Product Placement

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"The other day, I was eating delicious Cowboy Burgers at Applebee's with my friends, when somebody pointed out to me that advertising is getting more and more intrusive. Then I took a sip of my ice-cold Pepsi."
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

Otherwise known as a "plug" or "writing commercials right into a show". The practice of prominently displaying or talking about a recognizable product in a program, in exchange for some consideration from the manufacturer, usually monetary. The manufacturer hopes to cause The Red Stapler effect, but it far more often results in snarky comments from the peanut gallery.

This trope isn't always invoked for mercenary reasons; many times it just wouldn't be plausible for a character in a shopping mall to walk past nothing but unnamed Brand X. Or a world set Twenty Minutes Into the Future won't have suddenly lost the culture of billboard advertisements and product logos which defines the modern day. Real brands add veritas in these cases. On the other hand, even when it begins with the best intentions, contractual obligations to have the dialogue actually mention a placed product can easily turn malignant.

The least subtle version of this kind of embedded advertising is the Enforced Plug, which, in America, was common in early television and still is in radio.

Not all products visible in television, or film, are the result of product placement. Sometimes background logos are unavoidable, or producers choose a product for other reasons, and there's no exchange of money with the manufacturer.

For a particular example, see Everybody Owns a Ford.

Compare Merchandise-Driven and Product Promotion Parade. Contrast with Brand X or Product Displacement. When a character from a show is endorsing the product, it's Celebrity Endorsement.


History - brought to you by delicious Brand X®!

The practice began in the early days of American radio, with companies lending their names to title programs as a way for funding them. The Secretary of Commerce, which licensed radio stations during most of the 1920's, prohibited direct advertising. By 1930, advertising was permitted, but the practice remained for years. Slowly the shows set themselves apart from the ads, with announcers shilling for a product, while the characters had an adventure. Product placement also was frequent during the early days of television, with characters shilling for their sponsor at the end of an episode. However, a quiz show scandal in 1958 forced networks to control their programs, instead of the sponsors. Product placement transitioned to movies until the mid-1990s, when TV regulators relaxed the rules against products appearing outside of ad breaks.

In the UK, a law banning paid product placement was rescinded, effective February 2011. It's now allowed, but only on commercial channels; The BBC's commitment to commercial-free television is Serious Business indeed.

It's still prohibited in Canada. A dishwasher manufacturer can recommend a certain brand of tablets, but the host of a cleaning show can't -- in fact, they can't even show the brand name on screen.

In the movie The Great Man a radio personality mentions name-brand products on the air for personal gain. The movie was made in 1956, making this Older Than They Think. Indeed, there is (possibly apocryphal) evidence that suggests that merchants in Ancient Greece would attempt to bribe playwrights at drama festivals for favorable mentions of items in their plays. Someone epically telling the audience how great figs are could be quite good for business.

Examples - A large variety as only Heinz® can bring it to you!

Played straight -- Because you get whiter whites and brighter colors with Tide®.[edit | hide | hide all]

Cars (Ford® Pinto)[edit | hide]

  • One of Survivor's (specifically Survivor Outback) most infamous moments actually revolves around one of the products offered as a contestant prize -- the then-new Pontiac Aztek, which was not only paired with an immunity award during the actual show (which the winner also got to sleep in) but was also thrown in as prizes for the ultimate winner and winner-up. The winning contestant of the first prized Aztek wouldn't stop gushing about its "amenities," though perhaps it's understandable giving how he had been stuck in the Australian Outback. Now looked upon as a Hilarious in Hindsight moment for how the car ultimately fell with a dud louder than the Edsel and for just how gawd awful the Aztek looked.
    • Hilariously enough, its platform was used on the Buick Rendezvous as well, released in the same year. This luxury version, which did not share the same hideous design, was actually credited with saving the Buick brand!
  • On 24, Jack Bauer and associates will always drive the model of car that is their main sponsor for that season, while villains will drive other brands. It has often been commented that you can tell whether a character is actually a spy based on whether he's driving a Ford or not. (Note that in the latest season Toyota is the show's main sponsor, and the Fords are driven by bad guys.)
    • Season 7 has a rather blatant one, where the plot seems specifically written for the characters to show off the high tech features of the Hyundai Genesis (namely, to play an audio recording).
    • Cisco Systems has been featured rather prominently in the last couple seasons. Admittedly, it's kind of amusing watching Cisco Systems trying to be sexy.
  • Heroes features repeated mentions of the Nissan Versa / Tiida. Almost all cars in the series are Nissans. Every one of the online comics begins with a Nissan Versa ad that is far bigger than the comic itself. It's become a Running Gag. Funnily enough, even though most computers in the series are Dells, the logos are taped over.
    • There's also this exchange from "The Second Coming", in the middle of a remote desert:

Matt: I gotta use your cell.
Usutu: No service! I should've gone with Sprint.

    • Sprint and Nissan are pretty much the show's two largest sponsors - beyond the Product Placement, at least half of the commercials are for either Sprint phones or Nissan cars.
    • The first episode of Season 4 shows a Sprint logo on the Dial-a-Hero ad in Tokyo. Now that's amazing coverage.
    • The show is starting to bleed into the commercials. During Season 4, there was a short commercial which was otherwise indistinguishable from a normal scene where one of the villains must sneak another one...a Sprint phone. It then cuts to a web address where you can presumably follow that side plot which will heavily feature cell phones.
  • The beginning of one episode of Alias has Sydney and Vaughn chasing a bad guy through a mall parking lot. When the bad guy takes to a car, Sydney points out a vehicle that would let them continue the chase by shouting "The F-150!" You'd think that would be a rather clumsy thing to say while running after bad guys, and something like "That truck" would be more efficient.
  • The recent Pilot Movie for the Knight Rider remake has one chase scene which is a painful example of this. KITT is a Ford, and the cars chasing it are Fords. Throughout the chase, we get closeup after closeup of their logos. At the end of a chase, the cars pursuing KITT are tricked into driving into a fully-loaded semi truck... and stop inches from the bumper; God forbid a Ford be damaged, after all. Later, just to hammer it in, a General Motors car is seen as a burning wreck.
    • In the series, KITT routinely transforms into other Ford models for disguise or utility.
  • Curious about which car company is sponsoring Friday Night Lights this week? Just wait for the scene at Buddy's car dealership and see which brand gets its name mentioned.
  • The first series of Burn Notice was all about Sam's Cadillac. Series two glorified a Saab; one crucial high speed chase in the summer finale of season two turned on the Saab's outstanding Electronic Braking System. Sam later lost his Caddy, and Fi sold the Saab in the season three midseason finale.
  • The second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles features the 2009 Dodge Ram extensively, including showing off its many handy storage compartments and GPS system.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex's third installment, Solid State Society, features two Nissan concept cars which actually were revealed to the public for the first time through the movie.
  • The Transformers series was plagued by this: every Autobot's altmode was a make of car owned by General Motors, except Optimus Prime, who was an (unbranded) Peterbilt Model 379 long-frame semi tractor; GM doesn't make an appropriate vehicle anymore, probably wasn't keen on reaching back to The Eighties for a GMC General, and no fan would accept Optimus Prime as an H2. Then again, the whole franchise is based off a line of toys, so quitcherbitchin. Also keep in mind that, later in the movie, an Xbox 360, Mountain Dew vending machine, and a Nokia cell phone are featured... coming to life and attacking people.
    • When Ironhide gets his alt mode, the camera actually zooms on the GM logo appearing on his front grill.
      • Ironhide might as well be a walking GM ad. Not only is the GMC logo prominently dead center in all his driving scenes, but he's got the logo (split in half) on his shoulders in robot mode.
    • Optimus may have avoided being an H2 (Ratchet wasn't so lucky), but became a Dodge Ram in the Alternators toy line, specifically set up to allow our beloved Transformers to actually become licensed vehicles.
    • Conversely, none of the Decepticon altmodes were General Motors makes. Barricade, for instance, was a (heavily customized) Ford Mustang.
      • Most of the Decepticons are military vehicles, which is probably why. As cool as it is, F-22s aren't available for private sale yet. Beside Barricade, all the non military decepticons of the first movie are: a) a robot scorpion, b) a radio, and c) an alien spaceship.
    • Perhaps the most gratuitous product placement in the Transformers movie (and there is a lot to choose from, beyond the cars) is the slow, dramatic zoom-in on... a Panasonic sd-card. The girl even holds it with tweezers, lest her fingers block the name, while turning it gently in the light to make sure we don't miss its holographic reflective label while having plenty of time to read it. This is just so depressingly obvious in a movie where the other placement is usually entertaining in its own right (like Dispensor, Agent Simmons and the "nasty" little Nokia phone, and Bumblebee upgrading his model when Mikaela hurts his feelings).
      • More blatant than the Xbox 360 Transformer who makes the 360 booting sound before transforming? Really?
        • It's more blatant because the 360 is obviously evil and attacks the person carrying it. Product placement usually can't abuse the product in question, either physically wrecking it or painting it in a bad light. Look at the rest of this page and see how many examples have their specific products handled like eggs in a basket or go untouched by the bad guys. Transformers probably got away with this and the Mountain Dew vending machine because they're so ridiculous they come off as comic relief, inciting a positive reaction from the viewer despite their negative portrayal.
      • At least the sd-card is a valid plot point, in that it illustrates how the girl is smuggling information out of the Pentagon. Most Michael Bay films are not that subtle.
    • In Revenge of the Fallen, there's a poster for Cloverfield that's impossible to miss. If you're asking why it fits in this, consider that the Transformers movies and Cloverfield are both distributed by Paramount.
      • Wait, I missed it. I noted the conspicuous Mountain Dew vending machine in a dorm room, though, right in line with the camera after the character it was following moves to the right.
      • I missed it too, but I saw the Bad Boys 2 poster, another movie from Michael Bay.
    • Michael Bay apparently even set a RECORD for most product placement in a film with no fewer than 47 brands in the movie!
    • Dark of the Moon got off a little easier in the car department, at least; due to GM's financial woes, they were able to actually licence some non-GM vehicles for use by both the Autobots and Decepticons—Wheeljack and Soundwave were both Mercedes, while Mirage was a Ferrari. None of them seemed particularly forced upon the audience; in fact, Mirage's logo was never even visible. There is a brief plug for Soundwave's SLS AMG alt mode, but it's mostly Sam talking about how improbably expensive it is, and it doesn't change the fact that the one who transforms into it is portrayed as unambiguously evil, and is blown up by film's end.
      • It also had Sentinel Prime's Rosenbauer Panther Fire truck form, which is probably one of oddest Product Placements yet, as Rosenbauer is fire vehicle only company doing all it's business selling work vehicles. Not likely something that will be purchased by a movie goer And he has the airport model to boot. The odds of an airport safety worker watching the film and deciding Sentinel is cool and their airport needs a Panther seems unusually slim. But it's officially licensed with a "Rosenbauer fire fighting technology" seal on even the Sentinel prime figures.
      • And Megatron was a Mack Truck, despite it only showing up in two brief shots. Him driving up in Africa and a quick shot of him entering Chicago. You don't even see the logo clearly, but the toy has it right on the front and has the Mack seal on the package. It's funny that Optimus who's trademark alt mode is a truck and who probably gets the most driving scenes out of all the characters gets a genericised prop truck for all 3 films, but Megatron's two scene one film truck mode was not.
  • In the 1996 film Twister, the main characters pilot a red Dodge Ram pickup truck which carries them safely through obstacles that destroy lesser vehicles. The truck meets its end bravely marching through a cornfield into a giant tornado (yes, seriously) to deploy a tornado-measuring MacGuffin named DOROTHY.
  • The 2008 Iron Man film gave us a nice look at Tony's Audi.
  • It is no coincidence that almost every motorcycle seen in Mad Max is a Kawasaki.
  • Fight Night Round 3 from EA Games has quite a bit; while usually themed with the sport (boxing), it seems a bit out of place where one cutscene is an actual ad for a Dodge of some sort. And for some reason Dodge has branched out from making things like cars to things like ... um, boxing gloves?
  • Oh my goodness, the freaking Yaris in Smallville. "Clark, my Yaris gets great mileage." "Your super-speed's out of gas, so take my Yaris." Yaris, Yaris, YARIS. It was almost as bad as the Stride placement detailed below.
    • This only scratches the surface of Smallville's frequent car product placement. Clark, whose family struggles with paying the bills are frequent plot points, has been shown driving several brand-spanking-new trucks well beyond his means, to include a shiny red Toyota Tundra in "Progeny" and a shiny blue Toyota Tundra in "Hero" (though maybe he just sprung for a new paint job, cuz those are cheap). Even worse was Lois Lane using her brand new Ford Fusion to distract a guard in "Solitude" by showing off its amazing features.
  • Some of Cars' characters have real car models.
  • Cry Wolf was made as the result of a contest hosted by Chrysler. Easy guess what kind of cars everyone owns.
  • Frisky Dingo had some fun with this, as an entire episode simultaneously hawked and mocked the Scion TC: Killface plans to spread his plans for world domination on Live with Mitzi & Verl, but his first segment got bumped because the hosts were so caught up in discussing the car, then it takes up a good chunk of his second segment as well, before he sarcastically screams that once he takes over the world, "you won't have much use for 17-inch alloy wheels". The studio crew takes this impetus to show ad footage of the Scion behind him as he rants about everyone falling victim to "Scion fever", which the hosts and crowd also take and run with. He then storms out of the studio, and gets splashed with mud by a passing Scion TC.
    • Don't forget the "Haggar pants gently caressing my thighs like a lover."
  • Strangely averted in Doomsday. The filmmakers decided the Cool Car should be a shiny new Bentley. Bentley, however, is too classy to do product placement, so they had to buy three brand-new cars at full price. They then wrecked two of them filming the chase sequences.
  • The Disney rendition of George of the Jungle either uses product placement, or spoofs it; hard to tell. This is most obvious with the pair of Nike Airs that George -who has until recently never worn shoes before in his life- pulls out for a trans-continental run and makes a big show of putting them on. Other instances may include a brand of coffee (Hilarity Ensues when the caffeine -apparently foreign to George's system- synergizes with the sugar high he's on) and McDonald's (which George eats while riding on top of a trolly car).
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Sharon Lawrence's character describes her dented car as such: "This is a Lucerne 275 Northstar V8. I get a new Buick every year. It's my trademark." This was only the beginning: In the following three seasons, Natalie went through six cars, one of which was the aforementioned Buick Lucerne. Among others that were almost certainly product placement were an Audi and a Hyundai Genesis. It makes one wonder how Natalie can afford several different cars, considering how little she is paid. These cars are also heavily advertised on the Monk website. There is a Concentration-type game, where, in addition to characters' faces, you match parts of the Buick Lucerne. That remained, even after the sponsor of the website changed to Audi.
    • In the original airing, the first commercial was the same car shown in the episode right before it went into commercial break.
  • Bones pimps Toyotas like they're going out of style. It starts with characters referencing car models by name, progresses to little asides about backup cameras, and just recently, the fact that a Prius can tell you when you're in the wrong lane became the catalyst for a episode's (major) B-plot when Hodgins and Angela get jailed for testing it out. At this rate, a Toyota's going to be added to the main cast by the beginning of next season.
    • In the season 4 episode "The Double Death of the Dearly Departed", as Bones and Booth smuggle a corpse out of a funeral home, Cam states "your Sequoia...was blocked, so I grabbed Angela's Matrix." After Bones asks if there'd be enough room, Cam pointedly comments "it'll be fine, there's plenty of room!" This scene also features an example of Of Corpse He's Alive.
    • Then there was an entire shot in another episode that was basically written to say "You know that cool parallel-parking thing Ford has? Toyota has it too."
    • Actually nearly every episode of Bones contains this with at least 3 having Brennan saying something along the lines of "I will just send the pictures back to the lab with my Windows 7 Phone(cue close up) and then a lab technician going "Wow! look at that resolution!!"
  • More technical racing games don't just have product placement for vehicles, but even for parts. Two excellent examples are the 4x4Evolution and the Need for Speed franchise after Underground, in which every single aftermarket component you can put on your vehicles, from turbochargers to car seats, is an actual product made by an actual company.
  • Some racing games are actually marketed with this in mind, like NFS: Porsche Unleashed and Automobili Lamborghini.
    • Don't forget Beetle Adventure Racing for the Nintendo 64. Haven't played the others, but Beetle Adventure Racing at least had the advantage of being solidly-designed and fun to play, so it was easy to overlook the blatant product placement.
  • Tomb Raider: Legend had
  • The second Tomb Raider film, The Cradle of Life, featured the new 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Jeep produced limited-run "Tomb Raider models" available in the colour it appeared in in the movie.
  • The 2004 Catwoman shows our heroine stare seductively at a Jaguar's hood ornament, after jumping into the middle of the street and the car almost hits her.
  • The Dark Knight Saga has The Lamborghini. For bonus plug points, all the shots of The Lamborghini were filmed with the IMAX camera, while all the shots in the scene involving Gordon, Reese, Dent, The Joker, and the hospital (bar the explosion) were filmed in 35mm. Much more subtle indeed.
  • As with their deodorant example below, a recent episode of Eureka was pretty loud in its proclamation that the new Subaru is a good car. First, Carter is impressed when Jo shows him her new car, and she gets to brag about it; it's then contrasted with Fargo's crappy old car. Fargo then ditches his old car and gets himself a Subaru; Jo asks him how he pulled it off because she was on a waiting list for months for hers but he claims to have pulled some strings (apparently people in Eureka must not buy their own cars). But it's not until much later in the episode that Jo's new car saves the day by being the only thing that can get Fargo to where the others are in time to deliver some crucial information. Finally, near the end Fargo makes a solemn declaration that to make amends with his jilted car AI he'll install her in his new car right away.
    • And don't forget that Fargo lists off the cars stats instantly upon seeing it. Safe to say Eureka doesn't take their product placement too seriously.
    • There was also the deodorant that began as commercials between segments, before being shown as invented by the Eurekans, then shown to have cooling powers intense enough to save one person from being being cooked by a mini-sun.
  • Recent games of the NCAA Football video game series have the Cadillac Game Changing Performance at the end of every game. Notably, the one replay you can't skip is the one that has the Cadillac logo plastered at the top-left of the screen.
    • So, authentic to the actual broadcasts, then.
  • James Bond and his association with Aston Martin is legendary, although BMW got the product placement for Bond cars during the Brosnan era until Die Another Day, when Ford got the sponsorship rights again and pumped the movie full of Ford brands (Aston, Jaguar, Ford, etc.).
  • CSI (Las Vegas) features the GMC Yukon Denali S.U.V.: the logo is readable on screen and it's even been mentioned by name a few times. On the other hand, with nearly everything else, their production crew has been pretty good about not just covering up brand names but inventing new in-universe ones, complete with realistic-looking logos. Instead of "FedEx", for example, they've used "SendEx" a few times, complete with similar-but-different logo.
  • RoboCop fought crime in a modified 1986 Ford Taurus. Even better: the 6000 SUX, driven by the villain and wrecked in one scene, is a Brand X of the Taurus' competitor, the Pontiac 6000.
  • Along with crappy non-branded cars and trucks, Far Cry 2 had the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Liberty(?) as drivable cars. Which creates a weird scenario where soldiers in a war-torn (and UN Arms Embargoed) African nation are driving brand new Jeeps.
    • You even get a nice good look at the 3.7L engine when they break down.
  • The Transporter series. In the first film, Frank uses a BMW, though in the sequel and the third film, he has since switched to Audis. The second film's Crowning Moment of Awesome is when a bomb is placed on the undercarriage of Frank's car, and Frank jumps the car off a roof, snags the bomb on a construction crane, and lands the car as the bomb goes off in the background. The Audi is unscathed.
  • White Collar spent some time shilling for Ford. "This is a Taurus, it can take care of itself. I'm keeping my eyes on you."
  • Sam Axe might as well be a spokesman for Cadillac.
    • Not only that, but there was an episode where Michael basically gave a Combat Commentary about how the car he was using for a high-speed chase was ideal and listed down its features.
  • Will Schuester of Glee buys a Corvette in one episode as a response to his not-quite-girlfriend getting a cool new boyfriend. In case you miss the half-dozen times they mention the Corvette, you'll also get a good long look at the dashboard logo while the dialogue stops to make way for engine-revving noises.
  • The House episode "Gut Check" featured a lingering shot of Wilson's Ford Taurus's logo, and then transitioned to a view of the dash with in-board GPS. Relatively subtle as it's not commented on by the characters, but still quite blatant.
  • Claudia comments on the Toyota Prius in Season 3 Episode 1 of Warehouse 13.
    • Taken to the point of parody even. Jinks becomes increasingly annoyed during the scene as Claudia ignores his questions in order to list off the features of the car.
  • Both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger feature various Acura models driven by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. There were even commercials aired prior to the release of Thor declaring that Acura was the "Official Car of S.H.I.E.L.D."
  • In the third season of The Middle, the "Hecking It Up" episode seems to have basically been written as an extended ad for the Volkswagen Passat starring the show's characters. They made sure to use the remote starter as many times as possible and, at one point, Frankie even mentions the "roomy trunk".


