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Marvel Shows Why Auto Brands Need to Be Strategic About Product Placement

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 12, 2015 08:01 PM

Kia X-men 2015 Australian Open X-Car

Why does Kia's new X-men tie-in promoting the 2015 Australia Open weave in footage from X-Men: Days of Future Past, which takes place in 1973? It doesn't make any sense. But who cares about product tie-in continuity?

As is becoming apparent, certainly not the expanding Marvel universe. But will auto brands tire of Marvel treating them like interchangeable ATMs?

We spoke with the CEO of a prominent product placement agency to get his opinion.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Comedians, Comic-Con and Getting Quirky Edition

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 25, 2014 07:43 PM

Disruption, Beer Edition: Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen is no stranger to working with advertisers. His cult hit IFC network show Portlandia has a partnership with Subaru. But now Armisen has partnered with Heineken in a campaign called "Routine Interruption" which sees the comedian cold call unsuspecting people on a pay phone (and follows on the brand's campaign featuring Neil Patrick Harris). It's a quirky idea, but will it help sell beer?Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Uber, Pizza Hut, The Rock and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 18, 2014 01:34 PM

Uber Operating With Max Promotional Operationality: Uber isn't just about free ice cream. It was only a few weeks ago we mentioned its tie-in with Transformers 4 to put Uber users in the rig better known as Optimus Prime. Now, poster child for the disruption movement, Uber has arranged a similar partnership with he new video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Pegged to E3, Uber users in Los Angeles could find themselves getting a ride share in a 17,000-pound, 6.7-liter turbo diesel, military-grade Cyclone armored personnel carrier. What's next for Uber? Fast and Furious 7? The new Mad Max: Fury Road? Cars 3? The possibilities seems endless.Continue reading...

branding together

Brand Bites: Watch IFC's Portlandia Skewer Anti-Corporate Art

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 3, 2014 03:39 PM

"Since the 50s, one common target about making a statement has been McDonald's. Ronald McDonald plus something violent and crazy like money equals… shock."

So begins the excellent takedown of anti-corporate art from IFC TV series Portlandia. It's just the latest brand integration from the product placement-friendly satire series. In fact, the show has re-teamed with Geico on its latest storyline that kicked off the first episode of the show's fourth season last week.Continue reading...


The Product Placement Easter Egg in '21 Jump Street' Reboot

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 19, 2012 12:01 PM

For a film with more than 25 identifiable brands on-screen, 21 Jump Street (the new #1 movie, taking in $35 million its opening weekend) does not come across as packed with product placement. As one would expect from a modern update on the 1980s TV series, there are a number of gags made at the expense of brand names.

The movie pokes fun at "Pop Quiznos," Taco Bell, Porsche and a pink VW Beetle. Not to mention Smith & Wesson police bicycles, Glock, Springfield Armory handguns, and other brands sure to resonate with a highly brand-aware Generation Y audience. There is even a gag about a new designer drug created with Doritos. (Incidentally, 21 Jump Street star Jonah Hill was last seen on-screen with Doritos in Superbad.)

But the cleverest product placement of the whole film was probably missed by a majority of the audience. Indeed, not one review or tweet mentions it.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Myspace Aims to Bring Sexy Back with Original Programming

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2012 11:01 AM

Delivering on a promise made by co-owner Justin Timberlake to “bring sexy back to Myspace,” Fox Digital Entertainment and Myspace have announced Let's Big Happy, a seven-episode web series starring Andrew W.K. that debuts on March 28th.

Taco Bell is sponsoring the new web series, which features bands from the chain's Feed the Beat music program which supplies bands with free food while on tour, including performances by Chiddy Bang, We Are Scientists, Math the Band, Generationals, and the Gay Blades.

"The branded entertainment space has evolved over the last few years by doing what is typically labeled as 'organic' integration all the way up to a sponsor wrapping themselves around a program that never mentions their product,” commented Fox Digital Entertainment SVP Matt Glotzer to Billboard.Continue reading...


At the Movies: 'Jeff, Who Lives at Hooters' and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 16, 2012 06:46 PM

It would be an understandable mistake to assume the slapstick version of iconic 1980s show 21 Jump Street would be this weekend's top product tie-in flick. But nobody counted on "the Hooters movie."Continue reading...


What Would Dr. Seuss Have Made of The Lorax Movie's Marketing Partners?

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 5, 2012 11:55 AM

The catchphrase of The Lorax — "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better" — can mean a lot of different things depending on one's perspective when it comes to the marketing of Universal's record-breaking new #1 movie.

To purists, it means that unless consumers speak up, Hollywood's commercialization of Dr. Seuss, including signing a cross-promotional sponsorship deal with an automaker, the movie's environmental message is for naught. To Mazda, the brand that's ponying up for The Lorax tie-in, it means that unless some consumers care an awful lot, sales numbers are not going to get better.

But is the outrage about Mazda's Lorax partnership making "perfect" the enemy of "good" — and overlooking ?Continue reading...

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