By on May 8, 2013
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Product placement in movies and television can be tricky. It gets hard for the viewer to suspend disbelief and get into a movie or television show when every character pulls up in a brand new model offered by a single manufacturer. I’m looking at you, producers of the 60 minute Chevrolet commercial that runs every Monday on CBS Hawaii Five- O.  I’m a cop who works a lot of overtime. The newest vehicle in my family’s personal fleet is seven years old. No new cars will be gracing my driveway any time soon.

It’s especially hard to pull off if you’re talking about a high- end product like a luxury automobile. Audi appears to be pushing the envelope this summer, with supporting roles for the Audi R8 in the new Iron Man 3 already being advertised. Judging from this commercial that appears to have first hit the web on May 6, it looks like we’ll be looking for the Audi rings to be prominently displayed on 23rd century land speeders in the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie as well. Still, it’s a funny and well done commercial that’s definitely worth a couple minutes of your time.

Hit the jump for the video that explains exactly what the hell Original Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is singing about if your knowledge of geek trivia is wanting…

Behold the wonder that is The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

Yes, this really happened. It was the sixties. Everyone was on drugs.

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You’re welcome.

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36 Comments on “Audi Boldly Goes Where No Product Placement Has Gone Before...”


  • avatar
    Tim_Turbo

    I hate all the shows that blur out/photoshop/remove the Ford/Chevy/Toyota etc badges. Gee you fooled me, I can’t tell that they are driving around in an Explorer!

    The worst example I’ve seen is in the show “The Glades” on A&E they are always fitting dialog in about how great the Kia’s are that they are driving….ohh this one has cooled seats and a heated steering wheel! This Sorrento has a 3rd row seat! It comes across as forced and silly. Meanwhile the main character drives around in a Dodge Charger that you can clearly see has a Rental barcode on it (I used to work in rental so can spot those a mile away).

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Kia’s product placement does tend to be a bit… forced. The ones in The Voice too, seem forced and jarring. Dropping the artists a few feet into the stage in an SUV? Really? I think these type of advertisement hardly promotes positive feeling about the product.

      • 0 avatar
        photog02

        Nothing beats the Kia placement in the Walking Dead. That both out of place and impossible to explain when everyone else is driving a mid-80s beater.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Very much agreed, the FWD only teal green Tuscon they drive is horrendously out of place, I truly hope its costs sales just because of how ridiculous it is (c’mon Hyundai I might believe a neutral color 4WD Santa Fe, but this girly green thing?). Incidentally if you watch in Season 2 when Shane is inside of it for the first time, you can see its mileage its something like 200. So to explain it it would be “damn I just bought this thing, rode out of town, and the zombie apocalypse happened”)

          You’ll also see in season 3 however a 98+ beige Panther is used when Andrea leaves the prison.

          • 0 avatar
            markholli

            How idiotic is the notion that in the throes of the zombie apocalypse, when the survivors could chose to drive whatever they could find the keys to (including luxury marques, or even more logical, military vehicles), that they would chose to drive a Kia?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Lol, so I’m not the only one to find that funny, you get the cheesiest vehicle they could find to film with. Also kinda wierd how all of the vehicles they have are 2wd, the suburban, the Dodge..
            But w/e doesn’t have to make sense, just like the idea that gas with ethanol in it is still good after setting for 3 years.(though now I’m just nitpicking) still one of my favorite shows.

            I guess the only saving grace is that their using a vehicle that no one could give a Damn about if it was destroyed, unlike the Dukes of Hazzard, or the mythbusters Impala BS

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Nimoy’s singing was bad, but Shatner’s “Mr Tamborine Man” was epically worse… Good thing they had day jobs!

  • avatar
    mike978

    I am surprised that Audi is linked with the new Star Trek film because Mazda is tying in the new 6 with the film. Unusual for two different car companies to sponsor the same film.