Computers (Microsoft® Smartbook i-1500C)[edit | hide]

  • Due to their historical popularity among artists (like, say, production crews), distinctive stylings and extremely rabid fanbase, computers in fiction are more likely to be a Macintosh than in real life. They can be seen frequently on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and Veronica Mars.
  • Dollhouse moved away from the Macs-are-cool trope, featuring Dell desktop computers instead. However, Apple retained a presence in the show through the use of iPhones.
  • During the early run of 24, all the good guys used Macs and the bad guys generic Wintel boxes. Recently the good guys started using HP computers. In the fourth season, the terrorists used Alienware gaming laptops, which is rather odd seeing as terrorists are usually on the run, therefore needing PCs with better battery life... unless terrorists happen to enjoy playing Counter Strike in their spare time.
  • On Seinfeld, a Mac is always seen in the background of Jerry's apartment.
    • Brutally subverted when Microsoft later paid Jerry Seinfeld to appear in ads featuring Windows Vista. On the other hand, you can run Windows Vista on a Intel-based Mac. Maybe it's the hardware that counts?
  • Veronica Mars, especially in its final season, featured Apple laptops prominently. However, Apple obviously didn't pay for the privilege, as every time they're on screen the light-up logo on the back is blocked by something in the scene—a timestamp, a Post-It note, a box of licorice (really). It's done badly in the background of one scene with an Alienware laptop, where they put a sticker of the fictional college over the small alien head—despite doing nothing about the also-distinctive moulding on either side, which is much larger than the head and in a different colour.
  • Who could forget Jeff Goldblum's PowerBook 5300 in Independence Day? He later went on to do voiceovers in tons of Apple ads. (Ironically, the 5300 is probably one of the least cool Macs ever made—not actually a bad computer, but rather bare-bones for the time. Well, except for that incident involving the flaming LiIon batteries.)
  • WALL-E has a makeshift television consisting of a magnifier and an iPod, among other Apple Shout Outs. Apple founder Steve Jobs used to run Pixar and was the largest stock holder of Disney-Pixar.
    • The Evil AI uses a default text-to-speech voice option on older Macs.
    • WALL-E uses the Mac boot-up chime.
  • Psych has, in a few early episodes, the main characters using an Alienware laptop.
  • The computer through which L communicates in Death Note is a Mac, although the apple logo is never actually visible. Likewise, Light's computer isn't explicitly identified but is recognizable as a Mac G4. Since the series was set Twenty Minutes Into the Future, it's a bit out of date now.
  • The laptop Stephen Colbert uses to vandalise Wikipedia (through the time-honoured method of Rapid-Fire Typing) has a clearly displayed Apple logo. It's not exactly Product Placement, however, as he has been known to throw the laptop on the floor when he's done with it.
    • Ditto for The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart's laptop always being a Mac.
    • Colbert often uses product placements, including having his 2008 presidential election bid sponsored by Doritos, even though, if he was taken seriously, it would have been illegal at the time.
      • The subject of the legality of the sponsorship actually was mentioned on the show, after which Colbert clarified that his presidential bid was not sponsored by Doritos... however, his own coverage of his presidential bid was.
  • All of Otacon's computers in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots are Macs. In the first cutscene in his "office", Otacon clearly has at least one Mac Pro, an iMac (the recent version that looks like a monitor with a little base), several MacBook Pros, and even an iPod (see the video game section below). Considering that this installment is set circa 2014, it seems like a minor anachronism, but anything in service to marketing!
    • It's not quite as bad as the blatant product placement of the MSX in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which was set in 1999. Snake even lampshades it by complaining about the computers being everywhere, saying that the only people who still use them are 'freaks'. This line was removed from the slightly modernized version available on the Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence disc, since it was no longer funny.
    • There's also a Play Station 3 sitting on one of the tables in the Nomad; it's on the floor above the cargo hold where Otacon's workstation is set up. Sunny pulls a PSP out of a box, too. Vamp's cell phone is a Sony model.
  • An exception to Apple dominance is Dell, as the logo on its laptop lids and monitors not only is distinctive, but also stretches across the entire width of the product (especially prevalent are laptops by Alienware—which is part of Dell). This led to a glaring anomaly in the film V for Vendetta; in an early scene Lewis Prothero, "The Voice of London", is seen delivering a political commentary which describes the United States as being a state in crisis, suffering from civil war, widespread famine and verging on if not actually in economic collapse. And then we see every computer monitor bearing the familiar "Dell" logo (Dell being an American company... although they could have come from the "former United States", or Dell UK, or one of Dell's factories in Malaysia).
  • This also appeared in Atlantis, with the stranded Earth expedition continually whipping out the newest Dell gear for months on end, even before the Daedalus reached them.
    • Truth in Television: Any movie or show featuring a government organization must have Dells if it wants to be accurate. NASA and the military are the biggest users of Dell products, as Dell has one of the best support systems for failed equipment, saving the tax payers money. Chances are, if the film features the government, there will be Dell products.
  • On the other hand, Dexter's MacBook Pro probably wasn't supplied by Apple, since he runs Windows on it.
    • I'm curious as to what kind of writing Deb's season 2 boyfriend would need to do that would require an Alienware laptop.
  • One of the few shows to be realistic about the preponderance of PCs vs. Macs in real life settings is the US version of The Office, in which the office computers were Dells earlier and Gateways later, as you'd expect to see in many similar real offices. Since Acer bought the latter, its logo has become more common.
  • A recent episode of Heroes featured a scene between HRG and one of the baddies, the Hunter, taking place at the latter's apartment. What occupies the center of the screen in shots featuring the two of them? A large stack of Dell computer boxes. I mean, I know Dell sucks, but evil? Really?
  • Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad's computer scenes always showed enough of the edge of the monitor for a very large and prominent Compaq logo to be displayed.
  • Ouran High School Host Club not only uses Bland Name Products (most of which are seen in the anime), but in the manga we see Kyouya using an Apple computer with the proper OS displayed on the screen. He even has a few recognizable icons such as Skype.
    • The live-action version has him using an iPad.
  • Resident Evil Extinction is just filled to the brim with Sony products, with logos prominently onscreen, especially their "Vaio" brand for computers, mostly in the Evil Umbrella Corporation's labs and offices. But not just there; even Alice's little shortwave radio is a Sony (and very definitely not one of their better efforts).
  • Just name any movie or series that shows a computer screen image at some point and there's a 99% chance that you'll see the telltale red, yellow, and green Mac buttons at the top.
  • At one point in the movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, a computer boots up and we get a few good seconds devoted to the startup screen for Windows 95. They even used the Windows 95 startup noise. See for yourself.
    • Not only Windows 95, but the computer's blatantly a NEC PowerMate (for the uninitiated, NEC was the creator of the TurboGrafx-16, and it's semiconductor business fabricated CPUs for Sega back in the 32x, Saturn and Dreamcast days). They also made desktop computers and notebooks up until recently, when they decided to discontinue these to focus on the server and supercomputing sector.
  • In Eyeshield 21, Hiruma is usually seen toting around a laptop. In some places, it is revealed to be a Sony Vaio.
  • In Warehouse 13 S03E03, a plot point involves computer chain store Tiger Direct.
  • Averted in Live Free or Die Hard, a movie about hackers in which the sidekick is Justin Long (yes, the ubiquitous "I'm a Mac" guy) acting as a white hat hacker. There's not a single Apple computer.
  • Ryan Reynolds explains to Blade the one thing all vampire hunters need.
  • Humorous product placement used as stealth character reference: Nicoale Carpathia, the Antichrist of the Left Behind book series, is seen in the first film of the book series using a Macbook with the Apple logo visible. Given what Bible legend says about the fall of man...
  • In Source Code, a mobile phone displays a search engine page prominently showing the Bing logo.
  • Sex and the City always made sure we saw the Apple logo on Carrie's notebook whenever she was typing her column. It was subverted in "My Motherboard, Myself" when it finally crashed, we saw the bomb on the screen and we learned that most of her hard drive was lost. At the end she learned to back up her data externally.
  • A TDK electronics billboard appears at one point in The Brave Little Toaster.
  • The Mega Race sequence from Spy Kids 3D: Game Over featured AMD billboards.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Clotho Buer can be seen playing with his Bandai Wonder Swan.
  • The X-Universe games have nividium, a plot point in X2 and X3 that is clearly a Shout-Out to nVidia. Egosoft insists it isn't, probably to avoid pissing off ATI users.


Movies (Alfred Hitchcock's® Psycho)[edit | hide]

  • The movie adaptation of Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Apparently even ancient Greek Gods wear Converse, vintage 2010.
  • In Oliver and Company, New York is filled to the brim with adverts for just about every product you could think of. On the other hand, it wouldn't BE New York without advertising.
  • I Robot. His 'Converse All-star' trainers get several mentions including a close up of him removing them from the box near the start of the film. The Audi is acceptable as it adds a sense of realism however the close up of the JVC stereo is pretty hard to accept. Apparently we will still be listening to CD's in the future.
    • Presumably the justification for the trainers and the stereo is that they represent Del's dislike of modern technology and therefore "retro" tastes. And in fairness, the film does portray the use of CDs as Del's own little quirk, as demonstrated by Calvin's complete unfamiliarity with the technology. Nevertheless the undue importance placed on Del's "Converse All-stars, vintage 2004" is a little much. That line itself couldn't have been any more blatant an advertisement if Will had smiled at the camera and quoted prices.
      • Parodied on a Robot Chicken sketch combining I, Robot with The Jetsons, when after Del crashes through a window leaving only his shoe behind, there is a close up of the shoe with red flashing letters "On sale now, viewers!"
      • Especially when you consider that Converse have been consistently popular with the same look for 90 years at that point in the REAL world. Throwing an extra 20 on for the movie doesn't mean much, and we must assume Spooner could go to any shoe store and buy a pair himself.
    • And then there's the Fed-Ex delivery robot.
  • In the season 2 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Innocence", Buffy and Angelus fight amongst prominently-displayed posters for then new (and presumably not hated yet) Quest for Camelot.
  • The Bones episode "The Gamer In The Grease" had Hodgins, Sweets and Fischer all going to ridiculous lengths to make the line for the premiere of Avatar. In order to avoid the Celebrity Paradox that would occur by Fischer (who is played by Joel David Moore who played Spellman in Avatar) seeing the movie they had him miss the film entirely as he was too busy hooking up with a hot geek girl on line.
  • 2012 has so many including Bentley, Sony Vaio laptops, and Goodnites.
  • In the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, Rene Russo practically chugs a Pepsi One with the label pointed directly at the camera.
  • A new trick is to digitally insert Product Placement into reruns of TV shows and updating them for new ads with each airing. A rerun for How I Met Your Mother added a television set to a bar scene which showed an ad for Bad Teacher a movie released a few years after the episode originally aired. Future airings of the episode can change this to a more current ad (such as Zookeeper).
  • Subverted in the first X-Files movie. Mulder has gone out into the alley behind a bar to relieve himself and ends up sprinkling a poster on the wall for Independence Day - arguably the X-Files main competition.
    • Strangely enough, Fox released both films.
  • The first shot in The Hurt Locker is of the bomb disposal bot running over a pepsi can in a massive closeup.
  • The primary school playground in Millions has a Coca-Cola machine on it (which actually isn't allowed in primary schools in the UK).
  • The final battle for the title in Real Steel takes place in the "Bing arena". Sure, Microsoft, that's definitely gonna happen.
  • In RoboCop 2, RoboCop goes to an arcade that only seems to have Data East games. (Data East made the RoboCop and RoboCop 2 arcade games.)


Food and Drink (Burger King's® Double Whopper and Coke® Zero)[edit | hide]

  • Some egregious examples in soap operas can be found here and here. Because yes, a simple snack needs some 5 or so minutes to explain all the benefits of why you should eat it instead of simply eating it and not having to awkwardly delve in like a normal. Fucking. Person. And Cheddar Chex Mix are the best kind anyway!
    • This one is arguably worse given that the 2 actors have been on the show (off and on) since the early 80s. Poor Bo and Hope...
    • But wasn't the whole point of soap operas was to sell soap? They just switched the product.
  • Babylon A.D. had an airliner with a Coke Zero ad painted across its entire surface. Actually, New York City seems to be obsessed with Coke in the future; it had billboards everywhere.
  • A recent episode of the reality show Driving Force had two people eating KFC and blatantly plugging it—to the point where one of them read the nutritional facts panel to declare "It has zero trans fat".
  • An early example was the sponsorship of the second Doctor Who movie in 1966 by Sugar Puffs, leading to out-of-place posters advertising the cereal in a supposed post-apocalyptic world.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you can see an early example of product placement when Ferris is seen drinking Pepsi not once, but twice, with the label shown prominently each time.
  • Smallville uses this to a sickening degree. In one particularly bad episode, "Product Placement Pete" returned to the show in full force after a three-year absence, in an episode called "Hero", which was pretty much a drawn-out Product Placement scheme for Stride Gum. The gum actually had a point in the episode—it got contaminated with Green Rocks and gave Pete super stretching powers—so it was shown much more often than the average Product Placement item.
    • Also, Stride gum was mentioned by name over and over, never "gum" but always "Stride," and even one mention of how long the flavor supposedly lasts. At the end, a cured Pete offers Chloe some, holding it up to show the logo exactly as a person in a commercial would, and says "It's Kryptonite-free" as if that was its slogan. The entire episode was basically an hour-long Stride commercial with the cast of Smallville along for the ride.
  • The Argentine soap Rebelde Way doesn't miss a chance to promote some snack food or another. Amusing because it places the characters momentarily way out of character and because it's nearly impossible as a foreigner to determine what's the fuss about.
  • Chuck gleefully shills for Subway and Red Bull, to the point that they regularly hang lampshades on Subway's Five Dollar Footlong special, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by Real Life Comics.
  • At one point, WWE wrestlers Edge and Christian happened upon a vending machine selling RC Edge cola. Upon discovering that there's a cola "named after him", Edge declares, "Now, more than ever, Sodas Rule!"
  • Just about every time an episode of WCW Monday Nitro cut to the announce desk, a bottle of Surge would be plainly visible, with the label facing the camera.
  • At one point, X-Pac was pretty blatantly shown drinking Hansen's Energy - even on the way down the ramp before a match. In fact, his entrance video briefly featured several closeups of a Hansen's Energy can.
    • This really obvious product-placement was parodied savagely on the (old) ECW by having someone 'force' wrestler CW Anderson to wrestle dressed as a bottle of power-drink. ("Cap" hat, little armholes sticking out of the bottle, really hard to get up once knocked over, etc)
  • Let's not forget about the 3 hour episode of WWE Raw that was commercial free. It may have not had actual commercials, but in between matches the announcers would shill KFC and other sponsors. They even had a bucket of KFC chicken on the announcer table.
  • Another episode of Raw had Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler doing a pitch for Subway, with Subway sandwiches on the announce table in front of them. After the next match, Santino Marella stole Lawler's sandwich and ran back to the locker room, cackling like a supervillain the whole time. Lawler then spent the better part of an hour pouting about his lost sandwich. It was one of the funniest examples of Product Placement on record, just because of everybody's reactions.
  • And in yet another example, Subway spokesman Jared Fogle appeared on Raw to pitch Subway himself. CM Punk subsequently decided that Jared's message of healthy eating would fit well with his own message, and decided to make Jared join the Straight Edge Society—whether he wanted to or not. Jared ended up getting rescued by DX, but not before an extremely funny segment with Punk chewing scenery like there was no tomorrow.

CM Punk: "Bring me Jared from Subway."

