Home Entertainment Midweek Movie Mouth-Off: Product Placement versus Immersion

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


  1. Hugh Lashbrooke

    June 17, 2015 at 10:38

    It’s a small thing, but whenever some in a movie drinks a can of anything (beer, Coke, whatever) and they hold the can super awkwardly so that the logo is visible to the camera, it always breaks the feeling of immersion for me.


    • Sgt. M

      June 17, 2015 at 12:48



  2. Blood Emperor Trevor

    June 17, 2015 at 10:57

    James Bond sure loves his Sony products. Apple is another one that gets shown off quite often.


  3. Hargrim

    June 17, 2015 at 12:23

    The Pepsi machine scene in World War Z


    • Tracy Benson

      June 17, 2015 at 16:56

      Oh gosh how could I forget about that. That scene was so awkward!


  4. Alwynne Baatjies

    June 17, 2015 at 12:42

    All of Die Antwoord everywhere in Chappie!!! Ruined the movie for me


  5. Sgt. M

    June 17, 2015 at 12:47

    Jurassic World was a Mercedes Benz advertisement, but it did not hinder me feeling (and perhaps acting) like a 7 year old watching the original JP. I think if its done right you’ll walk out of the movie thinking “Damn I could really do with a *insert product here*”


    • Tracy Benson

      June 17, 2015 at 16:57

      That’s the thing. If you notice the product placement, it’s already failed. It has to be subtle.


  6. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    June 17, 2015 at 12:59

    Man of Steel. They made very sure to zoom into every single damn high profile shop in the fight in smallville. I don’t know about you but for a small farming town it sure had a load of brand names all over the place.


  7. Kervyn Cloete

    June 17, 2015 at 14:05

    And people still wonder why I hate the last Transformers movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs5bbWSrzBQ


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