Wearing brand-name watches or any other product in films or television is called product placement and costs the manufacturer-advertiser quite a hefty sum. In some instances, the actor’s dialogues includes the brand’s name, which commands even higher ad dollars.
Of course, if you have an A-List actor tied to the project, and the advertiser wants the star to wear their product, the actor will be involved in the approval process. After all, it is the actor’s role and celebrity reputation has everything to do with the advertising campaign’s successful results. While the whole thing feels so commercial, and non feature-film-like, the additional income helps pay for the sky-high production costs that accompanies all of these action films.
Once the actor approves the use of the product placement, the wardrobe team gets involved in determining how to incorporate the watch or watches that are being advertised into the wardrobe scheme.
The storyboard group also needs to incorporate the timepieces into the shots. Most likely the advertiser is paying for one to five seconds of close-ups on the watch and that doesn’t just happen by accident. It must be included in the choreography of the script so the camera crew will know when and where to make it happen.
So you can see, incorporating products into movies and television shows requires a great deal of thought and planning. As you’ll see from these photos, wristwatch placement is much more subtle than promoting products such as a box of Cheerios. If you haven’t observed any product placements, you might just be getting the subliminal messages without the conscious realization. Although most times, the intention is for the product to stand out, not blend in.
We’ve gathered some of the finest wristwatch product placements we could find and many are shown in our favorite action films. After you take a look at the line-up, think about how many of these timepieces you think you may have noticed while watching the flick.
We have to wonder, are these watch manufacturers getting their money’s worth on subliminal results or are they going to have to create louder and more intrusive ways? Now we see advertisements while we are waiting for the trailers so we can get to the movie we paid to see. How long will it take before product placement takes over the action and becomes yet another high profile advertising venue.
Let us know what you think about this practice. Is product placement something that should be minimized? Or are you ready for an onslaught of additional advertising messages while you are being entertained? We hope advertisers will leave something alone for just sheer enjoyment, but in this world full of commerce, it is pretty clear the direction in which things are heading.
10. Men in Black III, Hamilton Ventura XXL: $1,345
We love the Men In Black series and if you take a look at this shot, both actors’ watches are being displayed. The Ventura is one cool watch and was made as a limited edition by Hamilton. Both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are wearing the same Ventura model, which is considered to be the most iconic model in American history because it was originally introduced in 1957 and was an Elvis favorite.
9. Miami Vice, IWC Aquatimer: $5,790
Jamie Foxx wore an IWC Schaffhausen Aquatimer during many scenes in the Miami Vice film. It’s a little hard to spot, but the Aquatimer is running around with Foxx throughout the movie. This particular model fit in well with the action, as it is water resistant, auto-winding and looks stylish for any occasion. There are less and more expensive models of the Aquatimer line, however, we think this is the model that Foxx wore during filming.
8. Skyfall, Omega Seamaster: $5,950
James Bond and high-end watches are a natural combination. In the latest Bond flick, the Omega Seamaster Professional Co-Axial is the one choice. Of course, Daniel Craig is one of Omega’s spokespeople as he gives the brand that classy, rugged, hunk image. Omega’s wristwatches have been featured in seven Bond films, so they must definitely be getting a return on their advertising placements.
7. Le Mans, TAG Heuer Monaco: $6,520
Steve McQueen was an extremely well-known actor after starring in high-profile roles, such as Le Mans, where McQueen plays a high-speed race car driver. The TAG Heuer Monaco was also a star in this movie. The watch was only one-year old when it was placed in this film. It’s water-resistant square case is a part of its unique charm, along with the blue dial. This model has remained a favorite over the years.
6. Friends with Benefits, Breitling Chronomat 44 B01: $7,500
Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis were co-stars in this film with excellent on-screen chemistry. Although the two had a believable relationship on-screen, they are just friends off screen, without the benefits. However, another thing that shone bright in this film was the Breitling watch worn by Timberlake. In the scene above, Justin is properly displaying the classic Breitling Chronomat 44 B01 while he deeply focuses on his Internet surfing.
5. Dr. No, Rolex NATO strap Submariner: $10,500
This is an iconic Bond photo with Sean Connery and Ursula Andress getting up close and personal. However, look at how well this Rolex is featured by the placement of Connery’s arm. The Seamaster line was introduced in 1948 and Omega claims it is the perfect underwater design and they have developed several models within this line to appeal to various levels of activity.
4. The Lincoln Lawyer, TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Chronometer: $11,300
The current Academy Award winner, Matthew McConaughey, is sporting this professional-looking TAG Heuer Grand Carrera while he uses his legal acumen and sex appeal all at the same time. The Lincoln Lawyer was the watch’s debut and its brown alligator strap and silver dial are flashed by its wearer, who provides close-up opportunities throughout the film.
3. Fast and Furious 6, Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph: $17,500
Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker starred in the sixth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise and so did this Jaeger-LeCoultre. This timepiece is being called “an extreme watch” which means it can handle all of the high-speed action the film puts out.
2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Edition Kurt Klaus: $33,000
Gordon Gekko would never be caught dead wearing an inexpensive watch, now would he? We’re guessing that neither would Michael Douglas. This IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Edition Kurt Klaus is replete with date, day, month, four-digit year and moon phase displays. To celebrate this limited edition of 1,000 watches, there is an engraved portrait of Kurt Klaus on the back cover.
1. The Bourne Legacy, IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Edition Top Gun: $42,000
Jeremy Renner is the face of the latest Bourne movie, The Bourne Legacy. Although we miss Matt Damon, Jeremy has done a great job living up to the part. The Top Gun edition of this incredible IWC Pilot’s Double Chronograph is what Renner wears throughout the film. The dial is a classic cock-pit type design, which means that it has the traditional black and white styling that most pilot’s watches include, plus it has an altimeter-type date display. Luckily for Jason Bourne, the watch has a 7-day power reserve which is perfect for those periods of time when he is forced to go off-grid to plot his next move.