So, umm, have you driven a Ford lately?
Photo credit: Ford
Commentary After watching the latest Bond film, we're beginning to wonder whether Bond's so angry just because of all the products he's meant to spruik. We wonder whether he's reading this story right now on his Intel-inside PC...
So last night Sony held a press screening of the latest James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. Before you ask: it's okay, not a patch on Casino Royale but still better than anything from the Pierce Brosnan era. It wasn't the comical excuse for a story, the rapid fire action scenes nor the plot holes so large that you could drive a small sultanate through them that really got our brain juices flowing — well actually they were, but I'm neither David nor Margaret — but product placement.
You see, when the movie was introduced by the folks at Sony, we were told to keep an eye out for the Sony Ericsson phones used by the guys and gals at MI6. That's all well and good, but instantly my mind dropped back to the ignominous scene in GoldenEye where 007 tools away in a four-cylinder BMW Z3. As a Q special, I couldn't think of a car less fitting of Bond's martini-swilling, femme fatale-wooing image. And all this because BMW drove up to EON headquarters with a stretch limo filled with cash.
There's a lot about paid product placement that gets under my skin, especially if it contrevenes either the spirit of a film, or in the case of Bond or the Transformers, the characters themselves. But this commentary piece isn't a rant about that and people, like myself, who like to dream about some mythic, more innocent era where marketers stayed the hell away from entertainment would do well to remember the US quiz show scandals of the '50s; if that doesn't ring a bell, borrow a copy of Quiz Show.
Rather, the purpose of this piece is to find out from you, our dear readers, what you think of product placement. Do the products spruiked become cooler and linger in your subconscious, do you actively staw away from obviously placed items, or does it not make one scintilla of difference?
If you need any help recounting, here's a less than exhaustive list of placements:
- Lexus concept car in Minority Report
- Fed Ex, Wilson and Dr Pepper in Cast Away
- All Autobots are GM vehicles in Michael Bay's Transformers
- Sony Vaio laptops in So You Think You Can Dance?
And if you want to stretch things further, feel free to consider whether anyone has ever jumped from one fee-sucking bank to another because their favourite footy team plays at ANZ Stadium?
Please leave your comments, as well as your product placement lowlights, in the section below and don't forget to take our less than scientific poll to the right.