QOTD: What Was the Greatest Automotive Product Placement?
There’s a questionable spy photo of the next-generation Ram 1500 floating around. “Questionable,” because since the dawn of time, a Ram pickup, whether prefixed by “Dodge” or not, has retained solid, distinctive, and simple lines.
Unfortunately, the 2019 model seen in the photo appears with an odd mish-mash of Silverado and Tundra styling cues in place of today’s handsome front fenders and traditional crosshair grille. This got the TTAC chatroom talking. After all, the Ram nameplate is well-known for taking a styling direction and running with it for decades. Two styles over 40 years, essentially.
That got us talking about the most memorable Rams, the most quintessential and Rams, and, eventually, to the most famous Ram of them all.
While we all remember the solid, conservative model that kicked off the Ram nameplate in 1981, it’s the 1994 model that everyone remembers most. It’s not just because the bold redesign pushed Ram sales from a middling amount (compared to its Detroit Three rivals) into the stratosphere, nor because the model debuted the innovative Quad Cab bodystyle or offered an optional V10 megablock under the hood.
No, you also remember it from a summer blockbuster movie. The TTAC crew agrees that the Dodge Ram’s appearance in the 1996 film Twister represents the pinnacle of automotive product placement. The most effective, the most widely seen, the most memorable. That red, extended cab pickup was as much a star of that flick as Helen Hunt or Bill Paxton, may he rest in peace. Chrysler Corporation execs must have been salivating, eyes rolled back in their heads, at this feature-length advertisement.
“Oh man…..it went through that HOUSE! Try doing that in a Ford or Chevy. You can’t! I f***ing dare you!”
While this author is pretty adamant he’s in the right on this, other examples of automotive product placement abound. Off the top of my head, I could list some Bond films that really pushed the limits — saturating the screen with Chevrolets, AMCs (that was weird), Fords, and BMWs.
What’s your pick for the best starring role by a contemporary car or truck model?
[Images: Brian Cantoni/ Flickr, Twister/Warner Brothers]
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