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Author Topic: Shameless Product Placement in 80's movies
Muffy Tepperman
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Ok so newer movies have shameless product tie-ins all the time and make so much money off advertising....

but remember how some 80's movies made tie-in promotions with products??? didn't it seem more rare????....fewer and cooler in between???

Noticeably Back To the Future was a big one.... Pepsi made alot of sales from that one for sure.
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When I saw E.T in the theater on it's 25 year anniversary I went with my mom and got Reese's Pieces just like I had the first time.
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I just found this website Cracked.com that listed their Top Ten Shameless Products in Movies and 3 are 80's movies:
(Here's what they had to say)

#10 E.T.

Visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has always been a step ahead, and his 1982 alien romp ET blazed the trail for modern day product placement. The film was to have a scene where a boy coaxes an abandoned alien into his clutches by use of a classic sex offender technique: leaving a trail of candy on the filthy ground.

But not just any candy. The choice was made months prior to production when Spielberg looked for a partnership with a candy company that would promise promotion for his film. The very droppable M&M's were selected, but the suits at Mars, Inc. refused to have their treats associated with a creature whose appearance falls somewhere between stray dog with mange and syphilitic genitals.

However, the waddling little monster didn't bother the people at Hershey, who were hoping to bolster their Reese's Pieces line. An agreement was made to produce a million dollars' worth of advertisements for the film, and they plastered E.T.'s face right on the candy's packaging.

The product is never mentioned by name here, though customers still had no problem identifying it by the package (as proven by 65% spike in Reese's Pieces sales after the movie hit theaters).

#2 The Wizard

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In the late 80s there was a screenwriter, who moved to Hollywood with big dreams. Then, one day he was told that Universal Studios and Nintendo had partnered to create a 90-minute theatrical commercial and that his job was to write a movie around it. Thus he sat down at his typewriter, probably surrounded by several cases of liquor, and The Wizard was born.


The finished product is a convoluted plot involving a boy (Fred Savage) who kidnaps his disabled half-brother and travels cross-country with him, Rainman-style. It turns out the boy has an uncanny talent for playing Nintendo games, and through a series of accidents they wind up competing in a $50,000 video game tournament which happens to be held at Universal Studios.

Most Shameless Scene:

A young man explains that all it takes to become a video game master is to spend a little more on the right Nintendo accessories:

In the course of the movie we wind up with endorsements for the Nintendo Power Glove, the Nintendo Game Hint Line, the Nintendo Power magazine and countless games, until the whole thing culminates in the unveiling of Super Mario Bros. 3.

#1 Mac and Me
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We come full circle now, from the godfather of product placement, E.T., to this atrocious low budget rip-off that would represent the nadir of product placement, if the movie wasn't so unintentionally awesome.

(Big) Mac and Me was completely backed by McDonald's and Coca-Cola. Using the "more-is-more" strategy, this film features an entire family of aliens badly injured and stranded on earth. Somehow, their recovery is literally dependent on drinking Coca-Cola. Fortunately, since this movie was made by them, there's plenty to go around.

This film is not a musical. Nor is it ever explained why everyone is dancing and flipping through the air at this McDonalds. But it does have a repulsive alien doing the jitterbug in a bear suit on a fast food counter, which is pretty funny in a nightmarish way.

In fact, you could say that about the whole film. The alien's have *******s for mouths, the crippled boy keeps throwing hissy fits, there are terrible production values and the film ends with an intentionally terrifying superimposed "We'll be Back!".


****Disclaimer: Muffy's opinons are totally not the same as Cracked.com in any way shape or form.....just wanted to cut and paste some funny stuff I found.

Got any favorites? or un-intentional placments you always remember?

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Mike.
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Cobra with Stallone had a lot of Pepsi advertising in it but they never drink any,one character drinks Coca Cola though.
Also in one scene in a hospital a pair of boxing boots are visible with Rock written on them,nothing like using one of your films to advertise another franchise.
Near the end of the film one of the characters who has been shot says something like he would kill for some Gummy Bears.

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Devolution
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Devolution here,

Spies like us. They blatantly have a pepsi before the floor brings them a million feet down.

We are DEVO

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kevdugp73
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You always see a lot of generic toys in movies, but, no coincidence that Mr Lucas is good friends with Mr Speilburg...and Star Wars toys were very well represented in ET...they made darn sure it was not just a pan through or a small glimpse...his marketing genius begins! *Doesn't Elliot even tell ET the names of some of the characters....
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kevdugp73
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I'm not a 100% sure if Stay Puft is a real brand name...but if it is...they nailed product placement in Ghostbusters....Stay Puft Marshmellow Man!

Also, in "Without A Trace", the hand held games Merlin and Simon and Cheerios Cereal was right in your face...they even dissed the games as "too expensive"...hmmmm....coulda been a lawsuit perhaps....

[ 07. September 2010, 05:09: Message edited by: kevdugp73 ]

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Pyro
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At the end of "The Goonies". The part where Sloth comes walking up the shore with the Fratellis. Then the cops have their guns drawn and aimed at Sloth. So Chunk runs down and protects him by shielding him with a Dominos Pizza box exclaiming "He's not the Bad Guy!" I don't know why that part has always stuck with me...but it has. It didn't really work on me though...never been a Dominos Pizza fan.
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Mike.
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Tony Hawk in Gleaming the Cube working for and driving the Pizza Hut van around.
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Valley

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Muffy.. I'm kind of shocked this movie didn't make the list..but the partnership between Pepsi and the movie "Top Gun" is almost legendary.

