Thursday, February 27, 2014

            The movie Fast and Furious 6 is definitely my favorite of all Justin Lin’s productions. It is one of the most exiting action movies and it is stared by both Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. Most of the time some kind of advertising is incorporated into high quality movies and series. It is more than obvious that the producers integrated sponsorships in specific scenes of the movie. In a movie, advertising can function as an asset in enhancing the rhetorical devices. It is convenient for both the producers and the brands being advertised. I will analyze some key advertising scenes within the movie, which help to uphold the brand and enhance the scene.

             The first scene that I’m going to analyze is stared by Dwayne Johnson, worldwide known for his action movies and his time in the WWE.  The scene takes place in Europe where helicopters, police officers and militaries are investigating a terrorist attack. Dwayne arrives in his military truck and walks around wearing military pants and an Under Armour black t-shirt. After talking to a couple of people, he goes to the Interpol headquarters where the only suspect is under arrest. The suspect refused to cooperate so Dwayne tortures him, punching and pushing him all around the room. It was amazing how Dwayne demonstrated strength and authority in this scene; I was really excited when I saw it. The scene was perfect for Under Armour because their advertising is always related to strength and performance. The brand also helps to boost the argument of the scene and augment credibility. Another advertisement that caught my attention was the car chase with the BMWs. Dwayne, Vin Diesel and his team were all driving 5 series while chasing Owen Shaw. However the outcome was different because all the cars were taken down and Shaw escaped in a faster car. Even though famous actors drove the cars, the outcome was negative, affecting the brand. I felt disappointed with the whole scene specially because I like BMW and the cars looked weak at the eyes of the public. The last scene I will analyze advertises Corona. At the end of the movie the whole team enjoys a barbeque and some drinks. As J. Smith said in his article “First, they say, brand-name products and logos realistically reflect the landscape of everyday American life” Smith 2). The scene represents the American tradition of an outdoors barbeque and positions corona as an American accepted beer. Corona is worldwide known for being fresh and always being constant with their quality. This scene effectively helped Coronas popularity in the American market.

            Product advertisement on movies has changed in time. J. Smith said, “Product placements during the past decade have gone from a mostly bartered and low-key public relations vehicle into what increasingly are straight cash-for-exposure transactions, which some say generate as much as $ 25 million a year” (Smith 3). It is extremely convenient for companies to use movies as a branding tool. Even though some people disagree with some of the products chosen, it generates a lot of money. Both Under Armour and Corona successfully represented their argument, however BMW had a negative outcome. If a product is used in the wrong scene, it can have negative effects on the Brand. Therefore, I rate this film 4 out of five Slurpiee’s and I highly recommend it.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Product placement in movies has been a resourceful tool for advertisers throughout the years. Even though companies get various benefits from having their products advertised in movies, it is a two-way street.  Placing recognizable products in movies helps films acquire credibility and authority from their audience. Kirk Jones, director of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, managed to utilize pathos, ethos and logos by incorporating effective product placement throughout the film.
In What to Expect When You’re Expecting’s opening scene, two main characters are shown competing in a celebrity dance TV show. The actors who play the judges for the celebrity dance TV show were: Cheryl Cole from The X Factor, and Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas. Aside from advertising The X Factor and the Black Eyed Peas, choosing these actors for these specific roles is an evident use of ethos, pathos, and logos. Pathos can be portrayed by the advertisement of the Black Eyed Peas and The X Factor because their fans will feel excited to see them in the film. The depiction of ethos is obvious because of the credibility and authority that these famous actors bring to the audience. “Casting a movie is almost an art in itself. It requires an acute sensitivity to a player’s type, a convention inherited from the live theater.” (Gianetti, 279) The audience will be able to associate the actors to the roles that they are given in this film, based on their jobs in real life, making the scene more believable to them. Furthermore, famous singers are commonly hired as judges on dance shows, which makes it obvious to the audience that the TV show shown in this scene is a dance competition, therefore conveying the use of logos.
Multiple brands are advertised throughout the scenes of this film. One of the main characters is a retired racecar driver who is married to a beautiful woman who is about 20 years younger than he is. He is portrayed as the “cool” wealthy guy in the film, and he is introduced wearing a Lacoste polo.  This advertises Lacoste as an expensive brand that is used by rich people, making it look prestigious to the audience. The use of this product placement gives credibility to the character, showing the use of ethos. If wealthy characters were shown using unknown brands, their authority would be questioned. Logos is also expressed by the product placement in this scene because when we see characters in films wearing expensive brands, it is obvious to us that they are wealthy.
The Digital Universe’s Zhanna Moldagulova wrote; “It is easier to identify with a story or with movie characters when they use products familiar to everyday life. It is also another venue for advertisers to show their product without being obtrusive.” Jennifer Lopez plays the role of a photographer in this film. She is shown at work using a Canon camera. Canon’s camera was advertised effectively in this scene because it was portrayed as a professional camera that took great photos, and allowed the character to make a living off of it.  It is important for companies to advertise their products within films by showing who uses them, and how they are used. The product not only gives credibility to the profession of the character, but also to itself.

