Thursday, February 28, 2013

Modern Converse in the Futuristic i, Robot

Hey everyone, and welcome to another week of looking at movies! This week, we take a peek at product placement in films. Product placement is an integral part of films, and it always has been. It can say a lot about a character in the film, or a lot about the product the character is using. Plus, its always nice to have some extra financing for the huge budgets films can have (But, like Cohen is quoted saying in the OC Times Article "An average $28 million movie with a $12 million
marketing budget isn't going to be stopped by lack of a $25,000

In the 2004 film I, Robot, Will Smith plays Del Spooner, a cop in the year 2035 who isn't a huge fan of all the crazy technology and new-age mumbo-jumbo. One of the ways he demonstrates this is his style, namely, his shoes. Near the beginning of the film, as seen in this clip, he opens a package containing a pair of shoes saying: "Converse All-Stars: Vintage 2004." Despite the film being set 30 years in the future, the film still manages to place a contemporary product in the film. Apparently, around the time of production, Nike had recently acquired the Converse brand, and was looking to revamp the line. So what better of an appeal to viewer egos than to throw them on Will Smith. Who doesn't like Will Smith? I would be willing to wager that Nike payed a pretty penny to have him say that line in the film. The message that is given through him wearing those is that "if you wear these, you will stand out, and they will still be cool in 30 years!" They are mentioned multiple times throughout the movie as well.

Another brand placed in this film is Audi. There is an 8-minute chase scene in the film, that heavily features the Audi RSQ, a concept car. There were even ads running at the time by Audi in association with the film. The logo is all over the place in the film, even on the steering wheel. It makes the car look sporty and fast, and adds to the viewers logical association of Audi with speed. 

Throughout the whole of I, Robot, many other products are displayed, including FedEx, Prudential, and Dos Equis Beer. To me, I feel they added to the realism of the film. With how rampant ads are in today's society, it is only believable that they would be everywhere in the future, if not even more prevalent than now. They also help make a futuristic film more relatable (ethos). So, overall, I would give the movie 2 tickets out of three. The only reason not three, because of how blatant the converse one is.

Until next time guys,


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