Product Placement, Ahoy! Battleship Sinks at Box Office But Lifts U.S. Navy

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 21, 2012 12:02 PM

Film: Battleship
Brands/Products Spotted: 13
Standout Placement: United States Navy
Most Memorable Placement (positive): United States Navy
Most Memorable Placement (negative): Coke Zero
Overall Product Placement Integration Grade (1-10): 4
Comments: You sank our opening weekend number one box office ranking! Indeed, The Avengers continues to play box office hero for the third weekend in a row, leaving Battleship (aka "Rihanna's Big Screen Debut") to float like so much flotsam. But the movie, based on the classic board game, made plenty of money overseas, pleasing the brands that invested in it, none more so than the United States Navy.Continue reading...


007's Skyfall Highlights Hollywood's Hottest Product Placement: China

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 9, 2012 02:02 PM

When it comes to selling out brand integrations, the next James Bond film Skyfall is getting the most attention for its record product placement deals, including a controversial deal that will make Heineken the official drink of 007, replacing the classic "shaken, not stirred" martini as Bond's drink of choice.

Less of a focus is how the film has written some China scenes into its plot in an effort to appeal to cinema's hottest market. In fact, audiences everywhere should get ready for a lot more scenes shot in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong on the big screen as Hollywood aims to include its most important and profitable new product placement: China.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Hasbro Transforms Into Movie Studio

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2012 01:01 PM

When you Google "Hasbro," the company is identified as “Hasbro Toys, Games, Action Figures and More.” While the first three have dominated the company’s business for most of its 89 years, it’s that last part that is getting a lot of the company’s attention these days.

The “and more” has taken the form of TV and film productions related to Hasbro products. Thanks to the success of the Transformers films, which have grossed $2.6 billion worldwide and are based on the toys that were strewn across the playrooms of little boys in the mid-’80s, Hasbro has begun delving deeper into the worlds of television and film production, according to the New York Times.

Helping to build Hasbro’s confidence in this area is the success of its G.I. Joe movie, which grossed $302 million worldwide. Now a sequel to that film is coming out this summer as well as an action-adventure film based on the Hasbro game Battleship, which was promoted with a Super Bowl commercial (at top).Continue reading...

ad watch

Stolen Thunder: Super Bowl Ad Questions Arise

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2012 09:03 PM

The TV ratings for Super Bowl XLVI enjoyed a bump from last year's game, making it the most-watched telecast ever. Depite a riveting game, most pundits believe the advertising wasn't particularly riveting on Sunday, despite such hits as the Doritos' "Sling Baby" Crash the Super Bowl fan fave

Did brand marketers do themselves a disservice by giving away much (if not all) of their TV commercials before the game? This question surely will be examined closely in the days and weeks to come as marketers deliberate on the real value of spending $3.5 million or more for those 30 second ad units during the Big Game. Still, it's also possible that marketers won't care about the size of the ratings increase for the game because they got so much promotional mileage from the attention to their ads beforehand, on mobile, Twitter (witness the profusion of hashtags in commercials) and Facebook during, and ongoing debate and discussion this week.

There are other questions that not only brand marketers but the TV networks and the NFL will be grappling with long before Super Bowl XLVII: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...


Warrior: The Movie that was a Marines Ad Before it was an Ad for the Marines

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 9, 2011 05:45 PM

Warrior, opening this weekend, may look like a simple mixed-martial arts family drama action movie secretly sponsored by UFC to market its events. Far less obvious is how the film is a marketing tool secretly sponsored by the US military.

Indeed, the Marine Corps vetted the film's script as a condition of cooperation; Warrior features on duty uniformed soldiers as extras as well as a plot about a former Marine Iraq veteran.

The Nick Nolte-starring Warrior is just the latest film to function not only as entertainment, but also as PR. In fact, "Hollywood" is maybe the most successful, long-term viral branding camapign in history.Continue reading...

games people play

Monopoly Adds a Digital Big Brother

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 16, 2011 03:00 PM

Monopoly purists will shake their heads at this one. Hasbro is promoting an updated version of the classic game, called Monopoly Live, at this week's Toy Fair in New York, where toy and game manufacturers show off their latest products for 2011.

Monopoly Live, slated for release this fall, still has the familiar board, but along with it comes a decidedly unfamiliar new addition — a Big Brother-ish infrared tower that acts very much like an airport control tower, telling all the players what to do when. It even prevents them from cheating.

And what happened to Monopoly money in the new version? Well that's gone too — now players slip electronic cards into little red devices, not unlike miniature ATMs, to find out how much money they have left. Sheesh.Continue reading...

Hollywood Rolls Out Red Carpet For Toys and Games

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 28, 2009 11:47 AM

Sorry, paparazzi. You may be chasing brands instead of stars from now on.

Hollywood studios are investing heavily in toy and game brands, in an effort to capitalize on the power of nostalgia and instant brand-name recognition. The Los Angeles Times reports movie moguls are reallocating money usually spent on big-name stars toward the purchase of established brands such as Asteroids, Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly and Barbie.

Creating movies based on popular toys and games doesn't reflect much originality or creative depth, but the practice is sound business—particularly in an economy where consumers are reluctant to spend money on the unknown. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the summer's top hit movie, was based on action figures from the 1980s. Yes, the toy created Megan Fox, not the other way around.Continue reading...

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