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...


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...

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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