret room with nothing but strange drawings and a speaker playing music. Once I inspected this further I noticed a painting on the wall behind the speaker that was actually advertising the band of the song coming from the radio. How random - I had found a product placement (and my next blog posting)!

I was intrigued - so much that I minimized my game and began researching this product placement on Google. It turns out the song was Exile Vilify by The National. The National and Portal 2 had been working together to co-promote each other. The National had recorded the song for Portal 2's soundtrack and then as part of an advertising campaign, for the band as well as the game, they had initiated a music video contest. Fans would submit their own music videos for a chance to win a prize package. Their responses to this contest where very positive - with 320 submissions, which were painstaking narrowed down to three winners - two tied for first place! According to; "winners received the same great prize package, the only difference being that place #1 will include a guitar and place #1.00000000001 will feature an Aperture Science messenger bag signed by the Portal 2 Team."

The winners can be seen at:

Would you consider this unique product placement effective? Give us your thoughts!

By: Scott Moodie

Pepsi Placement in the Ring

Fight Club: a movie with an almost cult following (based off the novel which didn't fare near as well), is exactly what it sounds like, a movie about fighting (theres a little more to it mind you but you get the idea). The movie however is riddled with product placement, from the camera staying over a volkswagen sign to people drinkig pepsi with the label out.
This however was a brilliant strategy for pepsi as it fit the future advertising they did with the UFC. Fight Club spot was the start of it all from the blatent advertising Pepsi must have found out that A) it was a good demographic market to choose and B) that it targeted it very well, while Coke is the dominant player in the soft drink industry in North America you would never know it by watching sports or music videos.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waynes World Meets Product Placement

When thinking about product placement in movies, no movie does it as blatantly as this scene in Waynes World. I think this scene hilarious, due to the fact they are making fun of product placement while the whole scene is actual product placement for multiple product such as pizza hut and Doritos, but it is also extremely effective as it is one of those scenes which when I think of Wayne's World sticks out in my mind so while it varies from the traditional way movies go about doing product placement I think it is equally effective.

By: Tim Calaiezzi

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Product Placement Overload: The Biggest Loser

How many product placements are too many? People only have a certain amount of tolerance for product placement before they feel less like they’re enjoying a television programme, and more like a well-targeted shopping network program. It is understandable that television programs need extra income to supplement their revenues and offset their costs, and the product placement is an effective way to issue advertisement to a target market; however at what point does it cross the line? 

According to an analysis by Neilsen in 2011, the biggest loser had charted a staggering 533 product occurrences for the year. Reading facts like this makes me wonder what differentiates programs like The Biggest Loser from an infomercial – it must be the prizes?

After viewing a more recent episode of this television programme, I personally am left wondering whether or not this is ethical. In the same episode of The Biggest Loser they speak to the importance of lowering the sodium content in a healthy diet, and then go on to promote “Light” Soups. In this product placement they speak to only the calorie content while complete neglecting to mention the sodium levels which typically amount from 20% to 40% of daily sodium intake per can. 

People who watch the show and seek information and recommendations on how to live an healthy and active lifestyle from this television show and make poorly informed decisions when buying the products because they think they will have the same results as show contestants. Is this unrealistic association ethical or should views know well enough to take these product placements with a grain of salt? What is your opinion?

By: Scott Moodie

American Idol and Product Placement

By: Alexander Dumo

American Idol, North America's beloved singing talent show is no stranger to product placement, gaining big sponsorships each year, and this year includes Coca-Cola, AT&T and Ford!

Ford includes their vehicles between segments with the Idol contestants, and provides viewers and fan with online promotions and prize packages for watching the show and visiting the site.

AT&T's brand name is usually most seen when the voting systems are live, where you either text, phone or vote online for your favourite Idol contestant!

However, the sponsor that takes that cake is easily Coca-Cola! Just looking at the following image it seems the most prevalent and is easily identifiable, even sometimes recognized before the actual stars sitting behind the cups!

Coca-Cola holding the #1 and #2 spot for most popular soft drinks in the US must not be enough, since they have to be on one of America's top singing talent shows as well!