When advertising, it is important to target the right age group that the product is meant to be for. The younger characters in the film advertise various magazines in several scenes. Star and People magazines are shown in multiple scenes at the homes of these young characters, showing that they are “cool” amongst that age group. This makes the audience of this age group relate to the characters if they also read these magazines, as well as make the ones that don’t want to buy them.
I had never stopped to think how many products are advertised in films, but now that I have done so, I have realized that as a consumer, I am heavily influenced by the product placement in films. I remember when I first saw this film, I was about to take a photography course, and even though I did not buy the same model as the one shown in the film, I did buy one from the same brand. This film does a good job advertising actors, TV shows and products, although it does get overwhelming at times since it is done in almost every scene. I give the product placement in this film 4 slurpies.



             In the world of sponsorships and movies, one movie takes a dark-humor approach to sponsorship.  Zombieland, a 2009 zombie comedy film has clear evidence of sponsorships throughout the film. Many films may disguise or indirectly sponsor certain brands, people, and products, however, the characters in Zombieland are clearly giving a kudos to Hostess, Ghost Busters, and actor Bill Murray.
            Hostess is clearly advertised throughout the entire movie, as the main character, Tallahassee, is on a constant search for Twinkies. Everywhere and anywhere he travels, he is looking for Twinkies.  It’s clear he is looking for Twinkies because he directly states in grocery stores, on the road, and at the carnival the he is on the hunt for some Twinkies.  The movie uses a dark humor on the importance of Twinkies for Tallahassee. One scene shows the main characters pulling over at a grocery store. Tallahassee explains his reason for stopping is because the last box of Twinkies may be in the grocery store. This scene explains how terribly in love Tallahassee is with Twinkies. He is willing to go into a grocery store, during a zombie apocalypse, all for a box of Twinkies. The Twinkies are so important he is willing to risk his life at any time just to get one of these treats.

            Hostess is continually advertised through the movie, and one scene in particular actually shows the Hostess logo on a Hostess delivery truck. Tallahassee and company are driving on the road and spot a crashed Hostess truck. Tallahassee quickly parks and is ready to explore the truck in hope of it being filled with Twinkies. To his dismay it is filled with snowballs, which is another Hostess snack. He doesn't like snowballs but doesn't regard them as awful treats. Our other character Columbus likes the snowballs and makes good comments on them.

Both scenes are a win-win for the movie and Hostess. The characters clearly like the Hostess treats and are willing to risk their lives to obtain these treats during a zombie apocalypse- yes it is that serious.  Lunsford and Ruszkiewicz explore how a rhetorical analysis such as with Zombieland and hostess work. The two provide positive feedback to each other. Viewers can relate to a real world item, and be reminded of the deliciousness of Hostess treats. In return, Hostess may receive more sales of their desserts following the viewing of the film. The constant reminder of Twinkies just makes you want to go get one and munch it out in respects for Tallahassee.
            Another interesting advertisement during the film is that of Bill Murray. Tallahassee chooses Murray’s house out of all homes that are vacant during a zombie apocalypse, to rest at. “Bill (Bleeping) Murray!” as Tallahassee refers to him. This advertisement is an interesting one as Tallahassee constantly praises Murray, and then Murray appears in the film. Tallahassee uses dark humor to show how important of an icon Murray is to older generations when he tells the little girl he’s never hit a kid before. This sort of joke refers to the little girl not knowing who Bill Murray is and Tallahassee takes it as an insult, almost enough to want to hit the girl. He then goes on to compare Bill Murray to an important figure, Gandhi, which the little girl doesn't know either.  This scene can be interpreted many ways. To me it shows the older generations know of important figures and compare their own favorite people to these prominent characters. The little girl represents a younger generation that doesn't have the same respect for what the older like or may not even know they exist.

