Thursday, February 28, 2013

Acura in Blockbuster Thor

      Acura is well known for reliable and stylish cars. With the release of the movie blockbuster Thor, Acura has capitalized on the opportunity to promote their company and make a profit. Product placement in movies is a very touchy subject. It can either help or enhance a movie, or be very distracting and take away from the content of the film. Acura is the Japanese luxury automotive division of Honda. With this in mind, we will see how the company incorporated their name brand into the movie Thor. This movie uses the appeals of Pathos and Logos to effectively communicate the importance and magnificence of the Acura brand.
      The appeal of Pathos is centered on emotion. It evokes emotions in the viewers many times by presenting emotions on screen or by creating inferable scenarios. The purpose of a car is to transport users to its destination. However, in this day and age, style and features are valued and connects directly back to our emotions. It is often thought that a person’s car is representative in some fashion or form of what the person is actually like. Depending on what car you drive, can often determine how others perceive you. Acura is in the business of luxury vehicles and so they have a heavy emphasis on style and features. Car commercials are all centered on how the viewer needs to have this car. In the article Some Thoughts on Product Placement by Trent Hamm states “ often, these product placements occur in scenes that highlight a particular emotion” (Hamm 1). This is exactly what Acura does with a few Thor scenes. They present the Acura in a scene already with existing emotion. When you see a fleet of government agents all in identical cars you associate that with style, professionalism, and exclusivity. This scene will be discussed in the next paragraph as it also ties in to Logos. Incorporating advertisement into the plot of a movie that will have a much more viewership than a commercial was an effective way for Acura to promote its products.

      Thor embeds the Aura brand in several action scenes throughout the film. There is a scene where a United States government security agency has a fleet of SUV’s riding together. Out of all the vehicles that they could have picked they used Acuras. The logos were clearly shown and this provokes logical thoughts from the audience. It makes audiences wonder why they chose Acur? On a higher scale, it can excite audiences that these luxurious Acura SUV’s being used in this film by government agents are also accessible to the public. These cars are not like the Ferraris and Lamborghini’s in other films that most people could never afford. These are affordable and classy SUV’s being used in a blockbuster movie. That is definitely something that viewers can attach emotions to.
      Thor does a great job of incorporating Logos into the Acura brand presented in the film. The Acura TL is actually the official car of the movie. It is a stated fact by the company and Marvel. Acura wants to appeal to the morality of their audience. In Thor, Acura is presented as stylish yet not too flashy. It has a classy sleek look but puts it in a realistic light. Many times action movies include overpriced fancy cars made by Saleen, Ferrari, Bentley, or Lamborghini. Acura is affordable for the middle class and is presented as a logical choice for possible customers. This film actually features several Acuras being destroyed and yet it does not present them in a bad light. Since the car looks nice and is relatable it adds to the “cool effect” that they are featured in a blockbuster movie. The cinematography used to capture these stunning vehicles properly communicated the message that Acura was trying to convey. They want more business and many more people have been looking at Acura’s today. ADVERTISING; Name-brand props in the movies; Consumer group wants labels to signify product placement by Martin J. Smith has an excellent point on product placement. He states that, “most placements really flatter the product. In most, the product appears like the full moon, the label always facing the camera. They hover there in an almost beautiful way” (Martin 1).  This is true of the scenes featuring the vehicles as it is clearly evident what the characters are driving and they are there to make a statement.

      Thor does a decent job at incorporating product placement for Acura and it capitalize on the appeals of pathos and logos. In my opinion, I did not see much or any use of ethos with the Acura product placement. I felt that they did a good job with the other two but ethos was missing. Due to this, Thor will receive two tickets for effectively incorporating pathos and logos several scenes in the film.


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