Product Placement in Movies

Everything You Need to Know About Product Placement

Not long ago, the team here at FSR took a look at the wild world of product placement in movies over a series of Culture Warrior articles, sponsored by Doritos. One great point that our own Cole Abaius made in his essay, A Word About Product Placement in Movies (Brought to You Buy Doritos) is that product placement impacts moviegoers in different ways. Some of us are more acutely aware of when we’re being sold to. Others simply don’t mind. What we can all agree on, however, is that product placement is alive and well and very much in existence. As explained by this cool new infographic from the folks at Online MBA Advice, the history of product placement is rich, the future is bright and most of us don’t seem to mind.

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Culture Warrior

Buried deep within this sentence (Doritos are delicious) is an advertisement. Did you catch it? You probably didn’t because it was so subtly subliminal, but that’s exactly how product placement has worked for a century to varying degrees of success. After all, there’s a thin line between using real-life products in a film to create a sense of verisimilitude and using them to promote the product in question. Where that line is drawn is up to each person. One person might see a kid reading “National Geographic” in It’s a Wonderful Life and think it’s quaintly appropriate while another person might find it craven and conspicuous. To the same extent, different film productions have delivered brands with means ranging from the slyness of near-imperceptibility to almost Doritos-Scorchin’-Habanero-Flavor levels of obviousness. It’s far from new, and even though sold items have sneaked their way into movies for almost one hundred years, there’s been an explosion in recent decades, seeing a new revenue stream for studios and a new annoyance for film fans.

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