History of Product Placement in James Bond Series

By: Tim Calaiezzi

As mentioned in previous blog about James Bond Skyfall, product placement is quite prominent in it. However what many may not realize there has been product placement throughout the James Bond series. The following is a history of noticeable product placements in the James Bond Series
The first James Bond film to have noticeable product placement was Dr. No in 1962.  Sean Connery  can be seen drinking Red Stripe lager, Pan Am was another company which had product placement in Dr. No as their planes were used as the main airline.

American Motors paid 5 million to have their AMC Hornet appear in “The man with the Golden Gun” driven by James Bond over a bridge.

The BMW 750IL was driven by James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Additionally Omega watch was first seen in Tomorrow Never Dies, and has continued to be part of product placement brands in recent Bond movies.

James Bond Gun, the PPFK Walther can be seen in all James Bond films it is one of the most prominent product placement in the Bond series.

Aston martin is the most prominent product placement and most well-known product placement brand. It can be seen in numerous James Bond films.

Virtual World = Virtual Advertising?

By: Alexander Dumo

King of sandbox/open world video games Rockstar Games, the creator of popular franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption is no stranger to fun and wacky product placement. Although they do not acquire big name brands for their games, they create fun mock-ups of popular products, gadgets, automobiles and food brands to incorporate into their realistic games.

Although some of these brands may not be too fond of being featured in such a "violent" video game, sometimes free product placement and marketing is a good thing!

"Brands" and products such as the following are some examples that can be found in the Grand Theft Auto video game:



Apple iMac

Branding The Apocalypse: Ineffective Product Placement

Many people have noticed the Hyundai product placements in AMC’s The Walking Dead. It is no secret that The Walking Dead has cooperated with Hyundai for their Drive to Survive advertising campaign, and that there are various placements of Hyundai vehicles in the show. People are questioning though whether or not the liberties they go to in order to highlight the product placements are necessary.

In The Walking Dead the world is a tattered, torn, muddy, dirty and dangerous version of its previous self – except for the nicely cleaned Hyundai ix35 that gets a questionable amount of camera time. Believer it or not, in this post apocalyptic world there are more product placements that you would think – identifies product placements from the following brands in The Walking Dead: Carrier, The Collins Company, Dairy Queen, Gerber Gear, Lipsey Water, Maytag, Mercedes-Benz, State Farm Insurance, Wenonah Canoe and Winnebago Industries. 

What do you think – does branding and product placement go unnoticed in The Walking Dead or does it make you question the legitimacy of the environment the creators of the show work so hard to create? Let us know!

Product Placement in James Bond Skyfall

by: Tim Calaiezzi

As product placement is becoming more popular among advertisers, movies and TV shows have begun to increase the amount of product placement and use the money received from advertisers to fund their production cost, an example of this is James Bond Skyfall. Skyfall production budget was 200 million dollars a large amount of that were covered by product placement fee by advertisers.
Heineken alone paid 45 million for James Bond drink to be switched from shaken vodka martini to Heineken as well as having Heineken mentioned by characters in the movie as the best pale lager. A very prominent brand product placement is Macallan whiskey, M and Bond can be seen drinking Macallan Whiskey as well as Silva offers James Bond a glass of Macallan whiskey when he captures Bond on the Island.  Other brands which have product placement in Skyfall are Omega watch which James Bond wears, Sony Vaio Laptop which is used most noticeably by Q.
 For all of the different bra product placements in the movie most of them are smoothly placed and not in your face product placement. I do believe a continued increase in the number product placement could ruin the James Bond series as numerous people have already raised their concern about that. Would an increase in product placement affect the quality of the movie?

Reese’s Pieces: capitalizing on placement opportunity

By: Nicholas Walko

Arguably the strongest and most effective use of product placement came upon Hershey before production of the classic film E.T. When Spielberg had originally written the movie he had wanted E.T to mutter M&M’s but simply couldn’t reach an agreement for the rights for them. So as history was rewritten Reese’s Pieces had to be used, this placement boded very well for Hershey as sales skyrocketed for the candy and helped the brand increase market share. This is one of the most successful uses of product placement in movies (save for cigarette brands in early films).
                The use of product placement in modern media is far more subtle than it was back then, whether it is certain car that someone gets into or a label on a can that is always facing a camera it almost appears subliminal these days, and certainly aren’t as memorable as E.T saying your brand of candy as he munches them down.

