Sunday, March 27, 2011

Most Popular Product Placements

Familiar with the concept of product placement? Simply put, they're like the cinematic equivalent of commercial breaks for television shows. The only difference being the fact that product placements doesn't really deter from the movie watching experience.

Most of the time...

Yeap, it can sometimes be a hindrance. Other times it's just hilarious;

If the movie poster was honest...
When done tastefully, however, it can actually serve for the better of a movie, giving it that extra sense of realism. It works both ways, really. Companies provide some extra monetary benefits for the film-makers, and it return the companies get their money's worth when their products are featured in the movies. Our consumer-driven lives kind of called for these manufactured demands to be made.

In some rare cases, they might even have a cultural impact in their hands. As of right now, I can only recall reading about two of such examples, and they both took place in Hong Kong.

#1 Way of the Dragon [1972]
Product : Campbell Soup
Thanks to : Bruce Lee

Few might remember it, especially since the scene was cut for some releases. But in the beginning of the movie, there was a cute scene where Bruce Lee's character was shown feeling hungry and walked into a restaurant in the airport. After seeing the overly-pricey menu, he decided to settle with a meal of soup; five dishes of them.

You can watch it by clicking on the image below, and skip to 5:55 minute of the video for the scene.

It didn't look like much. It was after all, just Bruce Lee eating soup. But being a legend that he is, and a household name back in Hong Kong, Campbell soup somehow became like a delicacy for them.

#2 A Better Tomorrow [1986]
Product : Alain Delon sunglasses
Thanks to : Chow Yun-fat

A sleeper hit, a low-budget movie that propelled John Woo to superstardom in Hong Kong, and other Asian countries. I must have been really young when I saw the movie, because I remember virtually nothing of it; even the product placement that became a cultural phenomenon in Hong Kong.

It was said that the sunglasses that Chow Yun-fat wore became so popular, you couldn't find it anywhere in stores because they got sold out. It didn't go unnoticed by Alain Delon himself as he reportedly sent Chow Yun-fat a personal thank you note.

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