I see. I still doubt its that hard to find funding though when the words "Star Trek" are mentioned. If it was there wouldn't be 12 movies.
Times change. Star Trek
was very popular for a while, but then its popularity faded. Paramount decided to relaunch it as a tentpole franchise, but they could no longer rely on the popularity it had formerly had a decade earlier. They had to approach it the same way they'd approach any other tentpole revival of a moribund franchise, the way they did with Mission: Impossible
(remember, it was Abrams's success with M:I:III that convinced Paramount to ask him to do the same for Star Trek
, its other Desilu-legacy franchise).
And, again, movies these days are insanely freaking expensive
. You simply cannot rely on word of mouth when your film costs nine figures to make.
I just really feel that having an obvious product placement in the 'future' just cheapens the magic of the story a bit no matter the reason.
Like I said, some corporations have endured for centuries, a few for over a millennium. If we saw, say, Obi-Wan Kenobi downing a Pepsi or Bilbo Baggins wearing Levis, that would be a bit much, but the Star Trek
universe is supposed to be the future of our Earth, and it's not that implausible that Budweiser, a brand that's already 136 years old, or Nokia, a company that was founded 147 years ago, would still exist 232-243 years from now.
I remember a Trek novel from the '80s, Crisis on Centaurus
by Brad Ferguson, that had a scene with a Tellarite on Alpha Centauri using an American Express ATM. And that wasn't even a paid product placement. The author just assumed that some recognizable elements of our era would survive into the future.
Might as well paint the Enterprise up like a NASCAR.
Well, that's obviously not going to happen, but I wouldn't find it unbelievable if we saw that some of its components were imprinted with the names of real aerospace contractors or the like. The Space Shuttle's robot arm had its builder's logo on it, and I've seen photos of things like satellites or ISS components that had their makers' logos on them -- just as most vehicles and equipment down here on Earth are branded with their makers' logos. If anything, seeing all these futuristic spaceships in TV and movies without any manufacturers' logos of any kind on them is rather unrealistic.