  • The "Pu'olo" episode in the second season of the reimagined Hawaii Five-0, basically had a 50-second Subway commercial inserted into the middle of the episode. It was criticized widely as over-the-top even by the standards of in-show product placement.
  • Subway also gets one in (as in, it was mentioned in the credits) early in The Middle's third-season episode "The Guidance Counselor" when the camera pans just slowly enough across some Subway wrappers and sandwiches on the kitchen counter as Frankie announces dinner is ready.
  • Pizza Hut has a very lucrative deal with Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. While Humongous Mecha and Evil Eyes battle it out, Pizza Hut signs are in every episode and the cast eat pizza every chance they get. This gets slowly phased out over the course of the series, but one element sticks around up to the very last scene of the series: C.C.'s prized possession is a plush of Cheese-Kun, Pizza Hut's mascot in Japan.
    • The logos are censored out in the American release because, according to a Bandai rep, Pizza Hut wasn't too hot on the idea of sponsoring a show whose protagonist is a vengeance-minded terrorist. Cheese-Kun remains unedited, presumably because the only Americans who know what it is are Geass fans who watched the show subbed.
    • Code Geass also had a somewhat strange placement of Soproni Kékfrankos, a Hungarian wine (even mentioned in dialog). While the name of the wine is completely correct right down to accent, the name of the producer and Hungary itself is a bit misspelled. Leaving us to wonder if it is a real Product Placement or just a particularly careful Bland-Name Product.
  • The anime OVA Freedom was sponsored by Nissin Foods as part of an anniversary promotion—and apparently the only food available to the colonists on the moon is Cup Noodles.
    • When the action shifts to post-apocalyptic Earth, the only food available there is Cup Noodles too... but they have Seafood flavor! This leads to some serious Fridge Logic: are the people on Earth eating 200 year old Cup Noodles? If not, are there Nissin factories still operating on Earth even though everyone's dirt-poor? Since the dystopian government on the Moon is trying to uphold the Masquerade that everyone on Earth is dead, do the Earth and Moon branches of Nissin have any contact with each other? Or is Nissin part of the whole conspiracy in the first place?
  • Mai Kujaku (Mai Valentine in the English versions) drinks Pepsi in one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!. The reference was taken out in the American version. Starbucks coffee has also appeared. Many cards in Yu-Gi-Oh also happen to be shameless promotions for Konami games (Konami owns the rights to Yu-Gi-Oh) such as Castlevania, Gradius, Contra and even Metal Gear Solid.
  • The newest Neon Genesis Evangelion movie is chock full of it, with Pizza Hut (again!), Pepsi, Doritos, Yebisu beer (not Yebichu), and UCC Coffee (whew!). Most of these have accompanying packaging advertising the movie as well.
    • In the second movie, there is a Lawson Convenience Store inside Nerv Headquarters.
  • In the movie Wild Hogs, every beer, even in the biker bar, is a Michelob.
  • In Twister, to give the DOROTHY probes wings, the characters gather every soda can they can find. They're all Pepsi cans. In the South. You just try casually finding Pepsi cans south of the Potomac.
  • Enter the Matrix had a deal with Powerade. As such, there are Powerade vending machines all over the game.
    • The advertising continued in Matrix Revolutions, leading to a visually bizarre chase scene through a grimy, run-down subway station peppered with bright-neon-green Powerade billboards.
  • Famously, Hershey's got "Reese's Pieces" into the movie ET the Extraterrestrial, after M&Ms balked on the project, thinking the movie would flop.
    • Infamously, this decision likely led to Mac and Me, another movie about a kid and his alien buddy that seemed dedicated solely to shilling McDonald's and Coca Cola at every opportunity.
    • M&Ms appear in the Novelization, presumably because they were still in negotiations while it was being written.
  • Domino's Pizza boxes can be seen all over the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This is very deliberate.
    • To really drive this home, in one VHS release, the movie is preceded by a Pizza Hut ad.
    • Similarly, Pizza Hut signs are all over Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game. The instruction manual also included coupons for Pizza Hut pizza.
    • The sequel had a Bart Simpson glass held up straight at the camera. Kinda logical given the plot but still...
  • Bee Movie had Bumble Bee Tuna in a pantry for the main character to do a double take at. (Too bad they didn't also go for Bit-O'-Honey with the candy with which the opposing lawyer was taunting him later.
  • In the future world of Demolition Man, every single restaurant and fast-food chain has been bought out by Taco Bell. And the characters often sing commercial jingles (the only form of "classic" music that's clean and wholesome enough for the incredibly uptight San Angeles). In Europe, where there are no Taco Bells, all logos were replaced with Pizza Hut logos and the lines were redubbed accordingly.
    • Umm...not in the UK they weren't. Never seen a version that mentions Pizza Hut.
      • Some versions omit the name of the restaurant all together.
  • The Fifth Element has a McDonald's with sexy semi-dressed cashiers.
    • Not to mention a driveup window for the flying cars in the middle of a logo that filled the entire screen, as well as several flying 'road train' type trucks, with each trailer bright red with the Golden Arches on it...
      • In a sequence featuring the actor Mac McDonald. * rimshot*
  • In a similar vein, Fight Club had Project Mayhem members smash in a Volkswagen Beetle and break into a Mac store—apparently, the director was approached by said companies...
    • Project Mayhem break a large spherical sculpture and send it rolling into a Starbucks shop. On the DVD Commentary, the director said that once they had permission to use the Starbucks logo, they decided to stick it in anywhere they could possibly manage.
  • In the movie Cool Runnings, the Title Drop occurred in a scene with a prominently placed bottle of Coca-Cola. And near the beginning, there's a shot of eight sprinters about to race while in front of a MASSIVE Coke advert.
  • The 2000 (modern day) adaptation of Hamlet was chock full of these, but the most glaring one may have been when the ghost of Hamlet's father walked into a Pepsi machine and disappeared.
  • Addams Family Values. Gomez is in the police station, ranting at how unfair life is, how certain things and concepts are 'pure evil', and is on the topic of a money-grubbing psychopath who has brainwashed his beloved brother. Meanwhile, in the back, is a product plug in the form of the police station's very bright, very noticeable Coke machine. Someone Missed The Point. That...or someone had a very delicious 'Take That' moment against Product Placement.
  • The infamous Leonard Part 6 features an outraged Bill Cosby confronting his daughter and her septugenarian boyfriend, and holding a Coca Cola bottle next to his face the whole time. As The Agony Booth recap makes clear, Leonard was awash in blatant and pointless product placement. Coca-Cola owned the studio, so they were featured wherever possible, but dish soap and antacids even became part of the plot.
  • A blatant example from Lonelygirl15 is the Ice Breakers Sours Gum, which is shown in "Truckstop Reunion". When Daniel asks what Bree is holding, she gives the full name of the product (rather than just saying "gum"), holding the packet up so the viewers get a good look at the logo. Daniel and Jonas then beg Bree for some gum, but she puts all four remaining pieces in her mouth instead, to the boys' dismay.
  • Superman II has several, the most memorable probably being when Superman flings one of his fellow Kryptonians through a giant electronic Coca-Cola billboard. Of course, given that the movie's Metropolis was a blatant stand-in for New York City, and the fight took place in the equivalent of Times Square, that's exactly what you would expect to see there.
  • A chocolate-flavored CalorieMate Block shows up as a usable item in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, fully restoring Naked Snake's stamina when consumed. This is amazing, considering that the game takes place in 1964, meaning CalorieMate wouldn't even be released for almost another two decades. And why would the CIA supply their agent with a Japanese food instead of MREs?
    • Because it is easier to carry? And also, an energy drink was advertised as well
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, when Negi's party was scattered during Magic World arc, one of the few things that Chisame was able to bring with her was a CalorieMate Block she put in her robe.
    • An in-story example: During the Battle of Mahora, (which almost all the students think is just a game), Chao, the arc's Big Bad pops up on the giant screens to do some Evil Gloating. After which she does an ad for the restaurant she manages.
  • In the Jean-Claude Van Damme/Dennis Rodman film Double Team the grand finale occurs at the Coliseum between JCVD, a tiger, land mines and Mickey Rourke. When the heroes are outrunning the explosion, the corridors of the Coliseum appear to be infested with prominently placed Coca-Cola machines, to the point the heroes weather out the worst of the blast by hiding behind one of the explosion defying machines.
  • All of Adam Sandler's films have absurd levels of product placement. To wit:
    • Billy Madison and Snack Pack pudding
    • Happy Gilmore: Aside from the pro golf sponsors, the titular character endorses himself in a Subway commercial after being suspended from playing golf in order to raise the money to pay off his grandmother's house from taxes. In the finals tournament, he wears a Subway shirt. Also played for laughs by how ridiculously overacted the advertisements are: "I eat three every day to help keep me strong!", but that still can't justify the 4 or 5 explicit mentions of the restaurant that precede it.
    • Then there's the Popeyes Fried Chicken sponsorship in Little Nicky, which passes beyond product placement and becomes Anvilicious in its hamfistedness. In one scene, Nicky not only eats Popeyes, but says, "Man, Popeyes' chicken is fuckin' awesome!" Could it get any worse? Oh yes, it could... Nicky's love of Popeyes is integral to his defeat of the Big Bad. Cue giant walking Popeyes bucket.
      • And don't forget the "change Coke into Pepsi" scene, with Nicky's roommate making a face when he tastes the "miracle".
        • This was actually included more as a reference to Pulp Fiction (Jules mentions changing Coke into Pepsi as a miracle) but seeing Sandler's penchant for product placement, it was probably both.
    • Eight Crazy Nights had a lengthy poem describing the brand-name stores in a mall.
    • Jack And Jill takes this to its logical extreme by actually making the (male) Sandler character an Ad executive. One review counted no less than twelves different products being advertised during the movie, including (but not limited to) Dunkin' Donuts, Royal Carribean Cruise Lines (both of which are integral to the plot in the vein of the Popeye's Chicken placement above), Pepto-Bismol, Coca-Cola, Oreos, Sony electronics, Subway, and Red Vines.
  • ABC Daytime has a product placement deal with Campbell's that has resulted in a number of embarrassingly shoehorned references to their soup, V8 Fusion, Prego sauces, and other products on All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, and, perhaps most egregiously, The View.
    • General Hospital also included in 2008 an in-show plug for Acai berry juice, which is endorsed by several stars of the show, including Steve Burton, whose character drank the juice when ill and immediately felt better. Behind-the-scenes rumors suggest this was written into the story without ABC's permission and caused the show to lose Tropicana as a sponsor.
    • It also became a latter annoyance for ABC as this "endorsement" was used on obnoxious web ads (i.e. the "one weird old trick" ad showing a badly drawn woman with a massive muffin top) faking news sites claiming that ABC News, Oprah and other news organizations endorsed acai products, when in truth they were mentioned either in passing, in segments telling you not to buy the product, or not at all.
  • There is an embarrassingly bad example in the Night Watch movie where Anton is given a cup of Nescafe. The coffee is well lit in the foreground and takes up the whole screen. Also when a screw drops into another characters coffee cup, that is also Nestle/Nescafe.
  • Who can forget Kyle's Narmful love of Sour Patch Kids throughout the first season of Kyle XY? Thankfully, they eased up for season 2.
  • Sunrise makes the list again. Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo had logos of its toy and music companies flying by in the first few episodes, but then comes episode 14. There's a long scene of Nina, Bou and Min eating at a Pizza Hut, with the logo in the dead center of the screen.
  • And Pizza Hut strikes again in the 4th season of Mariasama ga Miteru, where the logo is often prominently displayed in the background, even in an amusement park.
  • An early episode of Damages saw one character give another a gift certificate to Olive Garden, complete with the phrase "When you're here, you're family!" to the laughter of the people in the show and the groans of the people watching it.
  • The PAL version of the Biker Mice From Mars SNES game featured a ridiculous amount of advertising for Snickers. Sure, it's made by M&M/Mars, but why the candy company in question didn't advertise their Mars bars instead is anyone's guess...
  • Fight Night Round 3 from EA Games has quite a bit; while usually themed with the sport (boxing), it seems a bit out of place where one cutscene is an actual ad for a Dodge of some sort. And for some reason Dodge has branched out from making things like cars to things like... um, boxing gloves?. In addition to Dodge, The Burger King is an unlockable character. Yes, that Burger King.
    • Also unlockable is "Big E", the gigantic mascot for Under Armor. And his main rival, Goliath, a fat white guy who's a brazenly obvious Take That at Nike.
  • In Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, there are SoBe machines where you can restore your health.
  • In Parasite Eve 2 Coca-Cola was a usable item that restored 20HP and 80MP.
  • Splinter Cell (you can see Sobe Adrenaline Rush vending machines in the third mission. And in the CIA, no less.).
  • Tony Hawk's Underground 2 featured Butterfinger, McDonald's, and quite a few others.
  • Zool Ninja Of The Nth Dimension was sponsored by Chupa Chups lollipops. The first level has a "candy land" theme. One guess as to what's advertised all over the level...
  • It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World features numerous onscreen plugs for Coca-Cola. The scene where Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney fly an airplane through one of their billboards is merely the most prominent of these.
  • Characters in Terminator 2 can barely turn around without bumping into a Pepsi-drinker or a Pepsi vending machine.
  • In The Goonies, Chunk famously befriends Sloth with a Baby Ruth candy bar. There's numerous other food-and-drink related items shown, including Pepsi and Domino's Pizza.
  • A couple of the Kara no Kyoukai: movies prominently feature Haagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream, even tying it into the character development.
  • Actually plot-relevant in Goodbye Lenin. The protagonist's mom was a fervent government officer from Communist East Germany, she fell into a coma after a heart attack, and the doctor told them to avoid strong emotional jolt. Only problem is, the Berlin Wall fell and Germany reunified while she was still in a coma. The whole movie is about the protagonists' attempts to hide the Awful Truth from his mom until her heart is in better condition. Cue a gigantic red banner that turns out to be a Coca-Cola ad being hoisted on a nearby building as the fervently Communist mom looks worried at the scene.
    • The director also added that the protagonist's sister works at Burger King because that company was easier for the producers to work with for filming locations than McDonald's. The latter does maintain a Potemkin restaurant specifically for the purpose, but it's kept to the latest store model and located in City of Industry, CA. Convenient for the latest Hollywood teen flick, but for a Berlin-based production set 13 years in the past...not so much.
  • Deadliest Catch: The crab fishing fleet has been at sea for weeks, braving the worst that the Bearing Sea can throw at them, and everyone is still drinking their coffee out of paper Dunkin Donuts cups.
  • In the NCAA Football video game series, they want you to know it's sponsored by Coke Zero.
    • Madden NFL includes a ton of Snickers product placement, right down to an awesome draftable rookie who just happens to have the same name as Patrick Ewing's character in their commercials. Are you ready for the CHOMPETITION?
  • Beloved Australian ballad "Waltzing Matilda" was bought from Banjo Paterson by the Billy Tea company, who changed one of the lines from "And leading a water bag" to "And waited 'til his Billy boiled" for the purposes of promoting their product. Amusingly, the second one is the better-known version.
    • Apparently to the point that US kids have for decades thought a 'billy' was a kettle or can or something you'd boil water in to make tea.
      • It is; the tea brand was named after the device used by Australian travellers to boil water over a campfire. (The line "waited till his Billy boiled" is thus cunningly ambiguous.)
  • Disney's Inspector Gadget has Penny press a button in Gadget's car to dispense Skittles. Later after getting dropped off at home and taking a bus to Claw's office and finds the car surrounded with Skittles, saying that he has had the Skittles "knocked outta me!".
  • Gilmore Girls had plenty of product placement (as it was created as part of a family-friendly programming initiative backed by major advertisers), but thankfully it was more often than not very subtle (Rory asks for a Coke...that's as bad as it got). However in season two Pepsico and the WB commissioned a thirty-second ad that had Lorelai and Rory in-character extolling the pleasures of drinking Aquafina bottled water in their usual rat-a-tat conversation style, via a situation where Lorelai was about to get a bottle of water from an...Aquafina stand (OK), but a woman in front of her got it first and instantly won cash instead of Lorelai, which Rory rubbed into her mother pretty hard. It was odd and out of character since the Gilmores are much more associated with coffee rather than bottled-up filtered tap water from Munster, Indiana.
  • Pizza Hut really seems to like getting ads into as much anime as possible; in addition to Code Geass and Rebuild of Evangelion, Pizza Hut logos are a regular background feature in Darker than Black. DtB also features huge billboards advertising the company that sponsors its webcasts, @Nifty, and has the occasional Coca Cola logo as well.
  • They also sponsored Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie, complete with official art of the cast enjoying some delicious pizza. (Nana Mizuki even ordered a delivery just to collect a limited time offer special pizza box... with Fate Testarossa on the cover.)
  • A couple of season 5 episodes of Friends prominently featured KFC: Joey was eating a bucket of KFC chicken when he stumbles across a nude picture of Monica, and makes references to the bucket all throughout the scene, and in another episode, he bursts in on Monica and Chandler in the bath to ask if Chandler wants some KFC.
    • Interesting, they must have edited the KFC bits for the UK - my version has them merely talking about "chicken". But in the same episode, Boddingtons (a UK brand of beer) is mentioned twice - specifically how good it is.
      • Not only did the US version also have generic chicken, but it was part of a "Joey eats gross stuff" joke, as he was only having the skin. And in the bathtub scene, it was Chinese food, not KFC. Perhaps the only place KFC bought advertising was in the above troper's mind.
    • There is also the infamous episode "The One With Pottery Barn", which features Rachel redecorating Phoebe's apartment in all Pottery Barn products and having to lie to her about where she purchased them, and has been snarkily described as a half hour Pottery Barn commercial.
  • Blue Velvet

Frank: So what kind of beer do you like?
Jeff: Heineken.
Frank: HEINEKEN?! Fuck that shit! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!

    • While Lynch wasn't shy about showing the brand names or using their names, this is more of a subversion of the trope. It prompted a hearty laugh from younger audiences during its original run, because Pabst has the reputation of being a beer you'd buy only because you couldn't afford anything better. To elevate it in your taste above Heineken (imported and marketed to a more upscale client base, in the U.S. at that time at least) marks you as being seriously out of step and/or undesirably low in socioeconomic status. Added to that, Frank is the main villain of the movie and a serious psychopath to boot. It is highly doubtful that Pabst approved this scene in advance.
  • Psych hysterically places an ad for Dunkin' Donuts in an episode, with Spencer going on a really really tangential rant about how refreshing Dunkin Donuts is, while a life hangs in the balance and every other character in the scene looks at him strangely.
    • Red Robin has factored into settings and mentions at least twice. It's (obviously) a sponsor and gets a prominent shot at commercial breaks, even when there's not a Red Robin in the area for miles around.
    • Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel snacks are consumed and talked about quite prominently in several episodes.
    • Shaun frequently eats Doritos and makes some exaggerated quip about how great they are.
  • Seinfeld once based an entire episode around the premise that a Kenny Rogers' Roasters restaurant opened across the street from their apartment building. At first, the placement is inverted, as Kramer is being driven mad by the gigantic garish neon sign that gives his entire apartment a red glow and keeps him up all night. But then, as soon as Kramer actually tastes the chicken, he loves it.
  • A killed animated film called Food Fight would have been riddled with this, with the plot being the established characters/mascots fighting against generic Bland Name Products. Apparently this sort of thing doesn't fly in the Oughties, so we'll have to make do with this commercial.
  • Yakuza has quite the number of food and drink product placements, from more obvious ones like Suntory drinks. To actual restaurants such as Sam's being advertised. The product placement can only go farther
  • Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three has plenty of placement for Coca-Cola...but it's entirely justified, since the film is all about a Coke executive in Berlin.
    • The exact same Coke bottling plant in Berlin that was in Goodbye Lenin.
  • I may be overly suspicious, but don't the cast of The West Wing drink rather a lot of Schweppes Bitter Lemon?
  • In Tonic Trouble, you can turn into SuperEd by eating popcorn... from Nestle Crunch vending machines. (Nestle Crunch is a chocolately candy.)
  • The Biggest Loser frequently has the trainers recommend low-calorie foods and weight-loss products to the contestants.
  • Marvel Comics appears to have some sort of deal with Dr. Pepper, seeing as how Marvel characters not only appear in Dr. Pepper ads when their films are released, but Dr. Pepper product placement can also be seen in movies. Their appearances are brief and often subtle, but you can catch them if you know where to look.
    • In the first Spider-Man movie, Peter Parker uses his newfound web-slinging powers to grab a can of Dr. Pepper off the dresser. In the second film, when he's working at the pizza shop a Dr. Pepper soda fridge can be seen in the background.
    • In the second X-Men movie, Logan searches for beer in the mansion. After learning there is none, he settles on, of course, a Dr. Pepper. Later at Bobby's house, he raids the fridge for beer. Several bottles of Dr. Pepper can be seen inside the fridge.
  • Warehouse 13, during the second season, has been showing Twizzlers brand licorice in several episodes. One episode had Myka saying she was "a Twizzlers girl", and another episode had a prolonged shot of her taking a Twizzler out of a package.
  • Veronica Mars loves to feature Sunkist.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation had an unusual one in Pizza Pizza, a Toronto-based regional chain that's ubiquitous in that city and throughout Ontario but doesn't really exist in the rest of Canada and couldn't even go by that name in the US due to trademark issues. Product Placement, meet regional Shout-Out.
    • And in the previous series Degrassi High, Pepsi and Quaker Oats appeared in almost every episode (including a character who was almost always seen with a box of Dipps granola bars).
  • The producers of Rizzoli and Isles have been strikingly honest about the show's contract with MGD 64 and the ensuing, blatantly straightforward product placements, ranging from background billboards through use of the product and all the way to having the characters "casually" deliver dialogue borrowed from the product's actual commercials ("How is it you're still single?").
  • MSNBC's "Morning Joe" started plugging for Starbucks, a fact definitely noticed by the Daily Show. They later claimed that it was sarcastic.
  • Joan Crawford, after her marriage to Pepsi magnate Alfred Steele, began insisting on Pepsi product placement in her films starting with 1957’s The Story of Esther Costello.
  • Early on in Home Alone, there's a very long, blatant shot of Kevin's cousin Fuller taking a very long sip of Pepsi, with the logo prominently displayed.
  • The venezuelan movie Puras Joyitas was sponsored by Empresas Polar, the biggest food and drink company in the country. This translates in very blatant product placement, like the very first scene where some security guards are going to a very prominently placed Pepsi machine (Polar haves the license for Pepsi distribution in Venezuela), which is made in a way that many people confused it for a commercial for the drink. And that's the tip of the iceberg: all the beer the characters drink is Polar brand beer (in their different versions), one car has a trunk filled by boxes of food products made by Polar (namely, tuna cans and instant iced tea); and when a pĺot-relevant recipe is displayed, in a corner of the screen was a truly big logo of Harina P.A.N corn flour brand (two guesses of its makers, first one doesn't count.)
  • Years before, there was the sibling singers' Servando and Florentino Primera movie vehicle Muchacho Solitario. We can understand that it is relevant to the plot to say that one of the main characters works as a trunk driver delivering pop soda; it was equally relevant that the brand of the soda delivered (Golden, another Polar brand) was displayed so blatantly? It was so bad, several movie critics and some humorists referred to the film as "The newest Golden commercial with Servando and Florentino, Muchacho Solitario."
  • In Hellboy 2, Hellboy and Abe drink copious amounts of Tecate brand beer while singing about lost love.
  • A Community episode features a KFC-sponsored spaceship simulator. Naturally, this is lampshaded.
    • Not to mention a sub-plot in season three involving a character literally named Subway.
  • In an omake for the manga Fairy Tail there is, pretty bizarrely considering this is an entirely Fantasy Constructed World, a blatant part of product placement at the end where Grey hands the two of them a bottle of Coca-Cola, seen here. Yeah, it's just weird.
  • The last few seconds of the "For My Broken Heart" music video show Reba McEntire ordering an Icee drink. (scene begins at 3:15)
  • "I would never date a guy who didn't drink Snapple."
  • Mad Men has plenty of product placement for alcoholic beverages, although you have to be looking for it. The most blatant is the Smirnoff bottle in Roger Sterling's office. In fairness to Roger, it definitely goes with the black/white/clear glass decor.
    • Interestingly, Don's favorite tipple (Canadian Club) is from a different company. Which one is paying? Or are they both?
  • The 1984 Supergirl movie has one of its biggest action set pieces take place in and around a Popeyes Fried Chicken franchise. Popeyes is even prominent in the background of some of the most memorable stills from the movie of Helen Slater as Supergirl. Sadly, this does not lead to a teamup of the Maid of Steel and a certain sailor man.
  • Zool has large Chupa Chups lollipops (with wrapper and logo on) in the background of the first stage.
  • "Is TGI Fridays as incredible as it looks?"
  • The Help features Coca-Cola and Crisco.
  • The Ant Bully featured Jelly Belly jellybeans.
  • For some reason, two noodle companies decided sponsor rereleases of Famicom games, thus the existence of Kaettekita Mario Bros. and Gradius Archimedes Hen. This is parodied in Retro Game Challenge with Rally King SP, sponsored by the fictional Cup o' Chicken Noodle company.


