Apparently, some genius over at Fox Business is attacking The Lego Movie for vilifying corporations. In particular, they are taking issue with the Will Ferrell- voiced bad guy, President Business. Amusingly enough, they neglected to recognize the fact that Denmark’s Lego Group just made a feature-length commercial that grossed $87,210,000 worldwide. Seems like the joke is on us.
But that’s another conversation for another site.
Since we celebrate movies and the many odd things that they may entail, I figured that I would accompany this week’s The Lego Movie featurette (skip to the bottom to watch) with my favorite bits of product placement. I say “favorite” but, honestly, I’m just giving points for cleverness despite the shamelessness of it all (but being blatant is the point, right).
And the award(s) go to…
5. Fed Ex in Castaway
Not only is Fed Ex everywhere in this film but, cleverly enough, it is also part of the plot.
4. Coca-Cola in Superman II
Superman tosses one of his enemies from the Phantom Zone into a giant electronic Coke sign. Quite possibly the first time I’ve ever recognized product placement in a film.
3. Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story
I’m certain that not a lot of kids were lining up for Mr. Potato Head toys by the late-90s. That is until Toy Story gave them life again.
2. Reese’s Pieces in E.T. The Extra-terrestrial
Probably one of the more well-know examples, E.T. featured a visitor from another planet who could be coaxed by Hershey products. I got news for you, Mr. Spielberg: The audience figured out that Reese’s were out of this world a long time ago.
1. Ashton Marton in the 007 fanchise
The appearance of the Ashton Martin DB5 throughout the James Bond franchise has been so effective that, unlike most product placements, the audience actually anticipates the vehicle’s on-screen cameo.
And that’s it. Enjoy these promotional videos that were approved by Lego Group and Warner Bros Studios. All rights reserved, of course.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes about action/adventure for Action A Go Go. He is a comic book writer whose works include Bamn, The Magic Bullet, Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse of Tall Tales, and the Harvey Award nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for ComicBookBin.com, OfNote Magazine, and ForcesOfGeek.com. His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post.