Midweek Movie Mouth-Off: Product Placement versus Immersion

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There’s no denying that product placement in movies can do wonders for whatever they’re shilling. Risky Business helped bring a line of Ray-Bans back from the brink, E.T. gave Hershey a 65% boost in profits and GM specially made and sold over 60,000 Chevrolet Camaros thanks to Transformers.

That being said, obvious product placement can completely ruin the immersion. Very few things are as irritating as having a scene where a character answers a phone call, only to basically zoom in on the brand of phone they’re using, or have a very obvious shot of a car’s grill and logo instead of just, you know, the character just driving the car.

The most obvious product placement that I can remember irritating me was the scene where Will Smith gets his Converse sneakers in I, Robot. They played it off as his character getting a pair of classic shoes to show that he prefers old-school things to modern fanciness (or something), but really it was an excuse for Will Smith to fondle a pair of Chuck Taylors to give them screen time. It was totally obvious and totally unnecessary, and I even like Converse!

So what scene, from movie or TV, has broken your immersion so badly with product placement that it still sticks in your mind?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: June 17, 2015

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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