Internet (All The Tropes® Self-Demonstrating Article)[edit | hide]

  • Pizza Hut may have been removed from Code Geass, but there is still a very prominent Biglobe logo (the leading Japanese ISP) in one scene where Lelouch searches through Internet news articles to read about Zero's influence.
    • Not just him, anyone surfing the web. This wasn't translated in the dub and so flew right over the American's heads.
  • The romantic comedy You've Got Mail takes its title from the (in)famous America Online sound bite. AOL mail is used prominently in the film itself. This despite being more based on an older film, The Shop Around the Corner, which received a Shout-Out as the name of one of the shops in the film.
  • Speaking of Biglobe, some (authentic looking!) computer screen closeups in the Digimon Adventure movie show Koushiro very obviously using that particular ISP to get online.
  • X-Play is apparently required to plug Gamefly.com Once an Episode, usually after a review of a mediocre game. They have fun with it, however, by making the segue to the plug as blatantly obvious as possible. In a recent episode, they made further fun of it—Adam begins shilling for the show's Web site, but Morgan launches into her Gamefly.com plugging by accident.
  • The Christmas Episode in volume 3 of Keroro Gunsou featured Keroro using the "Yahoo!" search engine. The logo was even seen in the panel.
  • In Disney's Inspector Gadget, when Claw causes the billboard to fall on top of Gadget's car, we see the Yahoo! logo on it, and hear the "Yahoo-oo!" jingle (from the adverts from around the time the advert was made).
  • Darker than Black features numerous advertisements for @Nifty, the ISP which originally streamed the episodes online.
  • The Vampire Diaries has some of the most painfully obvious Product Placement, (though The CW as a whole is a major offender.) including using Bing for searching online, AT&T for getting online(Mi Fi) or texting with their phones, or using Skype/MSN to video chat! It's nigh impossible to find a episode that isn't so shameless.
  • The Smurfs coo "ooooh, Google" when Patrick Winslow in The Smurfs tells them the search engine he's using on his "magic window" to find out things that humans know about the Smurfs and blue moons.
  • Bing and Bing Maps are prominently seen on Alba's laptop in Room in Rome.


Mascot Games (Sega's® Sonic)[edit | hide]

Sometimes entire games are product placement, with the corporate Mascot as the playable character.

  • The circle on a can of 7-Up has been the subject of no less than three video games:
    • Spot: The Video Game - which was a reskinned Ataxx for NES.
    • Cool Spot - for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, which was a surprisingly good platformer.
    • Spot Goes To Hollywood - for Sega Genesis and the original Playstation, was Cool Spot's underwhelming sequel.
  • Avoid the Noid for the Commodore 64 and Yo!Noid for the NES (Domino's Pizza).
    • Although, Yo! Noid happened to be a localized version of Masked Ninja Hanamaru in Japan. This explains why the abilities and mechanics don't fit in with the Domino's character.
  • PEP-PEP-PEPSIMAAAAAAAN!
  • McDonaldland, a.k.a. MC Kids, for NES, Amiga, and Commodore 64 (McDonald's) averts this somewhat, in that Ronald McDonald is only an NPC. Even still, it's a game entirely based around Product Placement: if the title didn't give it away, the fact that the Follow the Money items are the trademark golden arches should.
  • Nearly every sports game, the "product" being the relevant organization.
  • The infamous Burger King games, one of which you play as the King and hide in porta-potties and trash cans to deliver hamburgers to people.
  • Every company that could afford it opened a video game division in the days of Atari, prior to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983. As mentioned on that page, it got to the point where Quaker Oats had a videogame division.
  • Kaneko made two Chester Cheetah games for the SNES and Genesis: Wild Wild Quest and Too Cool to Fool.
  • Chex Quest. You'd probably not expect somebody to take the extremely violent computer game Doom, turn it into a family-friendly advertisement for a cereal, and then package it free with said cereal as a sales incentive, but that's exactly what happened. That being said, the game still plays like Doom, with (barring the complete thematic facelift) only some minor changes to gameplay, so it actually plays pretty well.


Mobile Phones (Philips® T910)[edit | hide]

  • Perhaps the most insidious product plug yet goes to a commercial for a dating site where the guy chatting up his partner jokingly mentions a "study" that people who own iPhones have more sex. Take a moment to let that sink in: They are advertising a product in an advertisement for another goddamn product.
  • In Laguna Beach, all of the principal cast members are seen using the T-Mobile Sidekick II, and the product is also displayed prominently whenever it is used.
  • Dollhouse features the Apple iPhone 3GS several times in its second season. The season opener, "Vows," also shows off an iPhone app - the Sling Player, which streams television to cellphones, laptops and the like. While other Dollhouse staff watch Senator Daniel Perrin (in a press conference attacking the Dollhouse) on TV, Paul Ballard watches the same telecast on his phone.
  • The Amazing Race has, on a few occasions, featured an episode where all the remaining teams are given some fancy branded cell phone for no reason other than to read a clue off of it or get a text message from home. The real reason for the phone is, of course, to say the brand name and get it on camera a lot.
    • Another example was contestants getting an email from America Online.
    • Or more blatantly, challenges that involve contestants not only finding the Travelocity gnome, but carrying it with them for the rest of the episode.
      • Which Travelocity turned into a commercial of its own. Wrap that one around your heads!
  • In Heroes, when Matt Parkman meets a mysterious African man (in Africa!), when Matt asks the man for his cellphone he says there's no service out here, then comments, "I should have gone with Sprint."
    • Every character on the show (and graphic novels) has a Sprint phone.
  • Characters on Alias all used Nokia cell phones with the "Nokia Tune" ring for the first couple of seasons. Of course, as anyone who's ever seen Trigger Happy TV knows, the correct response to that is to go "HELLO! I'm on the train! Yeah, it's really packed!"
  • The new Doctor Who series gave Rose Tyler a Nokia 3200 mobile phone, which was upgraded by the Ninth Doctor into a super mobile that can make phone calls through time and pick up signals where other phones can't, like other planets.
    • Seeing as this is The BBC, it's more that they used a recognisable prop than it being product placement (ie: it wasn't paid for). It turns into a Samsung phone without explanation in series 2. By series 3, they at least removed the logos from Martha's phone (it's a Benq-Siemens).
    • Indeed, product placement is technically illegal on the BBC; a few years ago, an episode of Spooks was temporarily pulled while they airbrushed out the Apple logo on a laptop. In the background. Because of complaints. The BBC takes its public ownership status seriously, as does the British public.
  • Jericho showed just how good a cell-phone company can really be: Sprint maintained service through 20 or more American cities being nuked and the resulting remnants dissolving into squabbling factions. (Sprint was a major sponsor of the show.)
  • film/starshiptroopers has AT&T as the provider for federation video calls
  • The Final Fantasy movie Advent Children had some rather gratuitous close-ups of Panasonic FOMA P900iV cell phones, which at the time were available only in the movie's native Japan. Some of the usage is humorous; there's a scene where after a fight, the "Victory theme" from the game is heard... but it's the bad guy's cell phone ringtone.
    • It should also be noted that this was so effective that it has created demand for this phone in regions where it will not even work as a phone due to network differences.
  • The Matrix Reloaded had a deal with Powerade. Thus, the characters in the movie use Samsung cell phones. (Which were specifically designed for the franchise, and were also sold to the general public.)
    • The original Matrix featured Nokia phones. Although the version for the movie was customised to include a slider which would snap open; the one in real life was unfortunately not quite so cool.
  • Cloverfield features heavy Nokia product placement (an otherwise desolate subway room is quite on-your-face with Nokia's advertisement).
  • The 2008 Iron Man film has a nice close-up on the screen of Tony's Verizon phone as he's talking to Stane near the beginning.
  • Recent seasons of 24 have extensive pimping of Sprint Nextel and Palm Inc. products.
  • Tigh Tadhg in Ros na R ún is full of ads for Beamish. You'd think there'd be a few Guinness ads in an Irish pub.
    • Given that Beamish is also an Irish beer, this may be both product placement and trying to subvert a stereotype. They could have also gone with Murphy's or Cafferey's. There is more than one popular beer amongst the Irish.
  • The 2009 Star Trek film reboot has kid Kirk on an in-car comm with a prominent Nokia logo on the startup screen.
  • And in the other direction, Sprint's ads for its "Now Network" namedrop services like Twitter. Which makes sense, since a lot of people tweet from their phones. Mentioning specific websites to buy shoes, or saying that X amount of money generated by sales of Y is enough to build a Dunkin' Donuts...in space, not so much.
  • Interesting case on Lost - During the airing of the Season 3 finale, several forum posters and other live commentators pointed out how glaring the placement of Jack's Motorola RAZR phone was during his off-Island flashback, especially since Oceanic Flight 815 crashed in September 2004, years before the phone was manufactured. The end of the episode revealed that Jack's story had actually been a flashforward three years into the future, making the product placement a crafty clue.
  • On Burn Notice, EVERYONE except for Sam has a Razr, unless they're tearing it apart to make a bomb.
  • A season six episode of Gilmore Girls, titled I Get a Sidekick Out of You, which, among other things, prominently featured the Sidekick, a T-Mobile phone. Logan is also rarely seen without his Razr in the last season.
  • Space Quest V: The Next Mutation has Sprint logos on any communications transmissions as it's the game's sponsor.
  • Oh, Fringe. Was it really necessary to have the characters make video calls in the field, complete with long, loving close-ups of the implausibly good quality and provider logo?
  • In the early episodes of Pretty Little Liars, Aria is seen repeatedly with a Microsoft Kin phone and it always highlighted the Facebook stream very obviously. It also helps that texting is a major plot point in the series.
  • Recently, the iPhone seems to pop up in just about every scene of Chuck.
  • Casino Royale made sure everyone noticed that Bond's phone was a Sony Ericsson.
    • Casino Royale also has blatant appearances of Virgin Airlines and Vaio Computers. And Richard Branson.
  • Throughout Season 10 of Degrassi, every student shown using a cell phone owns an iPhone, rich and poor students alike. Every. Single. One. Given that the show receives funding from the Canadian government, you'd think they'd favour BlackBerry products...
  • In Earth: Final Conflict, even advanced aliens who laugh at the prime directive aren't immune to product placement whenever they make a call.
  • Whenever any character in FlashForward, particularly Mark Benton, had to make or receive a call on their cell, the show always made sure we saw that it was a Sprint phone.
  • Near the end of Open Season Beth can be seen using a Sony Ericsson cellphone.
  • In the video for the 2012 fun. song "We Are Young", great pains are taken to make it obvious the phone that starts the riot/food fight is a Windows Phone, showing the Metro UI as it tumbles in slow motion.


Sports Stadiums and Events (The O2® Arena)[edit | hide]

