Friday, 19 October 2012

Thought for the weekend

James Bond will be drinking beer in his newest movie. The justification is that such movies cannot be made without funding and product placements, as well as branded-placements, are necessary for blockbusters.

The news made this blogger remember a recent movie scene that could only be described as product displacement. In the movie – I think it was called Crazy Stupid Love - a middle-aged man (Steve Carrell) is left by his wife and spends his evenings in a bar moaning about his misery. He looks a mess – badly dressed and unkempt. A younger man, who has great success with pickups at the bar, takes pity on him and acts as fairy godmother, giving him a much-needed makeover. When discussing the general awfulness of his appearance, he says something like ‘no-one your age should wear New Balance’ sneakers, and makes the older man repeat words to the effect that ‘I deserve better than The Gap’ (sorry about the disclaimers, but it was late and I was not concentrating). In any event, the general tone of the discussion as that he looked awful wearing these two brands of clothing. But there was no actual disparagement – the implication was rather that one could do better. After a (no-name) shopping spree that must have made his bank manager weep, he looks substantially better and his wife realises that she made a mistake.

Could either company do anything about this? Did they possibly try? And why did the producer use actual names, rather than generic descriptions such as ‘badly fitting chinos’ or ‘cheap trainers’?

Do readers have any ideas or suggestions? You have all weekend to think about it – or channel-surf on DSTV until you find the movie!

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