Ford Scoops Movie Product Placement Award

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I reckon if a product placement calls attention to itself, then it makes moviegoers groan and say (silently) "I paid for a goddamn movie, not a commercial!" Apparently, couldn't care less. They base their Brandcameo Award on the number of cinematic product placements in number one ranked movies (1251 brands counted in total). "Ford— for the third straight time— topped all other brands, appearing in 30 of the 52 number one films at the US box office from January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008. Ford’s 57.7 percent appearance rate in top films is a marked increase over its 18 of 41 appearances in 2005 (44 percent) and 17 of 41 in 2006 (41 percent)." (FYI: Transformers, Bucket List, I Am Legend, American Gangster and taxis aplenty). Unfortunately, the man responsible for all this screen time, Mark Kaline, was written out of Ford's script. Or perhaps he's just in development Hell.

Robert Farago
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  • JuniorMint JuniorMint on Aug 20, 2008

    As someone who used to really like GM products until I realized that they spent more time in the shop than in my driveway, I almost walked out of Transformers. That was absolutely sickening. Jazz's change to a Pontiac (!) was bad enough. Nixing Bumblebee's Beetle in favor of a freaking CAMARO, however, was just insulting. I don't understand it as a product placement: anyone who's likely to notice would be equally likely to be irritated. The GM trucks, of course, I could understand...there's plenty of them sitting unmolested on dealer lots for alien robots to inspect. Nope, nooooobody bothering them. Especially not customers. If the robots had REALLY wanted to blend in, they should all have disguised themselves as Camries.

  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Aug 21, 2008

    @billc83: Seriously, I want some statistics showing any signifigant bump in auto purchases that were actually inspired by seeing a car in a movie recently. It's hit or miss. The original Knight Rider TV series probably sold more than a few black Trans Ams, as did the movie, Smokey and the Bandit. I also recall a few middle-aged women in the early 1980s who referred to their BMW 6-series as a "Mattie Hayes coupe" (from Moonlighting). But overall, does it make a difference? Probably not. Non-car people don't notice the product placements, and car people get annoyed at watching a movie or show that is set in a world where all of the vehicles are made by a single manufacturer...such as Bewitched, where you only saw Chevrolets and an occasional car from another GM division. Or the Andy Griffith Show, where the only non-Ford vehicles were the ones having car trouble, or being worked on at the service station by Goober, Gomer or Wally.

  • JuniorMint JuniorMint on Aug 21, 2008

    The weirdest product placement movie I've ever seen has to be Tremors 3, which featured every kind of Explorer ever manufactured and even Ford news vans. It was truly bizarre. Considering the budget of that movie, however, I don't think it was so much a "let's sponsor this movie" deal as a "i'm the director and my brother owns a ford dealership" deal.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Aug 21, 2008

    Man, you guys must be new! Don't you remember the good old days where every, and I mean *every*, Quinn Martin Production was sponsored by Ford? The Rockford Files continuity errors when dear old Jim was about to trash the Firebird it would change into an older model? This is as old as TV. And even older in the movies and just as blatant back then as now. At least with the clip there was some justification: in the original, Heston drove a Mach 1. Logically though it doesn't make a bit of sense; at the end of the world most gas would evaporate and you definitely wouldn't be driving something with an overly complex supercharger on it. Something like a Cummins would work just fine tho.