  • If you want to make your fictional sports team more realistic, have a fictional company own the naming rights to their stadium. Nearly every venue has a corporate name.
  • If the old name is particularly well-loved and/or the new corporate name is particularly stupid, the old name will often remain in use by the fans. Example: Progressive Jacobs Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. This may be impossible to do with so many new stadiums being created that have never had anything but a corporate name, such as Petco Park in San Diego. An exception is INVESCO Field at Mile High Sports Authority Field at Mile High Mile High Stadium in Denver.
    • I'm Calling It Shea.
    • Occasionally, a corporate name will go over well. One example of this is "The BOB", home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, Bank One was bought up by Chase, so Bank One Ballpark is now Chase Field.
    • Sometimes habit tends to take over as well. While some (older) White Sox fans continue to call their park Comiskey, others have shortened the official name (U.S. Cellular Field) and have taken to calling it "The Cell".
      • Or "The Joan," after local-girl-made-good Joan Cusack who did a lot of U.S. Cellular commercials. (Likely a dig, as the Cusacks are avowed Northsiders and John frequently leads "Take me out to the ball game" at Wrigley)
    • The SkyDome (now Rogers' Centre) in Toronto is a very strong example: The old name was a) beloved, b) descriptive, c) unique, given the stadium's at the-time- technological novelty for being a convertible with a hard roof, and d) a contest winner. Rogers really should have called it the "Rogers Sky Dome" or something....
    • This trend is becoming ever more prevalent in European soccer as many higher-level clubs in various countries move to new, larger stadia which, in contrast to the old stadia generally bearing the name of the road or district in which they were located or the names of prominent figures in the club's early history, are named after corporate sponsors. This causes problems during international competitions due to conflicts with the competitions' own corporate sponsors, which forces such sites as the Allianz Arena in Munich (home of Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich) and the Emirates Stadium in London (home of Arsenal) to be re-named Fußball-Arena München and Arsenal Stadium respectively during Champions' League broadcasts (during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the Munich venue was known as FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich).
      • In the case of the latter, some Arsenal fans refer to the stadium as either Arsenal Stadium or Ashburton Grove, the district of London in which the stadium was built, just as the previous Arsenal Stadium was colloquially known as Highbury. Indeed, if a club moves to a new stadium with a corporate name, fans of the club, particularly those who supported them before the move, may be apt to ignore the name (which, after all, will only last as long as the sponsorship deal with the club) in favour of a more evocative name based on either the location or the history of the club.
      • The "Daimler-Stadion" in Stuttgart seemed to break the FIFA World Cup naming rule mentioned above in 2006. However, this actually was a loophole: The full name at the time was "Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion", being named after the founder of the car company, not after the company itself (Daimler Chrysler at the time). The original name was "Neckarstadion", as it is near the river Neckar; since then, it has been renamed to "Mercedes-Benz Arena".
  • Aversion: Wrigley Field in Chicago. Not named after the gum company; rather, both the gum and the park are named after Phillip Wrigley, who founded the company and used to own the Cubs.
    • The same is true of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, going back to the 1950's and the Cardinal's first stadium, Sportsman's Park. Gussie Busch actually wanted to rename the stadium "Budweiser Stadium" but was forbidden to do so by the Commissioner of Baseball. Cue the irony. He was about three decades ahead of his time. He still got his way, indirectly. After naming his ballpark after himself, he then shortly exploited a loophole and introduced "Busch Bavarian Beer", which everyone referred to simply as "Busch". The name has since transferred twice to the 1960's downtown stadium and the later building which replaced that venue in 2006.
    • Not an aversion. Until the advent of television, sports teams and venues were typically promotional side projects, often loss-leaders, of local businessmen such as P. K. Wrigley or August Busch. Corporate sponsorship is nothing new. The only difference between then and now is that teams were attached to a product (as is the case nowadays in Japan), rather than a product to a team.
    • The above noted INVESCO/Sports Authority Field situation was the result of a particularly bitter fight with Denver fans who were attached to the old name. In a failed attempt to placate them, they chose the grammatical nightmare "INVESCO Field at Mile High." Unsatisfied, Denver's Mayor renamed the street where the stadium sits "Mile High Stadium Road", forcing them to put it on all their mail. In 2011 INVESCO got out of the deal and the rights went to sporting goods retailer The Sports Authority, keeping the name a phonetic mess.
  • Candlestick Park in San Francisco is a good example of what happens when naming rights completely bomb. In 1995 the stadium was renamed to incredible apathy to 3 Com Park and in 2002, that company slid out quietly and it resumed being called Candlestick Park. But then the 49ers went back and were able to get Monster Cable to put their name on the stadium in 2004.
    • However, the branding was only used by broadcasters and stadium signage, where it was absolutely required, and nobody else at all. Worse, almost nobody associated the new "Monster Park" name with the proprietor of overpriced cables, but with both the Monster.com job board and Monster Energy Drink instead, which was coming to its own during the naming deal. Trademark confusion and voter annoyance pushed through a binding ordinance that after 2008 the stadium would forever remain Candlestick Park.
  • Across the bay in Oakland, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum has not only been cursed since 1995 by the infamous "Mt. Davis" section in centerfield, but the whims of dot-com companies. Network Associates bought the naming rights in 1998, then was renamed Mc Afee in 2004; Network Associates Coliseum then became Mc Afee Coliseum. Both names were little-used by anyone except broadcasters, and the company backed out in 2008. Fast-forward to April 2011, and now the stadium is now known as O.co Coliseum (for the Internet retailer Overstock.com's Colombian internet shortcut address), a name already being mocked as one of the worst naming rights deals of all time.
  • Fans of the Sacramento Kings could tell how much the Maloof brothers wanted to move the team to Anaheim after 2010-11 based on their newest naming rights deal alone. What was the ARCO Arena (named after the gas station operator now owned by BP) became the Power Balance Pavilion, named for a company that manufactured a more fancy version of those gold and silver wristbands that supposedly give the wearer more energy that used to be sold by pro golfers for $10 in infomercials, and predictably has gone into bankruptcy after being sued in a class action to the point where the company admitted they didn't work. They're staying for the 2011-2012 season in Sacramento, but it's probably a Pyrrhic Victory if the effects of the NBA lockout (which always does a number on any public support for a new arena) kills it.
    • Even most of the sports newscasters in the area still slip up and call it ARCO Arena. Not that anyone is correcting them.
  • A related product placement gone bad was Spongetech in 2009, which plastered their logo all over Major League Baseball and NBA sites to sell a product almost nobody even considered buying (branded car sponges pre-filled with soap and of course, SpongeBob SquarePants sponges) and pretty much existed as a stock fraud scheme with few of the said sponges made. Worse, Spongetech never paid many of the teams to advertise in their homes after their bankruptcy.
  • The Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, home of the Thunder (the former Ford Center) may seem a bizarre name as that inland city is 1,200 miles away from the eponymous bay, but the oil exploration company sponsoring the arena has always been locally-based, so it actually works out well if you're a local, though there's sure to be confusion among Eastern Seaboarders.
  • Ironically, this is actually most prevalent in college sports. Every college bowl game has its own sponsor, though that sponsor will often change every few years.
    • In the case of major games, which are identified by their original names, this is often ignored by everyone except the broadcasters, who are paid to use the "full" name of the game.
    • Some of the more recent minor games have had nothing but a corporate name for the life of their existence. Sometimes this can be unwieldy, such as in the case of the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Other times, it's so smooth that it hardly sounds like a corporate bowl at all—see: Emerald Bowl (sponsored by Emerald Nuts).
    • Or they go beyond unwieldy and go into the beyond absurd. Try being the MVP of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and not have someone think you won some made up beer league flag football tournament.
    • At times, the corporate sponsor will take sole possession of the bowl's name, wiping away the old name completely. Done well, we get the likes of the Outback Bowl (formerly Hall of Fame Bowl... I think) and the Capital One Bowl (formerly Citrus Bowl. It helps that Capital One puts such great effort into their ad campaigns and makes you feel like they really care about college football and are not just sponsoring a bowl in order to get their name out there.) When this is done poorly, we get the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Up until a couple of years ago, this was another one that had both a corporate sponsor and an actual name. One of the most common sources of Discontinuity, with fans often reverting to the old name of the Peach Bowl.
    • And then there are times where the revolving door of sponsors can make this weird. When MPC Computers took their turn with the Humanitarian Bowl, they wiped out the old name completely and it became known as the MPC Computers.com Bowl. In my opinion, this sounds better than Humanitarian Bowl, and so I was quite disappointed when it became the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl last year. The MPC Computers.com Bowl was a cool, quirky name—perfect for a game played on a blue field.
    • And sometimes, the company will go beyond just putting their name on the bowl and will put one of their products' names on the bowl. Like when the sponsor for the Rose Bowl was the Sony PlayStation 2. Or the Fiesta Bowl was sponsored by the IBM OS/2.
      • For tradition reasons though, the Rose Bowl will never put the sponsor out front, thus it is currently known officially as "The Rose Bowl Game, Presented by Vizio".
      • Not so much with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, what with Brett Musberger's infamous exhalation that Auburn's field goal to win the 2011 BCS championship was "for all the Tostitos".
    • Of course, the placing of products in front of the bowl game is much Older Than They Think. What do you think the Rose, Orange, Citrus, and Sugar Bowls were promoting when they started out?
  • The winner is the EnergySolutions Arena, home of the Utah Jazz. What does EnergySolutions do? Nuclear waste disposal, leading to such colorful nicknames as the Glow Dome, Radium Stadium, The Isotope and the ChernoBowl. A local theater troupe even made a stage production about the name. Yeah, you just can't make up stuff like this.
    • I dunno, the Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl (yet another corporately sponsored college bowl game) has to be right up there. Or the Vitalis Sun Bowl (Vitalis is a hair tonic). Oddly, the listed corporate sponsor for the Sun Bowl under both the "Vitalis Sun Bowl" era and the (current) "Brut Sun Bowl" era is...Helen of Troy Limited. WTF?
      • Helen of Troy Limited being the parent company of Brut and Vitalis.
  • In European Basketball we have Power Electronics Valencia and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Hell just in Italy we have teams like Armani Jeans Milano, Canadian Solar Bologna and Pepsi Caserta
  • There are surprisingly few corporate-named tracks in sponsor-heavy NASCAR: the Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma is the only one in existence today that is like that, since Lowe's dropped sponsorship of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Of course, the series themselves have corporate names: the Camping World Truck Series (formerly Craftsman Truck Series), the Nationwide Series (formerly Busch Series), and the Sprint Cup (formerly Nextel Cup, formerly formerly Winston Cup, commonly called the "Cup Series" by fed-up long-time fans or people who don't want to confuse others).
    • ...and of course, each individual driver has a bevy of sponsors that cover the cars themselves.
  • Soccer has issues with advertising, with its large, uninterrupted stretches of play. To make up for it, product placement is absolutely everywhere.
    • While most teams have a corporate sponsor right on the front of their shirt, the worst offender ever is a Welsh team that was actually called Total Network Solutions Football Club.
      • This led to a running joke among football pundits about there being "dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight" whenever the team did well (the joke was also a reference to 1960s pundit Sam Leitch commenting that a victory by Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers would inspire dancing in the streets of Raith, a non-existent place). The team were originally named for their home town of Llansantffraid, and have recently been re-named The New Saints (or, to use the full name, The New Saints of Oswestry Town and Llansantffraid FC), preserving the TNS initials.
    • The English non-league club Vauxhall Motors looks like an example, but technically isn't because it was originally the works team of the Vauxhall car factory in Cheshire.
    • The same is true for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, playing in the german Bundesliga.
    • Welsh team Airbus get a free pass for playing games at a ground known as the "Airfield".
      • They also get a free pass for having been founded as Vickers-Armstrong, and then becoming de Havrillands, Hawker Siddley, British Aerospace, and BAE Systems before becoming Airbus. They were founded as the works team for the plane factory in town, which is currently owned by...Airbus (the factory currently produces wings for Airbus aircraft).
    • Not even the Americans are immune. New York/New Jersey Red Bulls New York, anyone? The rampant use of this in soccer is also being blamed by the American media for the spread to the WNBA, which was in turn blamed for some NFL teams putting logos on their practice jerseys—which is treated as a sign of the apocalypse despite the fact that the teams in question play in stadiums with names like "Lucas Oil Stadium".
      • Which isn't even an oil company, but makes wacky oil additive treatments designed to help you save gas mileage.
      • Speaking of which, early on the stadium was nicknamed "The Luke," but Lucas Oil wasn't happy about that since one of their competitors was LUKOIL.
    • Subverted(inverted?) by Sponsorship FC Barcelona: they donate to UNICEF to use their logo.
  • Houston's Enron Field was renamed after Enron collapsed amid financial scandals. The announcement of the next sponsor mentioned the "high standards" of the selection process.
    • It's now Minute Maid Park, incidentally.
  • This is prevalent in Japanese sports as well. This leads to names such as Nippon Ham Fighters in Nippon Professional Baseball or All Tokyo Gas Creators in the X-League (a Japanese American football league).
  • As in South Korean sports, particularly baseball: all teams are owned by one of the corporate conglomerates, resulting in names like Samsung Lions, Kia Tigers, Doosan Bears, and so on.
  • One of the earliest examples is the Oorang Indians (1922-3) of the then-new NFL, owned by and named for a dog kennel.
  • Ask any horse-racing fan how annoying it is that even the announcers at Churchill Downs now have to refer to it as "the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands".
  • When Lang Park, a prominent Brisbane Football/Soccer stadium was refurbished, and renamed "Suncorp Stadium", there was something of an uproar in the local populace. Since then, most people have gotten used to calling it as such, but there are still a few Diehard fans of the old name.
  • The AFL stadium in the Docklands area in Melbourne, Australia, went from Colonial Stadium to Telstra Dome to Etihad Stadium. Most people in the television broadcast industry still call it Telstra Dome (it is hated in the industry for being horrible to work at) whilst the ABC, the government funded television broadcaster, refers to it as 'Docklands stadium' to prevent it from breaking its anti advertisement rules.
  • During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, CA, the ice hockey matches were held in what is regularly the home rink of the Vancouver Canucks. But, because Olympic rules didn't allow the stadium to be known by it's regular, corporate-sponsored name of General Motors Place (after the NHL season it was changed to Rogers Arena), the rink's name was temporarily changed to Canada Hockey Place.
  • The UFC and other sports often have the fight's clock brought to you by something. Theoretically, it costs them money to show you the clock and if no one sponsors it, it won't show up.
  • Making this tropes really Older Than Feudalism, popular Roman gladiators endorsed products.


Anything and Everything (The Church of Scientology's® "Super Power")[edit | hide]

  • American Dreams had so many examples it would take too long to list them all. First they had modern musicians singing classics almost every week and then there was, well, just about every product ever listed on the show. Fortunately because the show was somewhat built around nostalgia it tended play better. The scene with a father and son discussing how to eat Oreos seems funny and even sweet when the cookies are a new invention. Although certain things like "Feildings"(AKA Budweiser) being the only beer that seemed to exist even in Viet Nam did tended to bug. Also Sarah Ramos had to get sick of saying "Campbell's Tomato Soup" about halfway through season three.
  • Whoever watches My Big Fat Greek Wedding has one product brand in their brain after leaving the theater: Windex.
  • The Film of the Book for Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix had one Egregious example:

Harry Potter: Are you sure you don't want any help looking?
Luna Lovegood: That's all right. Anyway, my mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end.
[looks up to see ENORMOUS CLOSEUP OF RED CONVERSE ALL-STARS]
Luna Lovegood: If not always in the way we expect.

  • Monster House has a deal with the manufacturer of "Mr. Clean" products which actually includes putting an actor dressed as Mr. Clean in shot during the "final prep" stage of each house.
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's cup runneth over with Product Placements—every little thing that goes into every house they rebuild has a brand name that is prominently displayed on-camera. Sears Roebuck in particular has a great deal with this program—in addition to frequent on-camera visits to Sears by the designers and lingering shots of Kenmore products entering the house, every episode they get a custom commercial tailored to that episode that just happens to count off each appliance, piece of furniture and even every tool used by the construction crew, under the guise of congratulating the latest recipients of ABC's weekly largesse.
  • The 2011 Morgan Spurlock documentary Pom Wonderful presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is an case of Heavy Meta taking Refuge in Audacity on the topic of placement. The movie documents the negotiations for product placement... in the very film you are watching, uring 20 other sponsors deemed "The Greatest _______ Ever Sold;" the documentary follows him negotiating with sponsors for Product Placement and exploring the role of marketing on society.
    • Then to promote the movie, he wore a suit with embroidered sponsor logos on talk shows (with the deodorant sponsor at the underarm for $5000) and bought naming rights to Altoona, PA for two months.
  • Bow to Survivor, lesser reality shows, for it is king of this. Reward Challenge rewards have included camp-building supplies from Home Depot, Budweiser beer, Charmin-brand toilet paper, family messages on Sprint smartphones, so on, and so forth. A 2011 challenge required using Sears' Craftsman tools at each stage of a relay race. And not only are the products prominently branded, but host Jeff Probst is careful to mention the brand at every opportunity. Advertisers get their money's worth from Survivor!
  • If it were up to the execs who broadcast American Idol, everybody would own a Ford and drink nothing but Coca-Cola all day. Mad TV spoofed the hell out of this one, using Ryan Seacrest's love for Dramatic Pauses to play the Coca-Cola commercial with Mya and Common (during the show!) over and over again.
  • A truly painful example comes from Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, where "Erin eSurance" (the Kim Possible knock-off mascot from online insurance company eSurance) is digitally inserted into the show itself as a Voice with an Internet Connection guide to one mission. The contestants managed to be nonchalant about it, even though they were essentially getting instructions from a walking advertisement.
  • Obviously, any Game Show, such as The Price Is Right, that utilizes such products as prizes instead of/alongside cash.
  • Justified in America's Next Top Model since the career of being a model is all about selling products. Especially Covergirl cosmetic products. Any contestant who gets their slogan wrong gets told off a lot for their lack of Genre Savvy.
  • The OC has several notable product placements mostly placed into conversations. While most of them can be passed off as glib references to hot new products, some are more blatant, including Sandy Cohen loudly declaring, "I'll book our flight on American Airlines right now".
  • Big Love included a bunch in the first episode, including a plug for Land's End delivered by the youngest boy in the family.
  • Ferris Buellers Day Off features the titular character watching MTV early in the film. The year it came out was also the year media conglomerate Viacom bought the network, who made damn sure to place its logo in every film they could find.
  • Home Improvement made use of this trope in the Show Within a Show "Tool Time", where Tim and Al often plugged products by the fictional Binford hardware company. One episode dealt with Tim's reluctance to promote an inferior Binford product on his show.
  • Smallville doesn't just pimp gum; it advertises everything else to the point that (before he was Put on a Bus) Pete was nicknamed 'Product Placement Pete' by Television Without Pity for mentioning everything from Lemon Pledge to a shameless push of the Smallville soundtrack, in character, to boot! After he left, though, the Product Placement remained glaringly obvious, with Chloe saying things like "We'll take my Yaris." rather than "Let's use my car." and the directors seemingly going out of their way to show unnecessary close-ups of the characters' cell phones as they dial, to show off the nifty Verizon logos.
    • The most extreme examples of Smallville's glut of product placements include a melodramatic locker room scene before the Big Game where the camera lingers on Clark's Old Spice Red Zone deodorant in "Jinx", the Angel of Vengeance's use of Acuvue contact lenses when supersuited up in "Vengeance" (to which Chloe painfully states "Acuvue to the rescue!"), and a Product Promotion Parade in "Noir" where Jimmy Olsen plays Chloe a goodbye playlist by hooking up his Apple iPod to her Toyota Yaris before snapping a farewell photo of them using his Nikon Coolpix camera. It's a testament to the durability of product placements that I was able to recall all of these from memory. Ugh.
  • Lampshaded on the third season premiere of Eureka; The new chairwoman of GD announces its first corporate sponsor, as several crates bearing Degree [the deodorant sponsoring the season] logos are wheeled in. Degree is actually sponsoring the show, insisting on heavy placement of ads and an entire upcoming episode where deodorant saves the day.
    • The episode mentioned above is "Here Comes the Suns". In it, a second artificial sun created by a ten-year-old as a school science project is slowy roasting the town. Anyway, at several points the characters mention staying cool under pressure. This is the tag-line for Degree deodorant. To see one person's thoughts on this episode, go here.
  • An episode of WWE Raw that had a fairly drawn out skit involving Maria working out on a Bowflex in as little clothing as possible, with someone dropping by to comment on how great the Bowflex is and how it'd help to improve Maria's in ring skills. The particular one was even eventually sold on WWE's website autographed by Maria! The fact that the next time something involved WWE and a Bowflex was the Chris Benoit story, though, well...
  • In the Pokémon anime, James occasionally has a set of reference cards if Team Rocket happens upon a new Pokémon. When 4Kids still had the dub of the anime, they'd sometimes cut these scenes out because of potential advertisement for the Pokémon TCG.
    • Sometimes they would just remove the borders on the cards to make them look less like the real world TCG cards.
    • While on the topic of the 4Kids dub, this kind of editing got really stupid in the Advanced Generation. Most any things which had a picture of a Poké Ball on them were painted out (the ones on Ash's Hoenn Badge case and May's Ribbon cases were turned into red stripes). Oddly enough, this only seemed to happen in the US/Kids WB! airings; most international dubs didn't feature that censorship.
    • However, there's an even bigger product placement in two Sinnoh episodes—one has Meowth use a Wii Remote, and the other the Nunchuck attachment!
  • Michael Bay movies take a lot of heat for this. For example, the semi-futuristic film The Island features visible product placement in nearly every scene—including a (now) out-of-date Xbox logo.
  • The James Bond film Casino Royale was obviously sponsored by Sony, because Bond uses a Sony Ericsson cell phone, a Cybershot camera, a Walkman, a Blu-ray recorder, and a Vaio laptop.
    • Not just sponsored, but produced and distributed by Sony.
    • Bond also takes care to show off his watch, formerly Seiko and currently Omega (and Omega has released movie tie-in watches). In the books, Bond wore Rolex watches, which also appeared in the early movies (although Rolex refused to provide them).

Vesper: Rolex?
Bond: Omega.
Vesper: Beautiful.

