Money is great, and the more of it you can get the better! Movie studios aren’t afraid of making money, and if that means selling their souls to advertise products, then they’ll do it. Most of the time they do it subtly, but occasionally they try and ram down your throat the products they’ve received millions of dollars to show in their film. Check out these shamelessly obvious and awkward product placements from the biggest movies in history.
i, Robot (2004) – Converse
Have you ever come away from a movie theater and felt an unexplained urge to head to the mall and pick up a new pair of sneakers? Will Smith does an excellent job of saving the world and selling millions of Converse shoes at the same time. On several occasions, Smith’s character refers to his box-fresh Converse 2004 Vintage, and if he isn’t pointing them out, his fellow cast members are doing it!
Cast Away (2000) – Wilson
Who is the most memorable character from the 2000 survival movie starring Tom Hanks? It’s Wilson, of course! The volleyball becomes Chuck Noland’s only friend when he survives a plane crash and washes up on a deserted island. Apart from being one big advert for FedEx, Wilson volleyballs must have experienced a huge sales boost following Hanks’ time spent marooned on the island with his inflatable friend.
Wayne’s World (1992) – Pizza Hut, Doritos, Reebok
Most of the time, comedy movies steer clear of product placement, which is usually reserved for big Hollywood blockbusters. Wayne’s World decided they wouldn’t be subtle about the products they were trying to sell and spent several minutes ironically talking about how they would never sell out, all the while eating Pizza Hut, snacking on Doritos, and wearing Reebok clothing head to toe. Not very subtle!
Blade: Trinity (2004) – iPod
When Blade gets to meet the two vampire hunters who had been carrying out his work while he was out of action, we learn that Jessica Biel’s character really loves listening to music when she’s slaying the undead. Audiences were treated to a pretty gratuitous shot of Biel plugging her iPod into her laptop, logging into iTunes, then uploading her favorite tunes before plugging those white buds into her ears. Cue awkward head bobbing while she listens to her music in the back of the car like a moody teenager while the adults talk up in the front.
E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Reese’s Pieces
The world wasn’t as familiar with Reese’s Pieces in 1982 as it is now, but after that year everybody wanted to get themselves a bunch of them. Why? They were what was used to lure the little alien to a safe place, and the movie doesn’t hide the fact that they are using a very specific piece of candy. Director Steven Spielberg actually wanted to use confectionary from the Mars company, but they weren’t interested, so he found someone who was and Hershey’s were keen! Hershey’s offered Reese’s Pieces, and we got the very obvious plug in what is many people’s favorite movie of all time.
Little Nicky (2000) – Popeyes Chicken
If you’ve seen Little Nicky then you might remember he likes Popeye’s Chicken, he only eats or references it in pretty much every other scene. Nicky is the son of the devil who chooses to live above the underworld among the humans, but he’s never had to eat before. When his friend Beefy the dog teaches him how to eat, including moving his teeth up and down, he falls in love with the breaded chicken and can’t get enough of it. To the point where he’s beating the audience over the head with his chicken drumsticks.
Seeing these most obvious and awkward product placements in movies had left us scratching our heads, loling our socks off, and wondering what the heck is going through the minds of the production crew. Most of the time, it’s the dollar dollar bills that are shining in their eyes…