    • 0 avatar
      Pebble

      The most egregious car product placement I’ve seen was Patricia Arquette’s TV series “Medium.” In one episode her character is driving around in a new GMC Terrain, and they have her talking on the phone about the spiffy features of this Government Motors SUV. Lame-o.

      • 0 avatar
        Geekcarlover

        Never watched Medium, but was assaulted with The Sopranos Porsche Cayenne infomercial. I understand the need for sponsors to offset the cost of production, but it really can get over the top.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        _Fringe_ did a bunch of that with Nissans, and Toyota had a few cringeworthy ad-dialogue bits in _Bones_..

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      if you look carefully they dont mention Star Trek at all

      all they have is two actors driving to a game of golf

      its up to you to fill in the gaps

  • avatar
    sportsuburbangt

    I just watched The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins……….

    I will never be the same!

  • avatar
    thanh_n

    It’s a well done ad, especially the self-driving car at the end.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    I’ve got to say, Nimoy seems like one cool dude.

    How about a new web series with these guys??! Kind of like Curb Your Enthusiasm with a Sci-Fi cast… (Next episode: William Shatner parks in Nimoy’s space at the club, and he’s driving a *gasp* Lincoln MKZ! F@ck!)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d watch that, esp since I don’t think Larry David is coming back to do another “Curb” and if he does I would suspect it would be the final season.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I dunno about that. Placing AMC products in a James Bond film, “The Man with the Golden Gun” in a car chase scene that takes place in Bangkok in the early 1970s…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDO9z_udQr0

    That’s the product placement of a lifetime. Audi was in that “I Robot” movie a few years back that’s supposed to take place a few years ahead…

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      Back when I drove a Hornet I used to point out to friends “It’s good enough for James @$#%& Bond.” Besides, it’s not like I could afford a DB5, or would even know where to look for a Toyota GT 2000.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Dallas” on TNT very prominently features Chevrolet’s offerings – not that I mind, but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing other makes now and then, but if they’re paying the bills – or a good portion of them…well, you know how it is.

    BTW, “Dallas” is a very good show.

    It’s business, after all, and nothing is free.

    Too bad no OEM will sponsor all the 15-20 year-old derelict VWs, Taurus and other cars seen on “Revolution”. That would be a hoot! “Our cars WERE new once upon a time!”

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Zackman, I guess they comb the yards for cars to look old and neglected. I figure that when they manage to start a car, it will be a new for today model. Maybe a new convertible Vette…I’d love too Daniella Alonso coming out of one in a tank top…she is hawt!! And the primary reason I watch the show.

  • avatar
    Mattsterzz

    The worse show would be bones. I’ve seen two episodes where they have a scene talking about the features of the proud, and one scene, where they discuss the features of the new camry. I also recall watching an episode of desperate housewives (yes, its one of my favorite shows, get over it), where the whole episode was surrounding that one of the characters brought a lexus ls600hl

    • 0 avatar
      Tim_Turbo

      Well, the Camry does have stuff guys like, like rims and sleekness of the body. Not to mention they are rumored to be grounded to the ground….

  • avatar
    philadlj

    1967′s “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space” is one of my all-time favorite albums simply because it is so very ridiculous. And it’s also an album put out by friggin’ MR. SPOCK.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I have a copy of “A Visit to a Sad Planet”.

      “…they called it…Earth!”

      This came out on 45 rpm in 1967. It was the flip side of the “Star Trek” theme.

      If you think that’s bizarre, find a copy of “Cosmic Sounds – the Zodiac”. I doubt you’ll be the same person if you can get through it. After all, according to the liner notes, it “Must be played in the dark”… Of course we did that, too…

  • avatar
    StephenT

    From the other side of the spectrum, my wife used to work on a soap opera and 90% of the character’s cars were Nissan Altimas. Was Nissan paying some huge sponsorship for this? Nope, just the Enterprise they rented from for shoots had 90% Altimas 90% of the time. Sometimes TV isn’t what it seems…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I liked the ad, wish more were like it… gets the point across and gives you something to laugh at.