    • Nearly every Bond movie ever made endorses specific brands of cars (Aston Martin most famously), vodka (Smirnoff), champagne (Bollinger), firearms (Walther PPK and P99) among other things.
      • Casino Royale also has silly product placement for the cars, at the time the film was made Ford owned Aston Martin (as well as Jaguar and Land Rover). As well as the near-obligatory Aston Martin, the Ford Mondeo gets prominently featured. But the worst is that nearly all the background vehicles just about everywhere seem to be shiny new Ford group cars. Just about the only non-new non-Ford car in the film is an old Mercedes, which naturally has a body stuffed in the boot.
      • Product placement is not new to Casino Royale; there is a suspiciously high number of KFC viewings, going as far back as Goldfinger.
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, being a NASCAR film, was chock-full of it. It was, however, taken to ridiculous heights to lampoon the whole practice (while still indulging in it), with a sportscaster noting that the title character "never met a sponsor he didn't like", Ricky Bobby himself noting that one sponsor requires him to always mention them even in his family's mealtime prayers, and selling ad space on his windshield.
    • Let us not forget that the film itself is interrupted at one point by an Applebee's commercial. Really. It Makes Sense in Context, sort of, because at that point, we're watching TV coverage of a race with Ricky and Jean-Gerard getting involved in a very long drawn-out crash.
  • 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is rife with placement, including a Dodge logo on the nose of the Fantasticar, but it also spoofs it with Johnny's over-logoed uniform near the beginning of the film.
    • Johnny's uniform gag would have been funny if only the logos were not all real ones.
  • Will Smith's character sure loves telling people about his 'vintage 2004 Converse sneakers' in I Robot. That is far from the only product placement...
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey was notorious not only for using Product Placement, but also for having several prominent products fail by the time 2001 rolled around.
  • Blade Runner—Atari, Pan Am, etc.
    • Unintentionally subverted in that virtually every company whose logo was featured in Blade Runner tanked shortly after.
  • The Mothman Prophecies featured a scene, prominently featured in the TV spots and trailers, where the creepy voice on the telephone correctly guessed what the protagonist was holding in his hand. The choice of Chap Stick could work as examples of Product Placement, Narm and Nightmare Retardant.
  • The Back to The Future movies. Hoo boy...
    • Pepsi Free (hilarious now that it's rebranded as Caffeine Free Pepsi)
    • DeLorean motors—this is somewhat questionable as the DMC-12 car had been out of production and DeLorean Motors bankrupt and out of operation for two years by the time that the first film began production.
    • The main theme of I and III resulted in cameo appearances by their artists (Huey Lewis in the first, ZZ Top in the 1880s doing an acoustic version of their song in III).
    • Texaco comes to mind; the only location besides the courthouse that's in 1955 and 2015 Hill Valley. They would probably have worked it into III as well if the lack of gas stations in the wild west hadn't been a plot point.
      • The filmmakers say Shell actually offered them more money, but they went with Texaco instead because of how different their 1955 logo looked from their 1985 logo.
    • Calvin Klein
    • Nike
    • Pizza Hut
    • AT&T
    • Mattel
      • And despite being set in 1885, Part III managed to work in a product placement, too; the pie tin that Marty throws like a Frisbee (another trademarked item, by the way) is from the now-defunct Frisbie Pie Company. Yup, they were real.
    • The film got a fair amount of money from the California Raisin Board specifically for the purpose of product placement. The film staff had promised that the film would do to California Raisins what E.T. had done to Reese's Pieces. Needless to say, the California Raisins execs weren't too happy to find that their funding only resulted in a bench (partially covered up by a sleeping hobo) with their product's name on it.
    • Western Union will keep your letter for 70 years and deliver it at the appointed place and time, to the minute, in the middle of nowhere, during a thunderstorm. They're THAT awesome.
  • The future of Minority Report may be a grim one for those accused of crimes they haven't yet committed, but it has plenty of opportunity for The Gap, Burger King, Guinness, American Express, Aquafina, etc.
  • EDtv, which anticipated reality television, was about a man named Ed who signed up to be on a television show that would consist of broadcasting his entire life, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As the network never interrupted the broadcast to show commercials, they made money by placing advertisements in scrolling text along the bottom of the television screen. The film itself shows these advertisements whenever a television appears, and as EdTV becomes more and more popular, the advertisers change, changing from local businesses to organizations with deeper pockets. By the end of the film, even "The Islands Of The Bahamas" are buying ad space on EdTV. According to the commentary the creators were even lucky to get the organizations to allow their brand to be shown on the screen, because of the satirical stance of the movie.
  • Just try to put a number on the shameless product placements in Disturbia.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. The on-the-run scientist teams up with the subway-hiding Turtles to brew up some hideous looking chemical gunk to make some evil monsters go away. In a Bart Simpson glass held very close to the camera. Thus conveying the message that Bart Simpson will change your genetic structure.
    • Yellow skin, four-fingered hands, enormous eyes... makes sense to me.
  • Kate Modern contains frequent product placement. In most cases it serves to make the show more realistic, although in the case of Tampax, it became a little odd (who makes a video about the brand of tampon they use?). Then there's "Skittle Yourself", which actually asks viewers to create their own Skittles adverts and put them online. Go on, it'll be fun!
  • The directory inquiries service 118 118 has a daily advert in British newspaper Metro in the form of a short comic strip. Bizarrely, many of these strips feature blatant plugs for other products -product placement in an advertisement. And yes, this means there are now ads inside of other ads.
  • One e-trade commercial has the man onscreen state that he made enough money using the service to buy seven monitors; six to watch the market, and one to "regulate chumps in Gears of War."
  • A Kellogg's SmartStart Healthy Heart features women doing healthy things like yoga, exercising, and playing Wii Sports.
  • Yamaha is one of the main sponsors of Nodame Cantabile. Consequently, every piano in that show is a Yamaha and melodicas are referred to as "pianicas".
  • And Yamaha once again masters this trope through their new hit "Vocaloid" software; a singing synthesizer that can mimic various kinds of voices, male and female, which just takes entering lyrics and melodies. Each voice comes with its own cute mascot embodiment that just begs for its own anime, making it a virtually infinite doorway of product placement.
  • Toy Story features several real toys as its characters.
    • The toys that weren't currently in production at the time of the movie were quickly made available again to cash in on the massive success of the movie and best of all, Mattel didn't let Pixar use Barbie in the first movie, thinking it would flop. Four years later, Barbie featured prominently in Toy Story 2 and became one of the main characters, along with male counterpart Ken, in the third film. The fact that sales of Mr. Potato Head went way up after the toy was featured in the first film gave Mattel a change of heart and they were more then happy to have Barbie in the sequels.
    • Speaking of Mattel, in the first film, Rex literally mentions he's from Mattel and Mr. Potato Head mentions he's from Playskool.
  • Yes-Man has the main character Carl order a Temperpedic mattress and do the wine test vigorously on it, order a Rolling Rock beer, speed by a UPS truck, and rent the movies 300 and Transformers from Blockbuster.
    • He also rambles for a bit about how much he likes Red Bull now that he's had his first one, and several characters discuss the advantages of a Costco membership card.
  • Older Than You Think: the 1949 Marx Brothers film Love Happy (their final film) has a chase scene (and gags) around a series of billboards for various products of the era, including Harpo escaping his pursuers by riding the neon image of Mobil Oil's Flying Red Horse.
  • Drac's Night Out, a never-released game dug out from its grave by The Angry Video Game Nerd, used Reebok shoes as a powerup. The Nerd took this to its natural conclusion with a mock ad for said shoes, because you're shit without them.
  • In The Urbz for console, the eagle-eyed player could easily spot branded Red Bull machines in certain locales. Admittedly, a coffee cart would be tough to find in a dirty subway or the equally-dirty alleyway outside a biker bar, but this is too much. Perhaps presence of The Black Eyed Peas music would also count, exacerbated/mitigated by them being CHARACTERS IN THE GAME!
  • Tropic Thunder has a movie agent playing Wii Sports one-handed throughout a rather long phone call.
    • And of course, Tivo figures heavily into the resolution of the climax.
  • While we don't get paid for it, this very wiki is not immune to it, with product names creeping into trope titles—sometimes justified when talking about tropes that have to do with brand names, but often just because. (That last one, in particular, could've easily been made generic.) One company even got two tropes named after it for no apparent reason besides Rule of Funny.
  • Basquash, by its nature as a basketball-playing humongous mecha series, has a deal with Nike, to the point where a Nike logo is prominently displayed in the opening sequence.
  • Snakes on a Plane is positively rife with placements - a character quickly chugs a can of Red Bull, placing the empty can directly in front of the camera before driving off on his bike with very obvious Kawasaki logo in the first few scenes; several characters are shown with high tech objects like laptops including a screen-filling apple logo), PSPs and Nintendo DSes; and the movie climaxes in a scene in which the plots resolution is directly linked to one character's gaming past.

Air Marshal Flynn: All prasies to the PlayStation!

  • The futuristic racer Extreme-G 2 featured billboards for Diesel clothing in the city track.
  • Hip-hop's over-reliance on product placement has become a point of embarrassment for some fans and artists. It's nothing new, what with Run-DMC's "My Adidas" coming out in 1985, but some rappers avoid it entirely while others live for it, not even getting paid for the brand-dropping. Interestingly, some companies (like high-end wine makers and pistol manufacturers) have expressed disdain for the practice, half because they don't want their product associated with something as crass and low-brow as the type of rap likely to do it, half because they feel such rappers irresponsibly promote drinking and guns to minors.
  • The website of Gaia Online frequently accepts sponsorships from bigger corporations to help keep their servers running, which in return get to advertise to Gaia users, usually by offering promotion items to users who watch an advertisement. A lot of Gaia, particularly the GCD, complains about this. Biggest "offenders" are:
    • Skittles, who did a flood of games with Skittles-based prizes (including prized heterochromia eyes), sponsored an entire dance venue at the 2009 prom event, and occasionally take over Daily Chance.
    • MTV, who sponsor a gold store run by an NPC who is supposedly an extra from their show The Hills, in addition to the "watch an ad for this show/movie, get an item" route.
      • And three of the items in that store are Gaia Cash only. That's right, you have to pay real money to Gaia Online to buy their advertisements for MTV.
    • OmniDrink, full stop. Oh, wait, April Fools'...
    • Verizon, who stuck a "message in a bottle" minigame into everybody's Aquariums. They're also chief sponsors of the Cinema feature.
    • In fact, Gaia is known for it's utterly bizarre product placement at times. A female only environment dedicated to leg razors (saved primarily due to massive amounts of Estrogen Brigade Bait), a flash environment with a stealth deodorant ad you wouldn't even notice if you weren't paying attention, a temporary shop containing only three pieces of formalwear that vanished about a month before the actual prom event began, and those ads for Monster Learning that keep popping up and bugging everyone every so often. The reasoning for the occasional oddities in sponsorships lies in the fact that Advertising Agencies decide what Gaia will advertise at any given time. When a new company starts doing business with Gaia, they typically give them a throwaway brand to advertise. As a result, users see announcements for the crappy products before they can see the good stuff. The upside to all of this sponsorship frenzy is that Gaia doesn't have to rely on parody to give users long requested cosplay items, like Hogwarts Robes, or Sparkly Vampire Skin.
  • The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff, full stop.
    • Earlier than that, H&M Fashion Stuff.
    • One UK games magazine reviewed the former by simply listing all the products featured in it, with a few snarky comments in between.
  • "Mr. Monk and the UFO" was sponsored by Sleep Inn and featured a scene where Monk was returning to the hotel room in which he was staying with only one bag of cleaning supplies. Natalie reassured a hotel employee that having only one bag was like giving the hotel five stars. Other scenes included a uniformed Sleep Inn employee as a minor character.
  • Devil May Cry 2 has alternate costumes that were based on actual brand clothing designed by a company called Diesel, which helped promote the game in Japan.
  • Almost all of the tasks in The Apprentice involve the contestants promoting a product, selling a product, or figuring out a way to improve a product.
  • Rap videos can be really bad with this. Several, such as "Pass the Courvasier" by Busta Rhymes and "Air Force Ones" (about a brand of basketball shoes) by Nelly are basically 4-minute, unpaid commercials. In fact, many fine wine makers don't like the publicity from mainstream rap; half out of snobbiness, half out of concern that it promotes underage drinking.
  • Chuck Nolan's two companions for several years on a Deserted Island in Cast Away are a Wilson volleyball and a FedEx package. Despite often seeming like a big advert for FedEx, the producer said it turned out to be too much hassle to figure a way to have them pay for the placement.
  • As mentioned above under Heroes, NBC has inverted this by not just placing commercials in the show, but placing the show in the commercials. Starting with a multi-part Heroes subplot revolving around a Sprint cellphone, they've also done it for Chuck, showing Morgan, Ellie and Devon on the way to the Winter Games in a Honda.
  • The new Percy Jackson and The Olympians movie and Apple products. Medusa? Defeated by the power of the Ipod touch, logo plainly in view. And they talk to Luke on a Macbook. Come on, at least TRY not to be blatant!
  • Men in Black somehow makes for that elusive variety of product placement where it's subtle; the Ray-Ban sunglasses the film's protagonists wear look cool and integrate into the action without appearing to have been clumsily shoehorned in. In the title song from the film's soundtrack, however, they're clunkily name-checked by Will Smith.
    • In the sequel, a background alien is seen eating french fries from McDonald's.
  • Lady Gaga's "Telephone" contains a lot of product placement for everything from Virgin Mobile and Plenty of Fish to Diet Coke and Miracle Whip. Compared with how hamfisted it is compared to the placement of stuff like Wii nunchucks in "Bad Romance", the explanation that it's Stealth Parody is more likely.
  • In Prototype, as the game progresses billboards and signs advertising all fictional in-game corporations in Manhattan are eventually covered up by propaganda, graffiti or both. However, all the advertisements for Hollywood Video, Gold's Gym, and Game Stop remain perfect and pristine, even when a total zombie apocalypse scenario is occurring in the heart of Times Square, and literally all the other signs are in some way covered up.
  • Fred maintains a modest six figure income through blatant product placements of zipits, t-shirts, and his merchandise.
  • A scene in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st has Nanoha, Alyssa, and Suzuka playing a generic JRPG, before switching it out for a few rounds of Wii Sports. It was Tennis, for those wondering.
  • The Vampire Diaries suffers from this, what with the Gilberts always binging, and Stefan the Apple fanboy...
  • The Dr. Phil product placement in Red Eye goes horribly awry. The main character expresses that she thinks the book is boring and later in the movie the villain reads it to her after she regains consciousness in the creepiest tone possible.
  • One would have learned by now that just because it's after the apocalypse, it doesn't meant there can't be product placement. In Terminator Salvation, a bunch of survivors hide in an old burned-down 7 Eleven, for one. One line in an article at Product Placement biz.com reads "ABB Robots will be shown in the film as robot manufacturers". To quote C-3PO, "machines making machines? How perverse!" John Connor listens to his mother's tapes on an old Sony tape recorder and the resistance drives Jeeps. Partially subverted in that the filmmakers worked with Ducati to develop the moto-Terminators, but they do not display any Ducati insignia.
  • In a commercial-within-a-commercial, Toyota's 2011 Lexus icIS is advertised using Yamaha drum equipment. According to The Other Wiki, Toyota and Yamaha made a capital alliance in 2000.
  • Comedian Dane Cook name-drops so many brands in his act that it'd be more shocking if he wasn't paid to do it.
  • The Puppy Bowl is filled to the brim with ads. The Kitty Halftime Show always ends with a massive shower of confetti, followed by the referee using an explicitly name brand vacuum to clean up before the puppies take the field again. Puppy Bowl VII also featured the same referee taking a break to enjoy breath mints, acting like they single-handedly restored all his energy, and 'celebrity cheerleaders' on the sidelines hawking a new animal movie.
  • Burn Notice had On-Star showing up every few episodes in season two. It paid for quite a few of the action sequences, so it was worth it.
  • Taken to the logical extreme in Morgan Super Size Me Spurlock's documentary Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Out of 200 companies it seems only 20 have a sense of humor...
  • In Vanities: A New Musical, the second and third versions of "Mystery"(so far only used in ACT's version) name various cosmetic and fashion brands. In "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing", Mary mentions a "Troll doll wearing a pillbox hat" and a "Ford convertible". That song's predecessor, "Hey There, Beautiful", also had several, including Maybelline, Ultra Lash, the Flintstones, and the aforementioned Troll doll.
  • The Doctor Oz Show normally has Brand X items (particularly vitamins and supplements[1]), but Dove and Pedigree are often mentioned by name if the segment is about skin care or pet care.
  • Zookeeper has product placement for TGI Fridays in the trailer no less. And it's done by a gorilla!:

Gorilla: Is TGI Fridays as good as everyone says it is?

  • The Smurfs is so loaded with this that it's almost a movie-in-a-movie.
  • Name a time when Dr. House isn't sporting a flashy pair of Nike shoes. With a closeup.
  • The History Channel's game show Top Shot gives away a Bass Pro Shops $2,000 gift card for the winner of an elimination challenge. This is separate from the $100,000 cash prize for being the Last Man Standing; a contestant could win one or more of the gift cards but not win the grand prize, conversely the grand prize winner might never end up in an elimination challenge and thus never win any gift cards.
  • Macross Frontier The False Songstress has a FamilyMart branch seen when Alto tries to follow Ranka. FamilyMart actually promoted the movie in its stores.
  • Victorious has Jade's bag have the Gears of War logo in her bag strap. Later in the series, the placement was gone.
  • In Think Like A Man, anyone who could conceivably be wear Nike shoes or apparel is. There are also many gratuitous basketball running-on-a-treadmill scenes towards this end.
  • In one scene of Disney's Hocus Pocus, "the Master" and his wife are tossing the Clark Bar candy bars to the Sanderson Sisters, but after discovering the weirdness of the sisters, the wife forces them to leave with the Clark Bars. Once they're back out on the prowl, Mary at first thinks that she has "the chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark", but when she eats the Clark Bar and discovers that it's candy, she asks why "the Master [would] give us candy", to which Winifred replies, "Because he's NOT our Master!"
  • Due to Loading Ready Run's recent deal with game company Wizards of the Coast, several of their recent videos have contained prominent product placement, including "The Secret Life of Board Games", the Feed Dump episode "Soldiers of Fortune", and the Commodore HUSTLE episode "Roll For Treats". It should be noted, though, that they were giving total freedom as to the method by which they placed the products, and the resulting sketches are no less funny for it.
  • The live action pilot of the cartoon series Popples had a major plot point about the Popples being donated to Goodwill.
  • The main characters of the web comic The Fuzzy Five are Living Toy versions of squishable soft toys, but the result is not a lame series of advertisements, but a nicely nutty off-the-Fourth Wall strip.
  • The movies from the Marvel Studios label seem to exist solely to the purpose of selling products. In fact, all of the films were basically $150 million plus ads made to promote The Avengers (perhaps giving that film the most expensive ad campaign ever).
  • During the mid-90's the ABC channel was bought by the Walt Disney Corporation. In doing so, they had most, if not all, of their current shows make episodes that involved their characters going on a vacation to Disney World. Most did them without complaint and simply moved on. However, there was one revolt. The cast and crew of Roseanne didn't like being forced to make an hour-long Disney World commercial (it was a two-parter, but they didn't reach Disney World until part 2.) A little while later, they make an episode that is a thinly-veiled and scathing Take That against them. In it, David gets a job at an amusement park called Edelweiss Gardens, where the brainwashing and conformity jokes come fast and hard (they also give the entire park a German theme with a Hans the Hare mascot, adding in some unsettling Nazi overtones.)


Video Games (Rockstar's® LA Noire)[edit | hide]

