The last number one movie at the US box office of 2010 is also the first number one of the new year.
Unlike last year, which saw a largely product placement-free Avatar dominate well into February, Little Fockers starts our 2011 annual count with a slew of brands whose marketers don't seem to mind a little cringe-inducing company.
Flanking the vomit, fart and erection humor of Fockers are punchlines involving Google, Prius and Sustengo. Oh, you don't know Sustengo?
That's because it's a fake ED drug created by the Little Fockers producers for a subplot, but they failed to do much with it. They even locked up the URL Sustengo.com and clearly intended to do some viral marketing with it, but failed to, ahem, sustain the plan.
The Toyota Prius, meanwhile, completes its trilogy of roles for 2010 with a showing in Fockers that proves that the model cannot appear onscreen without being commented upon. In earlier 2010 films The Town and The Other Guys, the Prius is the butt of jokes about not being a "real car." The Prius fares better in Little Fockers, though it is mildly derided as old "green" technology by the driver of a spiffy Tesla roadster. Some Prius drivers, in fact, are not pleased with the model's role in the film.
A joke about an ex-CIA agent turning to Google when his secret clearance is revoked culminates in the final credits. A pirated version of this ending is currently available but it seems like it would have been be a great viral marketing move for Fockers producers to put that remix on YouTube. Of course, "lazy" in conjunction with the production of Little Fockers shouldn't come as a surprise.
Thanks to Fockers, Apple both finishes at the top of the Brandcameo count for 2010 and gets an early start in the running for 2011's product placement champ. In several extended scenes, the Apple logo glows out at audiences as various characters research various things on a Macbook. Later on, an iMac plays another large role. This should come as no surprise as Apple was also one of the most prominently placed brands in the earlier film Meet the Fockers.
Speaking of fake brand jokes brings us to the Early Human School. It seems that the lampooning of the kind of "helicopter parents" desperate to insert their children into a high-performance learning environment like the film's "Early Human School" has extending into real life. An alpha parent on the "DC Urban Moms and Dads" message board asks, "Is there really a such thing as an early human school?"
The only other interesting product placement detail of Little Fockers has to do with filming location. If 2010 was the year of Boston (The Town, Knight and Day, The Social Network) and Italy, 2011 may turn out to be the year of Chicago and Northern Europe.
Two weeks after being highlighted in Little Fockers, Chicago will get even more face-time in The Dilemma (above) and Source Code, a mind-bending action film about a bomb on a Chicago train. The third in the Transformers series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will also feature some Chicago action.
Meanwhile, while Italy was the setting for last year's The American, When in Rome and The Tourist, 2011 will see the much anticipated films The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Hannah, respectively, set in Sweden and Finland.
Visit Brandcameo's product placement database for all of the products in Little Fockers — as well as the last decade of film tracking.