Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Jurassic World: Product placement at its best!

What do Merdedez-Benz, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Samsung, Starbucks and Margaritaville have in common? They all recently made a starring appearance in the blockbuster Jurassic World!

In its second week, Jurassic World has made a whopping $981.3 million at the worldwide box office. But the ticket sales won’t be the only profits generated for the movies' producers. Product placement has become part and parcel of big Hollywood movies and a major source of revenue. Mega hits cost mega bucks so its no major surprise as to why these products find their way somewhat inconspicuously onto our screens.

Call me a cynic, but these days I can’t seem watch a movie without looking for the product placements. Starbucks was the most obvious offender in the movie, with the leading female character noticeably drinking from their iconic cup. Less noticeable was Chris Pratt sipping on a Coca-Cola while fixing his bike. The movie itself even seemed to poke fun at the idea of product placement and mocked the idea of creating a new sponsor themed dinosaur named “Pepsi-saurus”. I have to admit, I did laugh at that one!


Did anyone else notice the man running away with two margaritas in his hands when the dinosaurs began to attack? That was none other than the American singer-songwriter and owner of the restaurant Margaritaville. The small cameo was a really great way to gain some subtle promotion for the restaurant chain.

Corporate tie-ins have become an increasingly valuable tool for marketers to promote products. Blockbuster movies have mainstream international appeal and will be replayed for many years to come. The danger is featuring the product too prominently, risking the films integrity and the product's genuineness.  Everybody knows James Bond drinks his Martini shaken and not stirred. Yet in the movie Skyfall, he is clearly seen drinking from a green Heineken bottle. The beer manufacturer reportedly paid $70 million to feature in the film.

On the whole, I thought the product placements in Jurassic World added to the movie's authenticity and helped the park feel like a real place. For the most part, the brands found a way to be part of the action of the movie rather than detracting from it.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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