  • One of the earliest video game examples, the original version of Pole Position had ads for Canon, Pepsi, and a number of other companies. The Xbox 360 Namco Museum is one of the only ports that keeps the product placement in.
  • The music video to the Clazziquai song "Flea" has several shots of a PSP running DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition (or rather, a prototype as the game wasn't released yet when the video was shot). Not surprisingly, an edited version of the video was used as the intro movie for DJMPCE.
  • The NCAA Football game series again; this time with the red-zone efficiency report brought to you by Old Spice Red Zone deodorant-- "When performance matters the most!"
  • Disneys Extreme Skate Adventure has a few. The Olliewood level has a few posters for Radio Disney. Plus there's a Nokia store and a McDonald's in it too (the latter is part of a goal where you deliver food as well)
  • Any game with "licensed music".
    • The Guitar Hero series is a good example of this trope running unchecked:
      • In the original Guitar Hero, the only notable licenses in the game were the music and Gibson brand guitars. Other instruments were Brand X models (such as Synth-o-tron keyboards), and one concert advertised "Fake Skateboards".
      • Guitar Hero 2 expanded the instrument and music equipment licensing (which included Ernie Ball strings, Roland keyboards, and more) and even worked it into the storyline - as your band got more famous, you could "milk your sponsors" for more and more money.
      • Guitar Hero 3 marks the switch to Activision, where the product placements started to balloon out of control. A prominent advertisment for 5 Gum was on the song selection screen, the music video took place on the "Pontiac Stage", there were special "Axe Effect" guitars...
      • Likewise, Guitar Hero World Tour had a massive billboard for Subway $5 footlongs on one particular venue, not to mention the venue dedicated to AT&T. It wouldn't be so bad if 5 Gum, Subway and AT&T had ANYTHING to do with music.
      • What about the Guitar Hero spinoff, DJ Hero 2? The Altitude stage, which is ALWAYS used when you enable Party Play, is littered with Coca-Cola logos!
      • Rock Band basically expands where Harmonix left off in Guitar Hero 2; each game has more and more companies represented, all music-related. The guitar controllers have the Fender brand on them since Gibson was taken (up to and including the actual Fender Squier available for Rock Band 3).
      • Rock Band 2 did have a non-music-related sponsor in Hot Topic, though the player would lose fans if they took the sponsorship. A patch removed this effect; the claimed reason for the patch is that it was offered too often if the player rejected it each time.
  • In Viewtiful Joe 2, when Alastor appears, he refuses to introduce himself, declaring that if you (the player) wants to know who he is, you should go pick up a copy of Viewtiful Joe (complete with a pop-in image of the game box) from your nearest Game Store's Bargain Bin. This is also a case of Lampshade Hanging and No Fourth Wall.
  • Inverted Trope in Crazy Taxi: Sega had to pay to use the logos of Pizza Hut, KFC, Levi Strauss, The GAP, etc.
  • Super Robot Wars (any number of Merchandise-Driven Humongous Mecha shows)
  • The Xbox 360 version of FIFA 2008 contains Play Station 3 ads. Apparently, Sony is a FIFA sponsor, and you have to have ads of sponsors in a FIFA game. Oh, the irony.
  • Racing games are packed with product placement. And fans wouldn't have it any other way, since this gives you the chance to pretend you can afford to drive around in an entire garage of hopped-up cars way beyond your financial means:
    • The Gran Turismo series is chock-full of in-game advertising, justified because they're the racing teams' sponsors. Example include the Audi R8 (Infineon), the JGTC Loctite Skyline, the Mercedes-Benz 190E (Hugo Boss), the Audi TT-R Touring Car (Red Bull and Walkman), the McLaren F1 GTR Race Car (Petrofina), and the BMW V12 LMR (Dell). And on top of that, there's a Gran Turismo 4 ad within Gran Turismo 4: the Playstation Pescarolo C60.
  • EA's Need for Speed franchise is one big exercise in car and music product placement. Underground 2, just to name a few, had Snoop Dogg, Mudvayne and Xzibit (while still on his Pimp My Ride fame) in the soundtrack, had some Burger Kings and Best Buys scattered around the map, and billboards from tens of advertisers all over the place.
    • The T-Mobile adverts in HP 2010
    • And to note, musical placement didn't start until atleast Hot Pursuit 2 with songs like The People That We Love by Bush, and The Hot Action Cop songs. (Although, the original, dirty lyrics were changed to car-themed ones)
  • Nintendo's 1080° Snowboarding had characters wearing brand-name clothes while riding brand-name snowboards, the sequel even had brand-name music and a music video.
  • Similarly, Wave Race 64 had sponsorship from Kawasaki. But interestingly enough, they didn't sign on for the rerelease on the Wii Virtual Console, which meant that all the Kawasaki ads in the game had to be replaced with ads for... the Wii.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 replaces Sonic's trademark shoes with a pair from the brand Soap. And yes, there are Soap Shoes ads in quite a few of the levels.
    • It should be noted that Soap shoes aren't really normal shoes, they've got a sideways bite out of the sole so that you can grind on railings, which was exploited as a gameplay mechanic. Later games gave Sonic his old shoes back but kept the grinding move.
  • Splinter Cell uses Sam Fisher's electronic organizers to place products. The first game, for example, gave him a Palm OPSAT, while the second game gave him a Sony Ericsson phone.
    • In addition, in Chaos Theory, he chews Airwaves gum in cutscenes.
  • Pikmin 2 was full of brand-name products (from Durcell batteries to containers for various Japanese food brands), though in this case, it helped add realism. On the other hand, Olimar and the ship were somewhat more likely to say something positive about a treasure that had a logo on it...
    • Hey, if it gives me Pikmin 3, who cares?
    • Somewhat subverted in the case of the tin of sardines, of which Olimar regrets sampling.
    • Similarly, Super Monkey Ball 2 doesn't just have plain bananas like in Donkey Kong Country - they're all Dole bananas, complete with sticker.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Snake has an iPod, the unbranded "book" of previous games is now a Playboy, and at one point Otacon breaks the fourth wall to talk up the Play Station 3's Blu-ray drive.
    • It doesn't end there. Several other products are prominently displayed, including Sony Ericsson phones, ReGain energy drinks, and as a friendly Shout-Out to their competitor Ubisoft, you can unlock Altair's costume from Assassin's Creed for camouflage. Don't even bother trying to count all the Apple logos in Otacon's Hacker Cave.
      • Somewhat subverted as in one of the MGS4 INTEGRAL podcasts in-game, they admitted that the developers didn't want a generic MP3 player. At least, according to the yanks.
      • Also, don't you think there's something just a little bit interesting about having Snake whore out Apple products?
    • The "Book" in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was actually an issue of FHM, and the pinups were often of FHM centrefolds and in one case, an FHM cover (showing Charlie's Angels, appropriately). In Substance the license expired and the posters were replaced, but the FHM cover remained on the Book's texture itself.
    • There was a depressingly large fanboy wankstorm over the announcement of product placement in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, which involved Axe, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Bon Curry, Doritos, several Japanese magazines including Famitsu, WALKMAN, Uniqlo, Assassin's Creed II and Vocaloid. The last four references remained in the International versions (WALKMAN is owned by Sony, KojiPro's parent company; Uniqlo is trying to peddle tie-in t-shirts in the States, too; Assassin's Creed 2 spawned an in-game "Straw Box" item too specific to bother changing, not to mention that Assassin's Creed Brotherhood poked back at MGS the same year with a cardboard box gag and an unlockable Raiden costume; and VOCALOID was actually important to the plot) but the rest were removed and swapped with amusing Bland-Name Product versions. In particular, the replacements for the magazines (now Solid Mag, Liquid Mag, and Solidus Mag) are Take Thats at the original magazines they're based on ("Most of the stories are about men fighting Martians and were written by talentless amateurs"), and the description for the "Cologne" makes snide comments about the Axe advertising campaigns.
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire on the Nintendo 64 contains a bit of product placement to itself, of all things: during the mission inside the freighter the Suprosa, when Dash locates the supercomputer containing the new Death Star plans, it will greatly resemble an N64 with a Shadows cartridge plugged in if viewed from a sufficient distance.
  • City of Heroes recently introduced "optional in-game advertising" which replaces some of the fictional advertisements found throughout the city with those of real products. At the time of this writing, only one real advertisement is available: a giant picture of a shoe with the words "Jeter Clutch" above and to the left of it.
    • Unlike in most cases, most fans are all for this. Ads = Money = Game will continue to be developed. Unfortunately, most companies seem reluctant to jump on this.
  • The protagonist of the Pokémon games has Nintendo's current home console in his/her room, including the Super NES (Gen. I), the N64 (Gen. II), the Game Cube (Gen. III), and the Wii (Gens. IV and V).
    • Taken to impressive levels in Black and White; the main character has his/her first Pokémon battle in his/her room and everything is decimated afterwards. However, upon examination, the Wii is in the same spot and, when 'talked to', is apparently undamaged!
  • Battlefield 2142 has billboards on many of its maps, served with real ads like a 3D-rendered page banner. The ads were targeted, so each player would see something different in the same space. Penny Arcade makes light of it here.
  • Also a common sight in Steam games. Such as the billboards in Left 4 Dead and posters in Counter-Strike. However, the ads are general and not targeted and everyone will see the same thing though of course they do change from time to time depending on the Steam server, usually advertising other games on Steam.
  • Meta? One of the goals in Golden Eye 1997 64 is a security tape. In a box. Looking at the tape in your inventory will reveal it spinning, like many objects. The front is a promo for the GoldenEye movie. True, they did have the rights to the image... but it still spins my brain.
  • The UK version of Bullfrog Productions' Theme Hospital for the PC featured vending machines with a glaring Kit Kat logo plastered clearly on them. Seeing how they actually got a bank to sponsor the UK release of the original PC version of Theme Park, it wouldn't be surprising if Nestle sponsored the game.
  • Crackdown had prominent billboards which changed depending on which sponsor was supporting them. At the moment, since there are no sponsors, they instead display some leaderboard statistics which scroll when you look directly at them. They take a moment to load, so the placeholder image is used until the leaderboard results are ready - a billboard for the 2007 Dodge Caliber.
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The game's logo is on the energy drinks.
    • Also, the "Cossacks" Vodka produced by "GSC Company" is a plug for the developers' (GSC Game World) earlier series, Cossacks.
  • Alan Wake only trusts Energizer batteries to save my life from the forces of darkness—when he isn't answering his Verizon phone, that is.
    • The game actually has two real commercials that can be watched right in the middle of it by turning on a TV while fleeing the Dark Presence. You apparently get an achievement for watching it.
    • Worst still, the DLC "The Signal" is basically an interactive commercial that players pay for. The titular signal is a cellphone signal, and there's one cutscene in which a Verizon spins and falls to the ground in slow motion, with the screen pointing towards the camera. When Alan answers it, the voice on the other end actually says "Can you hear me now"?
      • Much of the DLC involves following a GPS signal. If you watch the objective compass, you'll notice that it goes haywire every few minutes. Admittedly, this is because the Dark Presence is rearranging the dreamscape, but it doesn't exactly reassure players about the reliability of Verizon's GPS capabilities.
  • Lots in Brigade E5: Faber Castell pencils in the cinematics, American Express credit cards, and those ammo boxes (Federal Classic, Brown Bear, Wolf Performance Ammunition, etc) are the real thing.
  • Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip is sponsored by Adidas (the PlayStation 2 HST didn't have any sort of sponsorship deal), so there are Adidas logos all over the place - on flags, on the courts, in the locker rooms, and on some of the clothing options in the Pro Shop.
  • No mention of Rush 2 (Nintendo)? Geez, that game was loaded with ads for Mountain Dew. Every can that you can collect was a Mt.Dew as well as a few in-game billboards along with the fictional ones. There was even a Mt.Dew car that you could unlock!
    • There were also billboards for some of Midway's other games such as Area 51: Site 4, Mace: The Dark Age, and Gauntlet Legends.
  • In Soldier of Fortune II, a computer on the Seaward Star displays the title screen of Doom.
  • The 5to2 Cafe from Natural Born Killers appears in the first Silent Hill.
  • Xbox 360 avatars can be dressed up or given props that advertise particular games, events, or designer brands of clothing or headphones. Very few of these are free, which can lead to the inversion of you paying Microsoft points to advertise someone else's product.
  • Die Hard Trilogy 2 has Whoop Ass! energy drinks.
  • In Shaun White Skateboarding, you strike out against an oppressive Nineteen Eighty-Four - esque dystopian regime via the power of skateboarding, which brings color to a monochrome world...as well as Stride gum billboards and Wendy's restaurants, among others. Needless to say, the "fight government oppression via corporate advertising" aspect wasn't well received.
  • Anger Management: There are "Establishing Shots" peppered throughout the movie, except all they establish is that the characters are in a neighbourhood that has a lot of billboards advertising the Army.


Parodies - Because we produce the only true Quaker® Oats[edit | hide]

--> You Could Advertise Here! <--[edit | hide]

  • Two recent Sprint commercials have made fun of this, presenting their commercials for the Instinct phone as movie trailers. They're actually called something like "the finest product placement movie this summer", with "finest" often replaced for a more genre-appropriate word (such as "scariest" or "heartwarming").
  • A recent Budweiser commercial featured a movie director wondering why there was a bottle of window cleaner on the set of his medieval-period sword fighting scene. He's informed that if he shills products in the movie, the company will give him free stuff. Cue everything on set being branded with the Budweiser logo.


Anime & Manga (Kodansha's® Akira)[edit | hide]

  • Love Aikawa from Bleach was once reading a Shonen Jump issue. The funny thing is that Bleach is published by Shonen Jump.
    • Similarly Gintama has had entire plots revolving around Jump. The series is so weird this gets a pass though.
      • Jotaro's life was saved by copies of Jump, before either of those comics existed.
      • The most recent translation, by Viz comics, of Read or Die had Yomiko using Jump in battle (and pausing to read them). It was hard to read the katakana, though, so it might have been Jump, or possibly Corocoro Comics, a rival.
  • Superheroes have become a major entertainment industry in Tiger and Bunny, and the heroes themselves are covered in advertisements for real-life products. There's even a commercial spot for Pepsi NEX featuring Blue Rose which blurs the line between Ad Bumpers and ad. On the other hand, several characters are represented by fictional companies.
    • What pushes it over into Deconstruction is that characters get yelled at fairly frequently by their sponsors for causing collateral damage (which the sponsors pay for) and get criticized for heroics off the air as it means they don't get any advertisement time.


Comic Books (DC Comics'® Batman)[edit | hide]

  • In the DC Comics series 52, Booster Gold, a superhero with a reputation for being self-interested, tools around Metropolis with a dozen logo decals stuck to his costume. (He later learns his lesson. And then explodes. But gets better.)
    • In the early '90s, Booster headed up a corporate superhero team called The Conglomerate as competitors for the Justice League of America. The members wore jackets over their regular superhero outfits that featured various DCU-native companies such as Star Labs and Lexcorp. The companies then made the mistake of insisting that The Conglomerate start looking after the companies' interests over the welfare of the world in general, which ultimately backfired on them.
  • Transmetropolitan parodied this. At one point, the main character, Spider Jerusalem, very newsworthy, goes on a booze fueled rant. As shown in other points, one can clearly click over to buy the booze Spider is holding as he does his thing. In another aspect, Spider, naive to the ways of City life, is hit with an advertising bomb that unloads ads in his sleep. Society isn't completely insane; chemically induced ad visions cause mucho neurological disasters and are illegal...until they aren't for about five minutes every few legal cycles. Guess what the citizens get sprayed with then? And last but not least, the TVs in your home don't seem to have an off switch... Spider's TV might be an exception, though. He explicitly programs it to change channels every twenty seconds in the first issue and leaves it on. Constant information overload probably goes with the territory of being a journalist.
  • In one of the issues of The Simpsons comic, Homer mentions that during an interview you should mention products "Such as Chips Ahoy! cookies!" so they have to pay you.


Newspaper Comics (Bill Watterson's® Calvin and Hobbes)[edit | hide]

Paige: I hate how the American Idol judges always have those Pepsi cans in front of them.
Peter: It's called product placement, Paige.
Paige: Well, it's tacky.
Peter: Get used to it. Altoid Mint?
Paige: Yes, thanks! They're Curiously Strong!

  • One Pearls Before Swine strip had Larry secretly eating Kentucky Fried Chicken in the closet because he's to lazy to catch a zebra. Pastis said in the Pearls Sells Out commentary that people ask him if he's paid by companies to mention their products. He says no, and that he's never been approached.


Film (Friedberg & Seltzer's® Meet The Spartans)[edit | hide]

  • The Truman Show had the protagonist's wife constantly hocking merchandise, not to mention every single inanimate object in the world being product placement. (This was how the show pays for itself, since it runs without commercial interruptions.) It takes a dark turn near the end, as she does it at the wrong moment—Truman, who's beginning to work out the truth, asks, "Who are you talking to?" while looking around incredulously.
    • There were also two guys whose entire job on the Truman Show was to stop Truman at a place, frame him properly for a camera to include a shot of a certain poster for a few seconds, then let him go. Other product-based oddities abounded in the world as well.
  • Spoofed brilliantly in the movie Wayne's World, as Wayne and Garth rant about not selling out and staying true to themselves, while showing off various products.
  • In Return of the Killer Tomatoes, breaking the Fourth Wall, the director appears to informs the characters that there isn't enough money to finish the film. He blames the (relentlessly) generic products that have been shown throughout the movie to that point. After that, logos appear on various objects and all dialog is loaded with ever-more-blatant product pitches, only ending when a character breaks down mid-spiel and asks "do we have enough money to finish this turkey yet?" The director stops partying with hookers long enough to give the go-ahead.
  • From Kung Pow -- "Taco Bell, Taco Bell, Product Placement for Taco Bell..."
    • More subtly (which is an odd word to apply to this movie) in that scene a nearby roof has the bottom half of a Hooters logo visible.
    • Na-na-na, na, na...Neo...Na-na-na, na, na...sporin!
  • A series of "Turn off your damn mobile phone" trailers in the United Kingdom from the Orange Film Funding Board showed various celebrities pitching ideas to the board. It then showed a panel of execs, mangling whatever idea they are given to include mobile phone product placement, ending with the line "Don't let a mobile ruin your movie". Ironically, Orange actually went on to fund one of the joke stories because they liked the idea, hence all the mobile usage in A Cinderella Story.
    • Probably the best of these so far was a high-budget example, where Steven Seagal approaches the golfing execs with an idea for a romcom, and the execs retort that he only knows how to do action. Seagal chases after the chief exec insisting it can be done, but the irony is that he's chasing him in a very action-movie fashion, only transposed to a golf course (beating up minions, a car chase in golf carts). There's the obligatory phone bit, but it ends with Seagal blowing up the exec's helicopter just after he dismisses the idea for the last time.
  • In Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, Product Placement is merged with the Hollywood Merchandising Machine to create a brilliant parody: All the products featured bear the movie's logo. Spaceballs The Doll. Spaceballs The Bedsheet. Spaceballs The Breakfast Cereal. Spaceballs The Flame Thrower... and so forth. Perhaps ironically, Spaceballs The Lunchbox is just a Transformers lunchbox with a Spaceballs logo taped on it.
    • The tie-ins are clearly intended as a jab at the extensive merchandising around the Star Wars license.
      • It was revealed in a 20th anniversary magazine that Mel Brooks actually had George Lucas' blessing to parody Star Wars (which explains why Brooks was never sued by Lucasfilm) -- on the one condition that there be absolutely zero merchandising of the film. Therefore, the ridiculous product placement of (non-available) Spaceballs merchandise was intended to tweak Lucas' nose over this.
        • The other reason Brooks was never sued was that Spaceballs was a parody that's protected under the first amendment, making getting Lucas' blessing completely unneeded, but hey!
        • Brooks asked Lucas' permission out of respect, not fear of litigation.
    • "What's the matter with this thing? What's all that churning and bubbling? You call that a radar screen?" "No, sir. We call it, 'Mr. Coffee'."
  • Captain Amazing, from Mystery Men, is a commercially-sponsored hero, his entire costume covered in advertising logos. (This was in 1999, eight years before the Fantastic Four gag above.)
  • It was noted that there was a tremendous amount of product placement in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Total Recall, especially in the middle of the city square. It makes fun of this a bit when the main character is on Mars, and a "USA Today" newspaper vending machine appears, only the label says "Mars Today" and is in red instead of USA Today's blue.
  • In another Ahnold movie, Last Action Hero, at one point the car crashes through a semi-truck clearly labeled "Coca-Cola", which is driving out of what appears to be the bottling plant.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (you know, The Film of the Series, which doesn't exist?) mocks this trope, except when making sure the audience knows that the characters use Hewlett-Packard computers.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Go to White Castle. Note for non-Americans: White Castle is a restaurant chain in the US.
  • In Desperately Seeking Susan Rosanna Arquette takes a drag from a cigarette, and then starts coughing. The cigarette company that paid for the placement demanded their money back.
  • In all of Quentin Tarantino's movies where a character smokes, they'll smoke Red Apple brand cigarettes. Being a fictional brand, it sure pops up a lot. Same is true with the Big Kahuna Burger Chain (though the latter is tempered by how one of the most famous scenes in his oeuvre is a discussion of McDonald's).
    • He does feature real cereal brands, like "Fruit Brute" and "Kaboom". Both haven't been produced since the 70s.
  • In Evolution, the protagonists discover than the alien menace can be killed by selenium. When they wonder where they are going to get several hundred gallons of it, a couple of slacker students reveal that Head & Shoulders contains selenium sulfide as the active ingredient. Thus, they fill a fire truck with the stuff and use it to save the day. It's done so tongue in cheek (the movie is a comedy) that it's obviously a parody and it culminates with the characters making a faux ad for Head & Shoulders at the very end of the film (supposedly this was suggested by the director's son, Jason Reitman).
    • Also, chemistry enthusiasts may know that selenium sulfide is used in virtually all dandruff shampoos, not just head & Shoulders.

Ira Kane: Wow, fighting the alien menace can be tough work.
Harry Block: And so is keeping your hair clean, shiny and dandruff free.
Wayne Grey: So it's a good thing we always keep a healthy supply of [all join in], Head and Shoulders, around the house. (Played right before end credits, the three holding the product - one of them backwards).

