Posted by Abe Sauer on March 11, 2013 11:44 AM
Mention espionage and product placement and one name comes to mind: Zero Dark Thirty. Sure, Skyfall's James Bond used a Sony Experia and, in the other 2012 CIA thriller to feature waterboarding, Safe House, the agency man used an iPhone. Yet, in last year's true life tale spygame, the heroes killed Osama Bin Laden with the help of BlackBerry.
It's a placement the brand was involved with. But unlike other product placements—even some inside Zero Dark Thirty—BlackBerry faces a paradox when it comes to capitalizing on its role in Hollywood's definitive account of killing America's most hated enemy.
While there are many obvious details that Zero Dark Thirty suspiciously avoided, such as substituting the fictional Pakistan station chief "Joseph Bradley" for the real life Jonathan Banks, the production is also credited with paying obsessive attention to the smaller details. A precise replica of the bin Laden compound was built for Zero Dark's SEALs to storm. The film's SEALs wore four-prong GPNVG-18s, cutting-edge night-vision goggles favored by current "operators." And then there were the BlackBerry phones.Continue reading...
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...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 6, 2011 03:00 PM
On May 26, The L.A. Times quoted a Disney spokesman reasoning that "Out of deference to the Navy's application for these trademarks, we have withdrawn ours." It was the end of the weeks-long outrage over Disney's move to trademark "Seal Team 6" just two days after that unit was reported to have killed Osama Bin Laden. In those weeks, the Navy itself had moved to trademark "Navy Seals."
One positive outcome of Disney's bold move was that it appears to have lit a flame under the butt of the Department of the Navy. On May 25th, the day before Disney's withdrawal, the Navy made its latest application to trademark both "Marine Ops: The Crucible" and "Marine Ops."Continue reading...
brands during wartime
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 10, 2011 07:00 PM
In the race of brands looking to capitalize on the death of Osama bin Laden, we have a winner.
As details of the terrorist leader's death, and the SEAL team that shot him in the face, continue to come to light, Beretta Defense Technologies issued a statement. The weaponsmaker said it "wishes to thank the brave men of Navy SEAL Team Six who, together with our warfighters, selflessly risk their lives each day to make this world a safer place."
The statement comes complete with a banner ad that celebrates the "job well done" by SEAL team six. Of course, several commenters have pointed out one irony.Continue reading...