Hollywood Marketers Face the Impossible: Blurring Product Placements In Sandler Films

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Two weeks ago we pointed out that Hollywood is clearly still a little ashamed about its increasing coziness with product placement. The irony was a red band trailer for the film Friends with Benefits featuring plenty of raunch while blurring out labels on bottles of Stella Artois beer.

Now comes a similar trick in trailers for the Adam Sandler comedy Just Go With It. And this isn’t even the first time this has happened with Sandler.[more]

The trailer (at top) is currently in heavy rotation on TV. Toward the end you might notice a couple of Pepsi cans sitting on the table in front of the kids. But a change of angles reveals not the Pepsi logo, but a big blue blur:

Here again, filmmakers are willing to take brand money or free product, but they want to minimize the “damage” (or distractions) to the film. Expect to see more of this in the future.

Interestingly enough, the exact same approach was taken in trailers for Sandler’s 2009 film Funny People. Heavy placements for Diet Coke were scrubbed from commercials.


Check out a comparison of the trailer and the final film:

Of course, if all the brands were to be scrubbed from an Adam Sandler film, there’s a question of what would be left to watch. Sandler is notorious not just for stocking his films with brand names, but for meta-enabling those placements by writing them directly into the plot, with a lot of winking.

Below, just a selection of scenes and screenshots from Sandler films Little Nicky, Happy Gilmore, Eight Crazy Nights, The Waterboy, Anger Management, Big Daddy, Grown Ups, Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Mr. Deeds — denonstrating just how ingrained products are in the funnyman’s films.

With the amount of branded products and advertising in our everyday lives, Sandler’s movies are riffing on pop culture, and offering a laser-like satire on modern culture, wrapped up to look like bumbling commercialization.

And it’s not like Sandler is the only one leveraging himself for brands. On the film’s Facebook page, stars Sandler and Aniston appear in a number of exclusive videos promoting the film. Those videos heavy feature the Sony Vaio (below), which — not coincidentally — happens to be a sibling product of the film’s producer Sony Studios.

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