  • Hilariously averted, to the point of parody, in Repo Man. Not only are no products placed, but every commercial product seen has an ultra-generic label, from the can of "Food" Otto eats from in his parents' house to the "Beer" he pours on the floor of the repossession office, to every labeled item on the shelves of the grocery and liquor stores. The only brand names explicitly used in the entire movie are (unavoidably) those of cars slated for repossession, and the vehicles in question look like such crap, it's more a Take That than a product promotion. Lampshaded when another character offers to buy Otto a drink, and the very next shot shows them purchasing a six-pack of "Drink".
    • There are also the Christmas tree air fresheners, but those are used less as product placement and more as part of the surreal reality of the film - they're in every car in the movie, and the characters notice this.
  • One of Wayne Knight's lines in the movie Space Jam contains SIX product placements, all for items that lead character Michael Jordan has appeared in commercials for:

"Get your Hanes on, lace up your Nikes, grab your Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we'll pick up a Big Mac on the way to the Ball park!"

  • One of the many subplots in State And Main involves a director initially rejecting, then trying to figure out how to work in product placement for a website... in an 1800s period piece.
  • Idiocracy is unique in that it absolutely savages the brands that get placed. For example, Carl's Jr. will take your kids away if you can't pay for your meal (and pays one of the department secretaries every time he mentions them; seriously, he ends most of his sentences with "brought to you by Carl's Jr."), Fuddrucker's restaurant steadily devolves into Buttfucker's, Costco has bloated into a city-sized blight on the landscape with its own transit system, and Starbucks (and others) now offers hookers—family style. Supposedly, Gatorade was going to be the sports drink that had completely replaced water, causing all the crops to die, but they pulled out after they saw how their product was going to be treated, so Brand X product Brawndo was used in its place.
    • And their Brand X product became a real one some time ago, complete with ads with awesome voiceovers.
    • The hero still managed to describe the Brawndo in the fountains as "some kind of Gatorade" at least once.
    • You want crazy? The court has advertising banners everywhere, and so do the government offices. The House of Representin' prefers Uhmerican Xxxpress.
      • Sadly, that's... not so crazy, given the infamous appearance of blatant advertising in some privatized schools and prisons in Real Life.
  • In Despicable Me, The Rival Vector is shown using a Nintendo Wii in one scene. Makes sense, considering the design of his house.
  • Josie and The Pussycats gleefully used hyperbole to show how absurd product placement can become. Examples include an advert for Evian mineral water on an underwater wall in an aquarium, and a giant McDonald's 'M' on the World Trade Center. Plus ads on the wall of a hotel SHOWER. (Creepy). The plot itself featured the titular girlband (unwittingly) playing subliminal adverts in their music as part of the villains scheme to brainwash teenagers into buying more stuff.


Literature (Dan Brown's® Illuminati)[edit | hide]

  • In Rally Round the Flag, Boys! by Max Shulman, a bunch of advertising executives meet with the producer of a Biblical Times drama series sponsored by their client to debate the question: "How do we identify King David with Crackle-Crunchies?"


Live Action TV (FOX'® Mad TV)[edit | hide]

  • Pawn Stars: has some SHAMELESS plugs in some episodes for Subway sandwiches. Chumlee one episode brings Corey some sandwiches when Corey is working late. Rick treats Chumlee after he pulls off a big shift and Rick even comments to the Oldman that the breakfast sandwiches are "delicious", and when Rick notes how fat and out of shape Corey and Chum both are, he gets them some healthy and nutritious Subway sandwiches.
  • 10 O'Clock Live: Around the time the UK started to allow product placement, Jimmy Carr did a report on the crisis in Libya, but using as many puns on brand names as possible, complete with the corresponding products rolling right by him.
  • Arrested Development: Two characters meet at Burger King and discuss how a show within a show is getting a big endorsement from the restaurant for mentioning its name. Naturally, the conversation itself features the characters repeatedly saying the name "Burger King" (while cutting away at the restaurant exterior to do a close up on the logo) and hawking the restaurant's services like free drink refills, until even the narrator joins in. Indeed, the writers originally were going to call this episode "Tendercrisp Chicken Comedy Half-Hour," after the sandwich heavily advertised in background signage.
  • The Thirty Rock episode "Jack-Tor", in which the characters' dealt with product placement on the Show Within The Show, cleverly lampshaded the use of product placement on the actual show.

Jack: These Verizon Wireless phones are just so popular, I accidentally grabbed one belonging to an acquaintance.
Liz: Well, sure, 'cause that Verizon Wireless service is just unbeatable. I mean, if I saw a phone like that on TV, I'd be, like, "Where is my nearest retailer so I can get one?" {{[[[No Fourth Wall]] looks straight into the camera}}] Can we have our money now?

    • Other products that are "Product Placed" on 30 Rock include Snapple and the Suggie.

Liz: It's not product placement, I just like how it feels!

    • Jack got in on the act himself in the Live Episode, shilling for Capitol One:

Jack: (on a suggestion to drop TGS' product placement for Capitol One to do something for Liz on her 40th) Oh, you can't do that, the Capitol One Venture Card is amazing. (looking into camera) They give double miles every day for every purchase.
(cut to guy wearing cap and shirt saying "Promotional consideration furnished by Capitol One")

  • Sons of Guns has the Red Jacket crew using Magpul-brand parts accessories for the majority of their custom-built guns.
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge spoofs the levels that some television personalities will stoop too to shill products; every episode featured the host, Alan Partridge, hawking cheap tat with a complete lack of subtlety. However, as Alan worked for The BBC—which takes quite a dim view of these kind of practices, being a public broadcaster with strict rules about this sort of thing—this gradually became a plot point; the Christmas Special focused heavily on Alan's increasingly feeble attempts to discretely sell Rover cars under the nose of his savvy boss, who was a guest on the same show.
  • Top Gear parodied the concept a couple of times, always starting off with a Lampshade Hanging citing BBC policy which prohibits advertising:
    • In one episode, Top Gear managed to borrow a Ferrari Enzo from Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, but only under the condition that they plug his book. Jeremy Clarkson then mentions that he told Mason they couldn't do that, but he'll "slide in a couple of references no one will notice". The review segment had Jeremy Clarkson interviewing Nick Mason while both of them are holding the book, in a slightly forced, exaggerated and stereotypical manner not unlike the most blatant plugs on a TV program. Clarkson also used references to Pink Floyd albums in his review of the Enzo, and the Stig had the car's stereo playing Another Brick in The Wall, Part II while he did the hot lap. At the end of the day, Top Gear managed to review the Enzo, Mason got his book plugged, and the audience gets a good laugh out of the blatant product placement on television, everybody wins! Yay Top Gear!
    • When they did the 24-hour Britcar race, they weren't allowed to have sponsor decals on their car. Instead, they added logos of made-up sponsors Larsen's Biscuits and Penistone Oils, with Clarkson saying they wanted to "look more authentic." Top Gear being Top Gear, they "accidentally" placed the decals in such a way that if the car's doors were swung open, the letters would read "Arse Biscuits" and "Penis". Throughout the segment the team was shown talking while resting their elbows on the car's open doors for the purposes of "sponsor airtime".
    • In true Top Gear fashion, during the wide shot where we can see the "offending" words, Richard Hammond says "I want people to take us seriously."
  • One episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie was filled with references to something called "Tidyman's Carpets", in the most ham-fisted way possible.

Fry: Hello, and welcome to "A Bit of Fry and Tidyman's".

  • Parodied by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report: His coverage of his own 2008 presidential run was "sponsored by Nacho Cheese Doritos", although Frito-Lay never actually paid him for it, and he spent several months mentioning the iPhone at every possible opportunity in the hope that Apple would send him one for free. Apple did.
    • Initially, his campaign was "sponsored by Nacho Cheese Doritos", until it was pointed out that Federal election laws at the time forbade direct sponsorship of political campaigns in return for advertising plugs (although more than one wag has stated they should be mandatory since that would make it transparent who's giving money to a particular candidate...)
    • He's also been hawking various products recently, including Ax Body Spray, the character having sold his soul to various corporations in order to get sponsorship that will keep the show going in light of the financial meltdown.
    • His habit of drinking Sierra Mist, however, is not product placement. It is just the best way to quench your thirst. Ahhh.... refreshing Sierra mist.
  • In a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother they featured toys and movies posters heavily for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The posters were not commented on, however they made great use of the toy Wolverine claws in several scenes.
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, John Henry loved to play with his Bionicles toys. He would also frequently tell other characters about the mythology of the Bionicle world. It also becomes important to the story: You see, Bionicles have almost exclusively ball-and-socket joints, which are extremely useful. John Henry can't understand why God would design humans with hinge joints instead.
  • In the Groundhog Day Loop episode of Stargate SG-1 Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c hit golfballs through the stargate with name-brand golf equipment prominently displayed. Rule of Cool win.
    • Stargate SG-1 is guilty of this extremely subtly, as Samantha Carter is always seen either using a Dell Inspiron laptop or, in the later seasons, a Dell XPS laptop.
    • In the episode "Vegas" of Stargate Atlantis during an exchange between Sheppard and McKay, McKay tells Sheppard that he knows his favourite flavour of gum (spearmint), to which Sheppard believes to be a bluff. In reaction to this, McKay whips out a slightly beaten-up pack of Stride spearmint gum from his jacket and throws it out on the table in front of him. Nobody says anything about the brand, so it is possible that either this is a typical Stargate subtle product placement, or it was just that a package of Stride gum was what was available to them.
  • HBO occasionally has a character in their series watching a scene from an another HBO series. For example, in The Wire, Omar watched Oz and Cutty's roommate watched Deadwood. There's also a scene where Dukie is about to plug Dexter but is interrupted by Michael Lee.
  • MythBusters genericies any products it uses (except for a few cases, such as Mentos and Diet Coke for the Mentos and Diet Coke myth) by using blurring or sleeves with the Mythbusters logo, and occasionally has short segments endorsing "blur" or "Mythbusters" brand products.
  • Given the predominance of Product Placement in the current media landscape, most assume that Seinfeld just did it to get money. Acually, the Product Placement in Seinfeld broke a lot of sitcom etiquette by actually mentioning specific products, and the writers had to lobby for permission to use the names of real products. Why? The Contemplating Our Navels conversations that Seinfeld is famous for are based on Real Life diction, and such diction is extremely clunky to recreate with an abstract Brand X. As an example, one episode involves George Costanza attempting to prove that someone took his candy bar impugning a suspect's description of candy bars. By using actual candy bars, the viewer can base her own experiences with that candy bar in interpreting how the characters on screen react to it. The incidental Product Placement in Seinfeld is actually a large reason why Product In Placement in general has become so popular in the modern age. Prior to Seinfeld, ad executives were far more worried about negative association than, in retrospect, they should have been.
    • One of the clip shows features a two minute montage of the cast mentioning brand names such as Drake's Cakes, Chunky bars, Snapple, Yoohoo, and of course - Junior Mints.
  • Parodied in Only Fools and Horses with Rodney's film having about two hundred extras and two more pages of businesses to advertise in film thanks to Del Boy seeing a money making opportunity. Including a sauna business and an undertakers...
  • The network tried to play it straight by having a minion from the then-upcoming Despicable Me show up as an auditionee in Last Comic Standing. It might not have been a good idea to do that with a judging panel of Deadpan Snarkers.

Natasha: I can't wait to see Steve Carrell in Despicable Me starring Steve Carell...Steve Carell.

  • Back when it existed, the ITC (the UK's Independent Television Commission) once ran a commercial lambasting Product Placement, showing a mock Aussie soap scene that focuses more on the beer than the plot. Flash forward to 2010, and the UK is just now drawing up rules for product placement.
  • The second segment on Conan occasionally involves Conan and Andy plugging a real life sponsor, usually with awkward grins and always with some sort of ridiculous skit about it.
  • Most likely played for laughs in Sons of Anarchy when you see Chibs drinking Jameson Irish Whiskey, packaged in a juice box, leading the viewers to ask "Where can I get those?"
  • One episode of Malcolm in the Middle had Malcolm and Reese buying a huge pile of fireworks from a Phantom Fireworks stand, topped off with the massive "Komodo 3000"; The company and the product both actually exist, although the latter is probably not quite as powerful in real life as it is memorably depicted in the show.


Video Games (Nintendo's® Wii Party)[edit | hide]

  • Deus Ex: The description for the soda is "The can is blank except for the phrase ´PRODUCT PLACEMENT HERE.´ It is unclear whether this is a name or an invitation."
  • Mario Kart seems to enjoy mocking this trope, as most courses are covered with ads...for nonexistent businesses, some more blatant parodies of real-world companies than others.
    • The Japanese release of Mario Kart 64 even had Bland-Name Product ads for Mariobro (Marlboro), Luigip (Agip), Yoshil (Mobil), and Shell (with a Koopa shell).
  • In the Crapsack World RPG Underground, product placement has become so blatantly ubiquitous that embedded ads can be found in constitutional amendments.
  • In Backyard Basketball, Barry DeJay endorses 110% Juice (a fictional comnpany), and the MVP is the 110% Juice Player of the Game. 110% Juice is even a powerup in the game.
  • In the Sam and Max Freelance Police episode "Night of the Raving Dead", the eponymous duo star in several Very Special Episodes of Midtown Cowboy. These turn out to be egregious product placements for alcohol and clove cigarettes.
  • Lemmings 3D has its candy-themed levels plastered with ads for Jelly Belly, at least in the PSX version.
  • Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden's strongest healing item is a Burger King chicken fry. Not even a whole order, but a single fry. The second strongest healing item is the greasy "dew" left behind by a chicken fry. And then there's the Hi-C Ecto Cooler, which comes in two versions: "Ecto Cooler" (heals HP) and "Ecto Cooler?" (heals some HP and some MP).
  • Several late 90s/early00s Electronic Arts games have absurdly fake brands where advertisements would be in real life (such as billboards in sports arenas). Examples include signs for "Chicken Pork" in Triple Play Baseball and Bobby Heenan pandering "Salsadent: The Spicy Toothpaste" in WCW Mayhem.
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 had a sponsorship from Six Flags, which meant playable Six Flags parks and useable (but not editable) Six Flags rides.
  • World of Warcraft plastered this on a quest. A group of hip, partying goblins begged you to retrieve their thirst-quenching, delicious drink from the crabs that had made off with them. After tracking down the crabs and untying the bottles that had oddly been tied to their claws, the goblins cheered and exclaimed how delicious it was.


Web Comics (Penny Arcade®)[edit | hide]


Web Original (Channel Awesome's® Jew Wario)[edit | hide]

GAMETRADERS ROBINA

  • Italian Spiderman parodies this trope, with the "Il Gallo" (a fictional label, mind you) cigarettes often smoked by the main character—he even blatantly exhibits them during one episode.
  • The Irate Gamer: In his Yo! Noid review, he notes at the beginning that the game's developer sold out by making a bad game based on a Domino's Pizza mascot. As he reviews the game, he wonders why Domino's would do such a thing. He then gets a check from Domino's and decides that selling out isn't a bad thing and starts promoting and namedropping random products ("After all, a logo can go a long way.") while praising the game. He finally stops when he sees how bad the ending is and decides that he'll only sell out to himself.
  • Speaking of Domino's
  • A Very Potter Sequel parodies this with Ron's love of Red Vines - complete with smiles directly to camera and zooming close-ups, as well as Harry and Ron's friendship being rooted in a mutual love of the things.
    • The Potion Masters Corner parodies that in Joey Richter's (who played Ron) interview. Snape interrupts Joey to mention Cookie Crisp frequently.
  • "Invention Pioneers of Note" parodies this in Season 4, which contains multiple instances of forced and awkward product placement, as well as itself being a thinly disguised commercial for a restaurant.
  • Tobuscus manages to parody this trope and play it straight at the same time. His schtick is to get paid by advertisers to produce parody videos about their products, under the theory that humor creates buzz. On the other hand, some of his videos are straight parodies, such as the FarmVille series (which almost got him in copyright trouble due to an overzealous Zynga employee). As if that weren't enough, any time a brand name appears in any of his videos or he mentions one in passing, he yells "Sponsor!", whether the appearance is sponsored or not.
  • Parodied in The Nostalgia Critic review of Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Critic: So to put it bluntly, he'll be back after these messages. (Lights start dimming) No, hey what are you doing? That was a joke. It wasn't serious. It wasn't serious. No, hey, what are you doing? STOP! (a real blip ad plays and then the lights come back on) Chester, report!
Chester A. Bum: We are being intersected by a word from our sponsor!
Critic: Dammit. These advertising execs are getting more and more clever. Raise our shields against anymore commercial plugs!
Chester: Yes sir. Incidentally, this swing of the shields is brought to you by the delicious taste of Diet Coke.
Critic: Chester!
Chester: Sorry, sorry.

Yes, Dinosaur Domain features some non-factual dinosaurs, such as the Nairadactyl, the Hugo Bossiraptor, and the Cool Ranch Doritosaurus.

Western Animation (Nick Toon's® The Fairly Odd Parents)[edit | hide]

  • In an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Harvey Birdman's drink suddenly turns into a can of Tab. Then there is an extended live-action sequence where Birdman and a 5-foot can of Tab frolic on the beach.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the main characters are wandering through a Nevada desert until they find a Wal-Mart smack dab in the middle of it. When D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser) remarks how stupid it is, his "love interest" studio executive Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman) simply replies "Product Placement. No one notices that anymore" and no one else cares, since they are thirsty and tired. When they leave, they are loaded with stuff and Bugs Bunny says "It was very nice of Wal-Mart to give us all of these Wal-Mart products for saying "Wal-Mart" so many times."
  • A few episodes of Sealab 2021 are choked with fake ads for Grizzlebee's, a riff on Applebee's, TGI Friday's, and other US-based "down-home neighborhood family restaurant" franchises. "Grizzlebee's: You'll wish you had less fun!"
    • And at that, the episode "Tinfins" was itself one long advertisement for a fake movie, interspersed with advertisements for a fake restaurant.
    • Not to mention during the interviews with the makers of the movie, they clearly had Grizzlebee's.
      • As Captain Murphy learns, you don't mess with corporate sponsors.
  • Futurama made a few jokes mocking this by putting advertising in dreams and also with Nixon's repeated shilling for "Charleston Chew" during his speeches, although that one might be a matter of them finding Nixon saying "Charleston Chew" hilarious.

Futurama is brought to you by: Molten Boron!"
Female Voice: "Nobody doesn't like Molten Boron!

    • Used again in the "Gunderson's Nuts Holiday Spectacular Featuring Futurama"

Amy: They're nut so good!

Steve: Why did we have to come to a Burger King to read the map?
Stan: Because the economics of television have changed! (awkwardly, towards the camera) Have it...your way!

  • In one episode of The Venture Brothers, the favored cigarettes of notorious Badass Brock Sampson is revealed to be Marlboro cigarettes—which in the Venture Bros.-verse are called "Manboro".
    • King Gorilla, one of Monarch's jail buddies from the last part of Season 1 and beginning of Season 2, makes his return in the second half of Season 4. At the welcome back party King Gorilla is now suffering from lung cancer and the gift Monarch gets him? You guessed it—a carton of cigarettes.
    • "The Rusty Venture, brought to you by... Smoking."
  • An episode of Arthur had Francine filming a music video. When asked why she put a bottle of tomato ketchup on top of a tombstone, she explained it was product placement.
  • In The Proud Family, Oscar Proud managed to get his Proud Snacks onto product placement in the ending of the episode (after his attempts at getting his commercial aired resulted in it being interrupted, the first time due to a pointless breaking news story about a tv show getting cancelled, the second due to Penny protesting). It airs on a TV show, and... well, let's just say that the snacks apparently killed one of the co-stars upon ingestion on-the-air. Also counts as a subtle Take That to The Parkers.

After reading all this, you must be hungry. What about a delicious Pizza Hut® and a Pepsi®? Yummy!

  1. in oversized bottles with large print labels that are easy to read on camera