Product placement occurs in most movies today; some more subtle than others. There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding the topic, however. In article written by Martin J. Smith discussing this topic, both sides of the argument are addressed. On one side the advertisers say ‘brand-name products and logos realistically reflect the landscape of everyday American life…” and also bring up that point that product placement offsets the cost of movie tickets making it cheaper to see them (Smith 2). Critics of product placement however, don’t agree with this reasoning. They argue that, “In most [movies], the product appears like the full moon, the label always facing the camera. They hover there in an almost beautiful way…”(Smith, 2). I’ve never paid much attention to product placement in movies, but now that it’s been brought to my attention I’ll be looking for it more. One movie that I decided to analyze for product placement was Liar Liar, starring Jim Carey. It’s been my favorite movie for a while and I was interested to see how many advertisements were woven into the film. It was hard to spot product placement in this movie because it was more subtle. I noticed some major product placement in addition to some minor, less noticeable products. The major companies advertised were the airline Tower Air and the car company Mercedes Benz. The last scenario of the movie involves Jim Carey racing to the airport to stop his ex-wife from moving to Boston with their son. The Tower Air plane is shown several times. At one point, it is shown for as long as five seconds just running on the runway. The argument for this ad is hard to pin on just one reason. This movie is a comedy so it reaches a wider audience. It also stars Jim Carey in his prime so that’s another reason in itself for people to want to see this movie. Tower Air gets a lot of air time so even if they’re not trying to make an argument of sorts, they’re getting their name out to a large number of people. This part of the movie is very sentimental though so having their name associated with a good, family moment could only bring positive attention.
The other major company shown throughout the movie and even in the trailer is Mercedes Benz. In this movie Jim Carey’s character is a defense attorney about to make partner. That’s a very high status job that’s often associated with wealth and success. He drives a Mercedes Benz and the front of the car with the Benz logo is always showing. Personally, I think it’s done very tastefully, not too over the top; but some critic thought it was done poorly. The argument for this product placement is pretty obvious though. Mercedes wants their car to be associated with someone successful and wealthy. Also, as with Tower Air, this was a very popular movie so even if their argument wasn’t clear, their logo has been exposed to a wide number of people.
The image of this movie isn’t really affected by these ads because they’re not blatantly obvious except for one incidence with Tower Air. They don’t take away from the plot or storyline and are very appropriate for the movie. It would be unrealistic for the airplane to just say “Airline” as opposed to an actual airline people have heard of. Using real company names make the movie seem more real and believable.