Military Video Games Attribute to Firearm Sales?

By: Alexander Dumo

Military video games such as the record-breaking Call of Duty franchise, as well as Medal of Honor and Battlefield may be attributing to firearm sales in the US. According to a national survey by Injury Prevention, 26% of individuals own a firearm. However, more individuals (including owners of these video games), are able to recall the names and manufacturer's of specific guns, just by the look of them.

Gun-makers such as Colt, Glock, McMillan and Magpul see video games as a large potential market for new customers, and game developers strive for realism when creating replica weapons in-game. Win-Win situation!

For more info, check out this interesting article from Tech News Daily!

Can you recognize any of these guns from playing military shooter video games?

Barrett M82A1
M16 Rifle

Product Placement Overload: House of Cards

The Netflix original series, House of Cards could be compared to an orchard at this point because you can’t look anywhere in the show without seeing Apples. Recently House of Cards has been making headlines for their blatant over-abundance of product placements in their television show. Shown in the image below is a prime example of product placement gone too far. Kevin Spacey may be a busy man but how many mobile devices can a man use at once?

Considering Netflix is not being paid to place these products in their show, it leaves one wondering how much product placement is too much. This may be free advertising for Apple but what does Netflix really have to gain from this? In my opinion, this is a smart move on Apple’s part but on House of Cards' part does the over saturation of product placement denote the shows integrity?

Is this creating a positive brand association or does it come off as a desperate for commercial content? Please leave us your opinion and if you’re seeking more information see the article from link below to!


Image Source: 

For more information visit:
\By: Scott Moodie

Air Force What? Product Showcasing in Nelly’s Air Force Ones

By: Nicholas Walko
The Song Air Force Ones is exactly what it sounds like, a song devoted to how much a couple of rappers likes a pair of series of Nike shoes. Is it a genuine liking for them or are they paid by Nike? I am suggesting it is both, the song itself I don’t see much value in but the amount of times it mentions the shoes is tremendous, with a music video of the rappers just throwing the shoe around and describing the functions and colours. If Nelly was not a baseball fanatic then I might believe it was genuine interest in the shoes the Nike probably paid to produce, but under these circumstances it looks like they made an infomercial for the shoes and had the rappers come up with a song in 10 minutes to play in the background.

American Comedy, American Food. Product Placement in Big Daddy

By: Nicholas Walko 

Sunny Koufax lives a life that relies heavily on different American restaurants such as Hooters and McDonalds and positively supports both especially a whole scene revolving around McDonalds breakfast. Secondly he openly supports different sports teams as he cheers for the New York Jets and has the Toronto Blue Jay on his wall. The sports teams don’t bother me as the character he plays but the restaurant scene is a little too much, product placement is one thing but having a large block of the movie dedicated to a happy meal, then showing how it would make a child happy?, shame Adam Sandler shame…

Transformers 1: Effective Advertising or Product Placement Overload?

By: Timothy Calaiezzi
Transformers 1 was an extremely successful movie. The box office results back that up as it was the highest grossing non sequel movie in 2007 as it grossed 709.7 million. Transformers is also known as one of most popular movies with significant product placement from General Motors, some have even criticized the movie saying it felt like a long GM ad.  The product placement occurs throughout the movie, Autobot transformers are all GM vehicles while government vehicles seen such as when Sam Wytwicky (Shia Labeouf) is arrested are also General Motors. 
I believe this was very effective advertising since the movie was a big success to begin with, furthermore while these products got a large amount of screen time it was all within the plot and did not take away from the overall movie. Another reason I believe GM product placement was also effective as it showed their vehicles in a positive light, as Transformers they were the stars of the movie. What do you think? Effective advertising, or product placement overload?