    I haven’t been in an S-class since the 2005 generation, but if they’ve gotten so stupid that you can’t fit a normal bag it would instantly be removed from my list if I was a big spender (the style of bag used by Nimoy hasn’t been sold for many years and isn’t a realistic test).

    • 0 avatar
      alfabert

      “Old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time.”

      A CLS550 is not an S-Class. However, the W126 ’91 300SE, obsolescent, comparatively slow, and relatively devoid of electronic doodads as it is, nonetheless as kept in its pur-sang ex-Sindelfingen state, very much is one.

      It gets an oil change tomorrow, as it’s up to 30,380 miles (and barely 16MPG with an inline 3.0 liter six). It would have benefitted from a fifth gear or a lower final drive ratio, had they been available ex-works. Yet even without, it is the most serene vehicle I have ever owned or experienced in motion at any speed. No problem with trunk loading of photon torpedoes, golf clubs, etc. either. Only a couple of generations newer than the original TV series, also.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I missed the “CLS” designation on the first pass through the commercial… funny Audi chose to match its full size A8 against the smaller “four door coupe” instead of its proper equivalent, the S-class (Perhaps Spock’s bag would have fit in it?).

        I’m envious, keep treating your W126 well and one day when my youth turns to old age I can buy it and put the next 30K on its clock.

    • 0 avatar
      alfabert

      “Old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time.”

      A CLS550 is not an S-Class. However, the W126 ’91 300SE, obsolescent, comparatively slow, and relatively devoid of electronic doodads as it is, nonetheless as kept in its pur-sang ex-Sindelfingen state, very much is one.

      It gets an oil change tomorrow, as it’s up to 30,380 miles (and barely 16MPG whttp://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-admin/profile.phpith an inline 3.0 liter six). It would have benefitted from a fifth gear or a lower final drive ratio, had they been available ex-works. Yet even without, it is the most serene vehicle I have ever owned or experienced in motion at any speed. No problem with trunk loading of photon torpedoes, golf clubs, etc. either. A car only a couple of generations newer than the original TV series, and well within its capabilty to bring back alive.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Whatever TOS characters.

    Jonathan Frakes has a a convoy of scantily-clad models carry around his golf bag.

  • avatar

    THIS IS STUPID.

    #1 They compare an S7 to a CLS550. Why not the AMG?

    #2 Comand is FAR EASIER to use than that SHIT Audi calls “MMI”.

    #3 Old Spock is BETTER than Young Spock.

    Still, I have NO IDEA what this movie is about. I was expecting Klingons or Khan.

    Is it called “INTO DARKNESS” because Spock is sleeping with Uhura?

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Mister Nimoy is getting into the Bob Dylan range of vocal flexibility, I’m afraid (although of course he’s 10 years older than Dylan); nonetheless I enjoyed seeing this. But it’s a misfire in the sense that it doesn’t make me want to see the movie, which indeed has been rumored to

      (spoiler alert)

      feature yet another appearance by, as the fans call him, Spock Prime. By contrast to the original crew in (to take the obvious example) The Wrath of Khan, this crew hasn’t spent enough time together – either in real life or in the story continuing from the 2009 movie – to undergo summer-movie-sized villainy in 3D with any kind of satisfying result; I wouldn’t expect more than a thrill ride with ‘splosions.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “They compare an S7 to a CLS550. Why not the AMG?”

      Because then you’d need an RS7.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    This is nothing new vis a vis the product placement in TV shows. Any one remember all those Quinn Martin productions with the Fords? How about the original Hawaii Five-O? The only thing was nobody ever commentated on the products, they just were, to the point of ridiculousness as in the Rockford Files continuity errors when GM changed the 1977 Firebirds.

    The commercial is a hoot but ultimately a failure. I doubt that the A8 or the R8 stand out enough to make a difference over the MB. Even having the bag problem isn’t too much of a demerit to count. They should have given Leonard’s phone a problem or something more obvious.


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