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Let's put it this way.. the Pepsi logo can be seen so many times when you're watching "Top Gun" it would make for a great drinking game.

The best reference is when the Air Boss is still yelling at Viper as he leaves his office and accidently crashes into the guy carrying a tray full of drinks. The classic part is as the guy is going down .. he flashes the tray in the corner of the screen and it has a huge Pepsi logo on it!

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StevenHW
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quote:
Originally posted by Muffy Tepperman:
Ok so newer movies have shameless product tie-ins all the time and make so much money off advertising....

But remember how some 80's movies made tie-in promotions with products??? Didn't it seem more rare????....fewer and cooler in between???...[snip]...

No, it did not. I think the 80's accelerated the trend of having product placement in movies.

One of the biggest "culprits" of product placement (subtle or not) is the James Bond movies.

And it is not just what you see on the screen...but it's also in the dialogue.

One other 80's movie you forgot to mention is "Down And Out In Beverly Hills". There's a scene where Bette Midler is asking everyone around if they want to drink Tab! I can't help but to think that the Tab company offered the producers some money to mention their product into the script!

By the end of the 80's, the whole concept of this kind of advertising was lampooned in the "Wayne's World" movie.

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Valley

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"How about a Fresca?"
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Muffy Tepperman
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It's just my opinion Steven that is was fewer and rarer in the 80's for me to notice them.....not a fact. Should I add more question marks??????? haha

I really think movies now do it way more often. ( my opinon not yours) haha You have a right to argue....but I still have a right to mine. [Smile]

Also wanna say "one you forgot to mention" Steven I made this thread so we could name off movies and laugh about them!! [Smile] haha i'm not gonna let it turn into a "you didn't!.....thats not the facts mess"

It's all in fun!

Valley I love the old Pepsi Top Gun ads......I've never seen them and honestly for how many times i've seen the movie the Pepsi stuff went over my head. Guess thats why I think so many 80's movies didn't have advertising. [Wink]

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Logan 5
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Fave product placement? The Star Wars trilogy - clearly just created to promote a line of toys.
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aTomiK
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While it seems that Pepsi ruled the 80s, i found this info,

Look for glimpses of characters enjoying beverages from The Coca-Cola Company,
along with scenes of Coke bottles, signs, machines and other icons in films including:

9 to 5 (1980)
About Last Night (1986)
American Gigolo (1980)
Borderline (1980)
Bronco Billy (1980)
Bustin´ Loose (1981)
Carbon Copy (1981)
A Change of Seasons (1980)
The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)
Diner (1982)
E.T. (1982)
Urban Cowboy (1980)
Used Cars (1980)

There MUST be more.

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P_a_u_l
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Surprised nobody has mentioned this bit of blatant product placement....

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Without this shameless advertising, who'd have ever bought a stainless-steel, underpowered supercar built on taxpayer money in a factory in Northern Ireland right in the middle of the political troubles of the 1980s?

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HarryCanyon
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This is amazing man! advertising can help on film even with E.T.

Let's not forget the Star Wars toys in Poltergeist, major advertising.

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Secret Admirer
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I know we're talking movies here, but this thread made me recall that a lot of 80s cartoons were basically 22 minute long toy commercials. G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Transformers, He-Man, etc. They were amazing cartoons though, so this was not a bad thing.
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Lovers with Cassie
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Pepsi figured very prominently in "Hollywood Cop." (And indeed, they were thanked in the concluding credits.)
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Valley

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It might be considered shameless .. but almost everytime I go to the theater, I snag a jumbo bag of Reese's Pieces at the candy counter in honr of E.T.

Just think.. thoses were a missed deal away from being M&Ms.

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Valley

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And BTTF is mentioned above.. but I enjoy the part where Marty tries to order a 'Pepsi Free'..

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"All right, give me a Pepsi Free."

You want a Pepsi, PAL, you're gonna pay for it.

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80'sRocked

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If you wanna talk about Coca-Cola, "The God's Must Be Crazy" is near the top of the list!

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Logan 5
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quote:
Without this shameless advertising, who'd have ever bought a stainless-steel, underpowered supercar built on taxpayer money in a factory in Northern Ireland right in the middle of the political troubles of the 1980s?
Come on now, cut John 'Drug Dealer' DeLorean some slack! Ok, the cars that were initially produced sucked badly. But that's because they built the factory and taught the workers to make cars from scratch. By the time the company folded the DeLorean was was actually a well made car. Just picture the old TV images of rows and rows of unsold cars parked outside the factory not rusting. They couldn't give them away! Man... in '82 you could've cleaned up! Somebody get me a time machine!

quote:
I know we're talking movies here, but this thread made me recall that a lot of 80s cartoons were basically 22 minute long toy commercials. G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Transformers, He-Man, etc. They were amazing cartoons though, so this was not a bad thing.
The Reagan government deregulated children's TV programming in '81, it's no coincidence at all that suddenly kids TV became nothing more than long toy commercials.
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oneyedwilly
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All the goonies gang wore Nike shoes and made a point of it several times including a few close ups when they went down the fire place in the Fratellis basement.
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