Product placement in movies is nothing new. It's always been a very efficient way to make money and keep the film looking like it exists in the real world. But with movies getting more expensive, product placement is more necessary and brands expect more bang for their buck. A simple Subway sign in the back isn't going to do the trick. Some films stop just shy of having the stars chow down on cold cut combos.
Sometimes overt product placement fits, like in Days of Thunder or Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby because yes, race cars really do have sponsors. Or if the shameless product placement is used for comedy's sake, making fun of the very commercialization that's happening onscreen, like in Wayne's World or, well, Talladega Nights.
These are the movies with bad product placement that's so distracting, it completely pulls you out of the story, the movies with moments that feel more like commercials. This list runs through some of the most distractingly blatant product placement in movie history.
The Transformers movies are generally close to being two-and-a-half hour commercials already, but Age of Extinction crosses that boundary twice. First, Stanley Tucci uses an element that can take the shape of literally anything he imagines to whip up a Beats Pill speaker. Later, an action sequences ends with an alien spaceship crashing into a semi truck hauling several tons of Bud Light. Mark Wahlberg then picks a bottle from among the wreckage and takes a refreshing swig.
A Michael Bay film is likely going to be a commercial, especially when it's based on a property designed purely to sell toys. Audiences expected Transformers to be a feature-length car commercial, but when a Mountain Dew dispenser becomes a Transformer, followed immediately by Xbox and Cadillac Transformers, it's hard not feel a little insulted.
That's a video of the entire movie, an E.T. ripoff that piles on the products for its entire running time. The usual '80s fare like Coca Cola pop up all over the place, but it gets truly surreal with an elaborate five-minute dance sequence at a McDonald's, complete with Ronald and the whole team.
The movie basically stops to become a full-blown McDonald's movie, making you wonder why they didn't just call it Big Mac and Me.
Sure, the title of the film is an AOL ad. And sure, AOL is seen repeatedly throughout the movie. That actually doesn't stand out too much, because it's baked right into the story. This scene, though, in which characters discuss "How easy it is to order Starbucks," that's pushing it. They even list menu items aloud.