Slammed With Advertising

Slammed With Advertising

Hannah Lewis, Entertainment Editor


You’ve seen it in virtually every movie, music video, and sports event that has been released within your lifetime. Most people no longer notice the Pepsi can with the logo perfectly placed toward the camera or the low shot showing the logo on the grill of a car. Product placement is so prevalent that there is an annual awards show that puts a spotlight on the use of it. It’s nothing new, but now, seems to be one of the most shameless forms of advertising within modern society.

In essence product placement is the paid use of products in media in an attempt to sell that product.

Lately, the use of product placement has no boundaries. Every major film released this last summer had outrageous am
ounts of product placement. Is it now becoming too over the top?

Jurassic World, the top film of the summer, has 35 products that were advertised. Some were subtle and barely visible, such as the advertisements for Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, others were blatant, such as the park’s public address announcing: “Indominus Rex, presented by Verizon Wireless.” The product placement smacks the viewer in the face quickly with brand recognition. One of the products most heavily advertised in Jurassic World is Beats by Dre headphones.

Beats by Dre has become one of the most powerful brands in the advertising world, as Beats headphones and the Beats Pill have been featured in hundreds of music videos including “Bang Bang” by Jesse J, Nikki Manaj’s “Anaconda”, and “The Man” by Aloe Black.

Not only are Beats products seen in film and music videos, but also in professional sports. The National Football League was so perturbed by the wide-spread use of Beats headphones in 2014, they banned the use of Beats headphones during televised football games unless the logo was covered up. But even with the fact that the logo is covered up, the marketers for Beats by Dre have one thing on their side – the iconic unique and recognizable design of the headphones. Many players still wear the headphones during games and interviews, even without being paid.

But the question here, within all of the debates over product placement, still remains: How much is too much? Many times while watching a movie, it is more like watching a commercial than watching a story.

The way to fix this issue is simple: integration. Some of the most successful product placements have had an integral part of the story. For example, Wilson the volleyball from Cast Away was made a part of the story, being the main character’s only friend while being stuck on a deserted island. The way to do worthwhile product placement for both the viewer and the advertiser is to Make it part of the story. Numerous films have found success in this form of product placement: the Chevy Camaro in Transformers, the United States Navy in Top Gun, or the Aston Martin DB5 in the James Bond franchise.

It’s time to do away with the blatant, boring, routine product placement in today’s media. It’s time to integrate the ads into the story.