Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Shaka Zulu, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well Said. It's like people forgot that the old Superman movies were loaded with product placement



    Superman 1 had a Cheerios box placed right in view

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    Superman 2 had a dozen product placements

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    Superman 3 had KFC

    "Man of Steel" has Carl's Jr Burgers and Nokia
     
  2. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Product placement is one thing that makes these expensive movies possible, kiddies. Deal with it.

    It was a lot less egregious in this movie than in the Reeve movies. The Cheerios cereal box (Cheerios gets a credit at the end of the film, no fooling) that Ma Kent sets out for breakfast actually changes position from shot to shot so what the brand name is clearly visible in each one. And who can forget how they featured the giant illuminated Coca-Cola sign smack in the middle of a fight scene in Superman II?

    "Realism is irrelevant in a superhero movie" is a bullshit premise. Bringing as much realistic detail to bear as possible in these things creates a verisimilitude that really helps to sell the fantasy.

    Buying a brand-name burger on his way to the press conference at the end of Iron Man is just about the best thing Tony Stark does in that movie. :lol:
     
  3. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't mind product placement when it's done well enough to feel natural. The kind I do have a problem with is when it becomes part of the plot, like say, an episode of a TV show written around it, characters interacting with it and even speaking its name out loud. Like for instance, one TV show had the character shopping for a new car and was all excited about the self-parking Ford Focus, mentioning all of the features they had on the car and showing the character engage the self-park. They used a whole scene of about 5 minutes for this. Another episode of the same show had them using lipton ice-tea packets, mentioning them by name and acting all impressed.

    I think that product placement works best when it's subtle. If it's too obvious, it can have the opposite effect.
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Eh, that one is bad. Tony Stark the billionaire playboy wants an "American cheeseburger" as one of the first things he gets when he gets back from (months?) in captivity in the Middle East. I guess at some point he decided he didn't need a real American cheeseburger and decided just to get drive-thru on the way to press conference instead.

    I want to say that was an episode of the final season of "House", at least I remember an episode where a Focus was shown rather prominently including a commercial-like shot of the rear quarter of the car showing the Ford oval and name badge on the car's trunk deck.
     
  5. FreezeC77

    FreezeC77 Commodore Commodore

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    There was nothing done in this movie to merit the level of 'egregious' that has not been done in the past as pointed out previously.

    Anyone saying otherwise is viewing the world through childhood memories and letting them impact what you accepted then vs what you accept now.
     
  6. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Heh, nope, though maybe it was since I haven't watched it, but I was thinking of Being Erica. Those were the two moments that really stood out for me, in a bad way, and struck me as rather desperate, and particularly because it had never done product placement as bluntly. Came off feeling like we were watching a commercial, not a TV show. I know you've watched the series, so that's what you were probably thinking of. It was in the 4th and last season.
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I've not yet watched the 4th season of Being Erica, all the same the last season of House had plenty of Ford car commercials built into the episodes.
     
  8. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yikes. Okay, that's pretty darn bad.

    I can't find a clip of the House episode, but I don't think it was quite that bad. Not nearly. Just some car commercial-like shots of the car and the name badge on it (I think it was the Focus too) there may have been some lip service to the Sync system on it. But, wow, that Being Erica clip is.... WOW.
     
  10. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, when that first aired, it took me out of the moment, which is exactly what you don't want in a TV show. Felt more like the characters were trying to sell a product rather than telling a story, and that's where I felt it crossed the line. Pretty shameful. Later on in the episode, they revisit that by saying she bought the car.
     
  11. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Again, sort of going back to the earliest days of television when news hosts or TV characters literally WOULD stop the story and show to pitch and product.

    The House thing was just silly but it wasn't completely pulling you out of the show it was just shot like a commercial for a moment and maybe a line or two on the features of the car which, yeah, maybe can be waved away along the lines of someone just expressing the neat features of it, or something. Whatever. But when you're actually writing a scene SPECIFICALLY around selling something it changes the game. That Being Erica scene served no other point than to show off the car. The conversation she's having with [forget her name] wasn't too important and could have been covered in a plain driving scene, a walk-and-talk or them sitting at a cafe. But, no, we need a scene built around showing off the Sync system of the car and the auto-park feature. And who the hell asked the guy or gave him permission to Sync Erica's phone to the damn car anyway and how did he do that without having her phone in the first place?!

    Anyway, I got my S3 and S4 DVD of the show recently and need to watch through them. (I was watching S3 on TV but got side-tracked and the "group therapy" sessions weren't interesting me too much.)
     
  12. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly. It's a shame too because otherwise, it's a good show and it was a good episode other than that. It was just really blatant, and as you say, the scene was written for that product placement. I'd call that a new level of low.
     
  13. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I remember an ep of Smallville where Chloe goes on about the good gas mileage her Yaris gets.
     
  14. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Oy, yeah, I remember that too. Smallville had some bad moments, including and episode built around selling Stride Gum now with an extra drop of Kryptonite!
     
  15. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    My personal pick for most egregious product placement was this infamous episode of Eureka:

    They needed the budget and those were Degree's demands, so I don't blame them, but damn that season with the constant out of place Degree product placements was just excruciating to watch at times. Zane's involvement in the show that season was mostly to promote Degree deodorant from his Degree lab at Global Dynamics.



    ETA: The product placement in Man of Steel on the other hand felt organic to the setting to me, and never took me out of the story. It was creating a believable background environment with some depth to it without fixating on the products themselves. You could feel like this was happening in real towns and cities in America, which I'm sure was the intent (in addition to financing the film).
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Never really noticed the brands that appeared in "Man of Steel". But perhaps that is because whilst I migh be familiar with the name, to me they aren't really brands. It's not like their is a Sears store anywhere near me.
     
  17. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Superman is a marketable figure. Which leads me to "Smallville"


    Also Acuvea and a season 5 episode where Lois shows off a new dodge to distract a guard

    Then you had stride gum


    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mh6TNBwfhw[/YT]
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I pointed this out up thread. The Stride Gum episode was by far the worst and most egregious. I mean literally the episode was only built to sell Stride Gum, that episode had NO other point whatsoever. Stride Gum all that episode was about.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Burn Notice. About every other episode Micheal has to do his voice over thing invariably referring to Fiona's always current model year Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

    "If your tailing someone you want a car that has good handling and performance...."
     
  20. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ahh yes, I forgot about that one. Unfortunately, no, it didn't yield in a better looking show. These two examples from these shows, and there may be more, only create negative associations with the products. They're distracting and there's no way to avoid them since they're featured so prominently. Commercials in the show's setting shown separately would make more sense.
     

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