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Embedding Hollywood: Act of Valor a Poor Act of Military Propaganda

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 27, 2012 12:51 PM

The marketing behind Act of Valor, the new box office champ (earning $24.7 million its opening weekend), is the story of a film with an unprecedented amount of cooperation between the U.S. armed forces and filmmakers. "Starring active duty Navy Seals" screams the tagline of the film.

But while the involvement of Navy Seals in starring roles of the film does represent a new boundary in the history of military involvement in Hollywood, the cooperation is by no means much a stretch. It's no secret that the US military frequently works with Hollywood in a mutually beneficial relationship of propaganda and resource access. Act of Valor is just the latest example of a comfy friendship.Continue reading...


At the Movies: More Apple Product Placements as The Lorax Revs Up Brand Partners

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 24, 2012 06:05 PM

Mazda announced this week that it's on board for Universal Pictures' upcoming Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which opens on March 2nd.

The deal helps Mazda cross-promote its "Seuss-ifed" 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV with a commercial, above, that features an animated version of the car driving through a valley of Truffula trees. More on The Lorax next week.

Opening this weekend, meanwhile, is a slate of films all featuring some level of product placement. First up: Tyler Perry's Apple Love Good Deeds.Continue reading...

ad watch

Super Bowl XLVI Ad Watch: The Good, the Bad and the Creepy

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2012 05:08 PM

As the world's biggest stage for marketers, we'd have to give Super Bowl XLVI, generously, a B-minus. While the game was compellingly competitive right until the last play, and Madonna acquitted herself pretty well for a 53-year-old halftime-show attraction, America's brand marketers barely held up their end of the extravaganza.

For one thing, there was no genuine stand-up-and-cheer advertising moment during NBC's telecast as there was last year, in Chrysler's spot featuring Eminem and its new Chrysler 200 "Imported from Detroit," although Clint Eastwood was a worthy successor.

In fact, stand-out moments in the ads were almost non-existent; the humor that carried most of the ads didn't come close to an outbreak of hilarity; and a few spots manifested jump-the-shark syndrome, such as an NBC promo that cameoed Betty White.Continue reading...

Obama, Magic, Decker, Coke, Miller, Lopez, Worthy and a Hoops Game at Sea

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2011 01:14 PM

Only in America, as they say. Or in this case, on an American ship -- a big one, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, to be exact.

The ultimate in cross-promotional sports events will unfold this evening as the NCAA takes a cue from the NFL and makes a much bigger deal out of its "opening day" than has been its previous custom. In a 7 p.m. game on ESPN that will pit Michigan State versus No. 1-ranked North Carolina on the custom-made court, there also will be lots of other key tilts and branding opportunities: Former Spartan Magic Johnson vs. former Tar Heel James Worthy. Coaches Izzo vs. Williams. Sponsors Coke Zero vs. Miller High Life. Obama vs. Osama. And Brooklyn Decker vs. -- well, there might not be a match.

The NCAA is really good at ginning up Americans' enthusiasm for basketball in the spring, with March Madness and all. But this represents the college game's biggest attempt yet to turn up the marketing booster rockets beneath a part of the hoops season that typically is pretty limp.Continue reading...

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