TV viewers continuously find ways to avoid advertising of any description by subscribing to ad-free online services such as Netflix or by recording TV shows to allow them to skip those pesky marketing messages telling everyone to buy more stuff.
Changing viewing habits have forced the marketing agencies to think outside the box and dramatically increase product placement in movies which may answer that nagging realisation that literally every family represented in modern cinema owns a large quantity of Apple products and drinks copious amounts of Budweiser.
Anyone that has found themselves sitting through a lazy and truly awful movie that is completely lacking in any artistic merit wondering why it ever got made in the first place might not realise that they have been watching a 90 minute long advert.
With some motion pictures clocking nearly 100 product placements in a single movie, maybe audiences are not as desensitised to marketing messages after all and their lust for desirable products that they want but don’t actually need are caused by the subliminal advertising technique known as product placement.
10. Sex and the City 2
All sequels are notoriously poor when compared to their original counterpart, but most people would agree that both of these films should be forgotten as nothing more than a shameless cash-in on the TV show’s popularity.
Whilst the original Sex and the City film notched up an impressive 67 product placements, its sequel managed to feature a whopping 94 brand partners that fit into the film’s storyline that consists of what the lead female characters wear and eat for a mind-numbing 2 and a half hours.
The world of advertising dubbed the release as the “the Super Bowl for women” but fans were too busy trying to get to grips with Samantha and her obsession with the HP TouchSmart 600.
9. Superman Man of Steel
A film’s success used to be judged on it’s opening weekend box office receipts. However, for Man of Steel, Warner Brothers had almost 100 promotional partners to earn $170m (£109m) before a single ticket was even sold.
The studio had essentially recouped three-quarters of the $225 million the movie cost to make. This took away the usual risks of the high costs involved in making a big summer blockbuster movie. When Ryan Newey of the advertising agency Fold7 was challenged about this tactic, he replied “Brands are a part of our routine. We receive 5,000 messages every day – if a film were brand-less, it would not be real life.”
Against all the odds and marketing dollars, millions of people who saw the movie still resisted the urge to buy a Nokia phone in Sears.
8. Pain and Gain
Pain and Gain, notched up an impressive 39 different brands that all featured in the movie about a trio of bodybuilders getting caught up in an extortion ring washed down with some good old-fashioned kidnapping for good measure.
The product placements in this case were all incidental, but we can only be thankful that nobody said the words “Can you smell what the rock is cooking?” because we might have seen a heavily sponsored reply followed by phrase “terms and conditions may apply” delivered at 100 miles per hour.
7. Casino Royale
James Bond has been dabbling in the world of product placement before most of us were even born, whether it be Sean Connery drinking a bottle of Red Stripe before taking a Pan Am flight in Dr No, the countless cars that frequent all of the movies or Pierce Bronson proudly displaying his Omega timepiece to detonate a bomb.
However, the embarrassingly obvious products on display during Casino Royale angered many loyal Bond fans as our beloved characters almost broke the fourth wall on several occasions to reveal their love for featured luxury items.
An entire scene devoted to discussing Omega watches along with sony laptops and mobiles on display throughout big scenes were the big offenders that ended up becoming a big distraction during the movie.
6. Transformers: Age of Extinction
A colossal 55 brands including the usual suspects such as Armani, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Victoria’s Secret to name but a few in a desperate bid to divert your attention from just how bad the movie is.
However, the ever watchable Stanley Tucci happily played along by holding up a Beats speaker or even drink a carton of Yili milk drink whenever prompted, whilst some believe you could actually see dollar signs in his eyes if you played the film back in slow motion on the Blu-ray version.
5. Gone Girl
Before that infamous scene, a creepy Desi Collings takes bunny boiler Amy Dunne into his bedroom and says the words “Great view when you’re in the mood, blockout curtains when you’re not. The bed is Savoir, you’ll never get a better sleep.”
Meanwhile, a frantic Nick Dunne can be seen driving his Volvo XC90 much to the delight of Volvo who are so excited they start Tweeting to make the most out of this opportunity.
With this in mind, it will probably be of no surprise that Gone Girl featured a substantial 47 products in the hit film that in many ways feels even darker than its subject matter of a monster that might be sharing your bed.
4. Transformers Dark of the Moon
Some movie franchises like nothing better than a good product placement and the Transformers series is certainly no exception with a mammoth 71 products featured during the motion picture.
Heavyweights such as CNN, Fox News, Cisco all featured heavily, but the biggest loser was the hapless Nokia whose product placement ended up being incredibly dated by the films release thanks to their partnership with Microsoft.
Meanwhile, actor/artist Shia LaBeouf happily tapped away on a Lenovo laptop with the largest sized font available, blissfully unaware of the Bill Hicks mantra “You do a commercial – you’re off the artistic roll call, forever”
3. 22 Jump Street
Although 22 Jump Street exercises a certain amount of self-awareness, it doesn’t take long until you realise that nearly everyone in the film seems to possess Sony Xperia devices such as phones, tablets and Sony Vaio computers.
The ultimate meta-movie showcases 32 examples of product placements that range from Doritos to Lamborghini’s and is the perfect example of fast food cinema where the masses are ushered in to grab a few laughs, watch a few subliminal adverts before returning to the car park unfulfilled largely forgetting what they had just seen.
2. Captain America Winter Soldier
Sometimes subtlety is thrown completely out of the window and better to hammer home that marketing message with wild abandon.
In Winter Soldier, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) decide to visit the Apple Store only to be greeted by the over eager and sometimes annoying “Apple Genius” with a brief to approach and engage our favourite superheroes for one of those awkward “I’m just looking thanks” moments.
The constant bombardment of Apple products throughout the film, quickly became a distraction, secretly leaving the viewer pondering a Bizarro World where Superheroes themselves become product placement for McDonalds and Coca Cola commercials.
1. The Internship
The sad moment when cinema traded its artistic license for a 2 hour Google recruitment tool that promises lucky interns a corporate magic kingdom where employees ride around on colourful bikes with perma smiles before jumping on a slide at quitting time.
Predictably there was an abundance of Android phones and Chromebook laptops and even free food for all that followed which is slightly contrasting from the usual reality of an unpaid intern for a tech company.
Despite all this, the most baffling scene of the whole movie featured the manager taking his young interns to a strip club which along with the film itself left a very bad taste in the mouth.