Transformers, Apple Recognized For Their Achievements In Product Placement

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is probably the best Shia LaBeouf movie released in the last year that also features big robots. And while that alone might make it worthy of an award, the film has also been singled out for its efforts to cram brands down viewers’ throats.

BrandChannel‘s Brandcameo has handed out its annual Product Placement Awards and the latest entry into the Transformers canon has walked away with the biggest honor a movie studio executive could ever hope to earn: the 2011 Award for Achievement in Product Placement in a Single Film.

Writes BrandChannel:

The film packed in 71 identifiable brands and products, 7 more than last year’s winner, Iron Man 2… well above 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (47 identifiable brands and products) and just short of 2007’s first film which packed in 78 identifiable brands and products.

From the advertiser side, the year’s big winner was Apple, which took home the Award for Overall Product Placement by appearing in more than 40% of the films that topped this year’s box office — more than twice any other brand.

Since Apple claims it does not pay for product placement, its presence in so many movies could be the result of production designers and directors liking the looks of these devices. And even in movies where competitors like Sony and Samsung did pay for placement (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Apple products continued to pop up.

Some of the other winners in the Product Placement Awards: the Adam Sandler Subway ad called “Jack & Jill,” that “Lincoln Lawyer” movie, and The Green Lantern, which took home the 2011 Award for Worst Product Placement for trying to shoehorn a Hot Wheels product placement into the movie.

Check out the entire awards round-up at BrandChannel.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Huh, really? Iron-Man 2 won the award last year? I guess product placement has gotten so ubiquitous that I don’t even notice it anymore…

  2. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Who buys stuff because it was in a movie? I don’t even notice what kind of soda they’re drinking. Sheesh.

    Now a giant robot…I want one of those, to crush my oppressors. I’ll buy that for a dollar!

    • Astranger says:

      I don’t think anyone consciously does and I don’t think they think that people do.

      I think they simply want people as much as possible think of their brand when they think of that type of product and just associate that brand with the (hopefully for them) great experience of seeing that movie.

      If you remember having a good time while you saw someone using an apply computer to infect an alien ship with a virus then you might just associate apple with happy feelings.

      It doesn’t and won’t work on everybody, but I think that’s part of it.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      SALT has a nice backpack that I wanted to get but couldn’t figure out what brand. Look for a little bit but then I gave up.

      Acts of Valor should a recruitment video.

  3. Cat says:

    I suspect that the reasons for Apple getting free product placement are Hollywood’s love for all things Apple, and after the movie is made, someone gets to take the products home.

    Extreme product placement is just getting out of control.

    • jefeloco says:

      I find it awesome that How I Met Your Mother was laden with Apple placement until midway through the sixth season. The episode that slapped me in the face was the one with all the Maury Povich sightings; Ted all of a sudden had a generic laptop with a Windows logo, people were carrying around Xboxes and Kinects, and there were conversations in front of MS stores.

      I actually kind of hated that.

  4. Chmeeee says:

    Worst TV product placement goes to Chuck with the Subway sandwiches. It’s so poorly integrated that I actually feel like we’ve gone to a commercial break where the scene and actors are all the same as the show.

    • Firevine says:

      That’s how I felt when I saw it on Pawn Stars. It was not subtle in the slightest.

      • Sanspants says:

        I feel the same way about Fringe lately.

        • Don't Bother says:

          I noticed that too. What the heck was up with the car commercial in the middle of the episode??

          • Sanspants says:

            I was thinking of that one from a week or two ago, and one earlier in the season where they use some built in GPS. All I picture is Olivia doing that hesitation thing and saying “hey… buy this car.”

    • fatediesel says:

      I didn’t mind the Chuck product placement because they didn’t even try to make it appear organic, they went over the top. I also didn’t mind it because without Subway’s support Chuck would have been canceled after season 2 instead of lasting 5 seasons.

    • Murph1908 says:

      Subway had a HORRIBLE placement on Hawaii Five-0 a couple of weeks ago. It was forced and way too long.

      I’ll say it again. The networks need to look at their business model instead of forcing bad product placements upon us. How about they quit paying actors hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode?

      Where’s the Occupy Hollywood or Occupy Yankee Stadium protests?

      • nybiker says:

        Oh, you are so right. I was screaming at my tv for a couple of minutes wondering WTF was going on during that scene. I even posted a comment to the H50 facebook site. I so despise product placement. They rank second on my list of ways of to avoid buying products that annoy me (the first of course being naming rights).

        Granted, H50 also has the chevy placement with the car, but as they have to drive a car anyway, it’s not as bad; in the original Mission:Impossible series, like other shows, there is a note during the end credits as to who supplied the cars (in MI’s case, it was Chrysler; in one scene the team is scene driving off in a truck; a Ford truck though, so the ‘Ford’ label was covered and painted to match the rest of the panel, but you could still see the name). At least with the end credit note, they are acknowledging it. Virtually all Product Placement is not acknowledged as they are trying to keep the scene ‘real’ as if it was perfectly normal that it should be there.

        The only product placement that I feel would be ok is to see a box of Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kremes in a police station (I say that as someone who has 2 brothers on the job in NYPD and I have said it to them as well). It’s a funny placement and the box could just be in the near background, you don’t even have to have them actually consuming the product like the big guy did with the Subway stuff in H50.

        • Murph1908 says:

          Agree completely. I didn’t mind the Chevy placements. Sure, they managed to get the cars into the shot a lot, but it never seemed forced. Dexter drives a Ford Escape (except in the episode where he rolls his SUV, funnily enough).

          But that Subway scene had me considering deleting my season pass. I’d have done so, if I were the only family member who watches it.

