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Ratner prod. placement

09.25.2009

I'm reporting on this story because I believe it marks the first time I've agreed with Brett Ratner about anything, and that is an event worthy of celebration. Ratner was at an Advertising Week event where he started talking about product placement in films, and when it is, and is not appropriate.

"What are my needs for the story?" he explained in describing his search for an organic solution. "What car do I need that can become a character in the movie?"

In another example, Ratner argued that forcing a soda bottle into a movie scene makes it seem like a prop and doesn't have any branding effect because viewers will block it out. "It must be a character embedded in the story," he said, recounting how he absolutely wanted a Porsche 928 as a younger man because it played a key role in "Risky Business." Wow, yes, I completely agree with that sentiment.

Unfortunately, I can really only think of a handful of times that “organic” product placement works, and franky, it’s usually for stuff like cars, which we end up overlooking because they tend to be awesome.

But even when movies try to be “organic” about advertising it often fails anyway. I can completely understand Steve Buschemi walking into a bar an ordering two Budweisers in THE ISLAND or Tom Cruise heading into the Gap to escape pursuers in MINORITY REPORT, but each and every time it still somehow feels forced, even if we end up leaving the theater in our Fords, stopping at McDonalds on the way home and turning on our Samsung LCD TVs when we get in the door. It’s hypocritical, but it’s just the way it is.

Extra Tidbit: Well, I'm off to drink some Pepsi.
Source: THR

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