Product This

Awhile back, like a couple of years ago– I wrote about the prospect of The Hunger Games utilizing the tried and truth money-making method of product placement. However, now that a few major companies have made brief, and lasting partnerships with the franchise (Cover Girl, Subway) I’m struck with the thought again of “what if?” In the case of the most recent news of Lionsgate having sold the trailer debut of the first Mockingjay film to Samsung, I’m struck even harder with “what if?” But now it’s pulsing, and loud, and um… annoying.

What if Samsung are the makers of all those futuristic projection televisions we’ve seen in the last two Hunger Games films. Or worse, what if in Mockingjay: Part Two the Holo that Boggs carries around in the field is made by Samsung as well? What if for some ridiculous reason Lionsgate decides that in the last installments of the series to throw integrity aside, and forget that the companies of our world no longer exist, and have no place in the world of Panem. But alas they start

I totes want an Audi now

I totes want an Audi now

throwing in familiar, contemporary logos and symbols left and right, like a Spielberg or Robert Zemeckis film. Granted those directors were more tasteful than gratuitous with their usage of product placement, dare I say it– they perfected it, but things could change. They could do close ups on Snow’s white, blue veined hand reaching out and clicking a button on his projection television, and the Samsung logo is clear and prominent, like Audi in iRobot, or Omega in Casino Royale, or Ducati in Tron: Legacy– or the worst offender of them all, almost every frame in Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Speculation you will be the death of us!? Damn… I want a Coke.

Them There Eyes

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4 comments

  1. Like I need more worries in my life šŸ™‚

    While I think we won’t see any corporate logos in the actual film (critics AND fans would never forgive if they did), I think more overt placement in cross-promotional advertisement isn’t out of the question. Capitol Cover Girl is a prime example of this being done before. Could we end up seeing an ad with the Capitol TV logo and tag “The future of TV, brought to you by Samsung” or “Holo technology, brought to you by Samsung.” I hope not, but after the Samsung deal news, I guess anything is up for sale if the price is right.

    I thought Capitol Cover Girl went too far and was so contrary to the spirit of the books (even if you argue that they were being meta, it left a bad taste for me). I understand that cross-promotion/licensing is part of the movie marketing program, but with the themes of this franchise, it has to be done with a light touch.

  2. I think these deals with various companies are helping us/them to avoid that product placement dilemma affecting the actual film. They can hopefully do all of this through advertising, but leave the film alone. Even though it’s not impossible, I can’t imagine a company from today surviving hundreds of years of wars and destruction and it would be weird for the production to do that during their grand finale.

    In saying that, I did notice at least one “product placement” within Catching Fire! The arena shoes were all Adias! I didn’t notice it until much later, so I guess it wasn’t too bad, but I hope they don’t do anything more obvious than that.

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