    • Donathius says:

      I think the worst one I’ve ever seen was Nissan’s sponsorship of “Heroes.” One episode of the first season had Hiro (time travel guy) insisting to the car rental place that he HAD to have a blue Nissan Versa. They also referred to the car several other times throughout the season.

      My favorite though has been on 30 Rock. There was one where Tiny Fey and Alec Baldwin basically stopped the scene in its tracks to talk about their Verizon phones. Tina Fey then looked straight into the camera and said something like “There, can we have our money now?”

  5. wrbwrx says:

    Is this like winning a Razzie? Some people (Tom Green) were actually happy to win an award.

  6. sir_eccles says:

    Hardly a surprise Apple products would be in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it’s in the book. I think he spends several chapters describing in nauseating detail the type of computer she has.

  7. mister_roboto says:

    I think one of my favorite movie product placements is Fight Club with Pepsi products. Just because of the theme of the movie- any scene with extreme violence purposely has a placement shot.

    When Tyler has the convenience store clerk at gun point in the alley- there’s a mountain dew machine right in the middle in the background.

  8. Ben says:

    I wish these people would take Bill Hicks’ advice.

  9. Ben says:

    I wish these people would take Bill Hicks’ advice.

  10. Coffee says:

    In my opinion, Transformers is very bad at product placement, specifically because the second one was so terrible that I never bothered watching the third.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      +1. I didn’t know there was a third until this article. My first thought was, “Wait…there’re three Transformer shitfests? Huh…odd.”

  11. SerenityDan says:

    Well if the cars didn’t have brands on them then they would be a pretty bad disguise for the Autobots and Decepticons now wouldn’t they?

  12. Cat says:

    Who won the 2011 Montgomery Burns Award Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence?.

  13. nbs2 says:

    Granted, it’s a tv show, and granted, it’s a couple seasons old, but we’ve been watching the first few seasons of Leverage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such painful product placement as the car that they drive. It’s a something something from some company with an H and the model is like the Exodus or Leviticus or something.

    And yet, they refuse to make it obvious that they drank Jones orange the first season and (I think) Fanta the second season.

  14. some.nerd says:

    An Adam Sandler movie WASN’T the most deeply-crammed with product placement? I demand a re-count!

  15. some.nerd says:

    They’ve been doing that on shows for years… the earliest I remember it “feeling” like a product placement was in season 2 of 24 (circa 2002-03).
    Jack Bauer and ally are stealthily infiltrating a warehouse/enemy stronghold… while using PUSH-TO-TALK SPRINT PHONES that made that damn loud & annoying “chirp-chirp” noise.
    I’m genuinely surprised he wasn’t discovered and plugged because of it.
    24 used to also plug Cisco and Ford pretty heavily, if I remember correctly (although they were pretty big sponsors, too).

  16. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    The one that always irks me is the Microsoft placement on NCIS: LA. They have laptops with glowing Windows logos on the lid…the obvious problem being that MICROSOFT DOESN’T MAKE COMPUTERS. It’s a lot different than showing a laptop with a Dell logo…or HP, or Asus, or whatever…at least then you could believe that it was just incidental mise-en-scene.

    But when the logo that’s being shoved in your face is on a product that that company doesn’t even make…the fact that you’re being forced to watch product placement just slaps you across the face. Makes me want to slap someone at MS. Well…more so than usual.

    • fatediesel says:

      To go along with that, when the characters are on their Microsoft laptops they’ll often say “let’s Bing it” or “let’s see how to get there on Bing maps.” I’ve never heard anyone use lines like that in real life and it just sounds so cheesy. I know How I Met Your Mother had a rather “bing-filled” episode a couple seasons back.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Really? Don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that. Of course I actually watch very little TV in my little sheltered world…but yeah, anyone who would say they’re going to “bing” something needs to be “biffed” – in the face.

  17. Cat says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that Transformers was tops in product placement. After all, the main purpose of the original cartoon was to sell Transformers toys to little kids.

    The entire series was based upon the line of transforming toys originally created by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara, which were developed into the Transformers line by American company Hasbro.

  18. maxamus2 says:

    I wouldn’t mind product placement on TV if they actually reduced the number of commercials. But instead, we get tons of product placement and now our half hour shows are sometimes just over 19 minutes long.

    Go and download some old TV shows, they will be 25 to 27 minutes long.

  19. Thumprr says:

    Apple appears in the credits of 30 Rock (and also Up All Night, I believe) with something like,

    “promotional consideration provided by Apple Computers.”

    Not sure how they can say that they don’t “pay” for product placement, unless they’re providing computers in place of cash.

    • Cat says:

      Providing computers in place of cash = Paying for product placement.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      Like Cat says below, providing computers is still “paying” for product placement. The only way I can see Apple not lying about paying for product placement is if they willingly allow their merchandise to be utilized or mentioned without demanding royalties of some sort. Aside from that, then providing free goods is just an alternate for of payment for product placement.

  20. shthar says:

    There’s so many macbooks in movies cuz that is how you tell who the good guys are.

    Just like you can tell that the bad guys are the ones smoking cigarettes.

  21. mingtae says:

    Since everyone is posting about what products they have seen in TV shows and movies, guess who wins? The products you remember seeing in the TVs and movies and you are now talking about it. Success is marketing

  22. pythonspam says:

    “Since Apple claims it does not pay for product placement, its presence in so many movies could be the result of production designers and directors liking the looks of these devices.”
    Apple may not pay cash, but does provide computers, iphones, ipods, etc. at no cost to the production. So many cast and crew allow it because Apple does not expect the equipment to be returned, aka free macbook for the director.