The film incorporates many sponsorship’s from start to end. In this case I think the sponsorship's add to the humor of the movie. I think both the products and the movie complement each other on win-win bases. 

Sex and the City (1) by Alexandra Velarde


             The movie Sex and the City advertises everything from clothes to restaurants. It is based on the very popular television series and picks up where the series left off. Sex and the City is about everything that four best friends go through while living in New York City. However, they are not girls who enjoy a simple way of living. They are very much attracted to all the luxurious things that the city has to offer. The movie advertises many things because the girls are considered to be fashion icons that many women look up to.
            According to chapter 10 of Understanding Movies, “Virtually every movie presents us with role models, ideal ways of behaving, negative traits, and an implied morality based on the filmmaker’s sense of right and wrong” (Giannetti,3). The stars of Sex and the City are role models, and if they are wearing or doing something, it is likely that it will gain popularity.  In the movie, Carrie is getting married and Vogue asks her to be photographed for their wedding issue. In the scene, Carrie tries on multiple high-fashion dresses and mentions the brands while trying them on.  She mentions Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Vivienne Westwood. Although she eventually chooses the dress by designer Vivienne Westwood, her name-dropping was a very beneficial form of advertising for all of the designers. It was especially beneficial for Vivienne Westwood because if the iconic Carrie Bradshaw would wear a dress by her to her wedding, many brides would want to do the same. The products evoke pathos for the audience because it gets them excited about Carrie getting married and trying on her wedding dress. It is also a form of ethos because they are brands that are well-known by a lot of people and it allows for them to appreciate the dresses even more. The fact that the photo session is to be printed in Vogue magazine is also ethos because it is a major fashion magazine with millions, if not billions of readers. The fact that so many people purchase the magazine is a form of logos because people are able to rationalize that having a spread in the magazine is something significant.
            The movie advertises Louis Vuitton, a famous brand in different ways throughout the movie as well. One way is by having a famous fashion icon Andre Leon Talley, who appears in the movie as himself, carry a Louis Vuitton suitcase with his name on it. According to Understanding Movies, “Many filmmakers believe that casting is so integral to a character, they don’t even begin working on a script until they know who’s playing the major roles” (Giannetti, 5). Obviously the scene in the movie with Andre Leon Talley was not written until he agreed to come out in the film. This was a form of advertisement for both the film and Talley because many people got to know him with the film and others who knew him might have watched the film because he was in it. This was a form of ethos because he is a fashion icon making him very credible in this particular movie. There is also a scene where Carrie’s assistant Louise is telling her that her dream is to own a Louis Vuitton purse, but it is too expensive for her. Towards the end of the movie, Carrie gifts the tear-filled Louise her first Louis Vuitton purse. It is a form of pathos because the scene is very emotional, while it is also ethos because Louis Vuitton is a very famous brand in the fashion industry. Louis Vuitton has many customers already, which is a form of logos, but the movie advertising the brand could have only helped it grow in popularity.
            Advertising in movies can be a negative thing if it is not done wisely. Fortunately for this movie, the advertising was done impeccably and fit the storyline completely. None of the advertising seemed out of place or was harmful to the movie. In fact, one of the reasons I love watching Sex and the City is that I get to see the fabulous things the characters wear, and the amazing places they go to. This is definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.


Shooter is a thrilling action movie based on the novel, Point of Impact, by Stephen Hunter.  Mark Wahlberg plays the role of Bob Lee Swagger, a retired military sniper, who for the assassination of the archbishop of Ethiopia. This is one of my all-time favorite movies and no matter how many times I watch it, it never gets old.

Product placement is pretty apparent in some scenes of this film. However there is one in particular that screams out, “PRODUCT ADVERTISEMENT!”  As Wahlberg is on the run the FBI has to track him down. In a scene mid-way through the movie, an FBI agent is looking at a very high tech looking map on a futuristic looking board in what appears to be a field office. He then walks with his supervisor and says the following:

“This is a copy of a chat room transcript, these guys talk about everything. I didn’t give it much thought at the time. We just traced it to a donut shop with free wifi. This is a delta level clearance request out of the FBI field office in Philadelphia 7 minutes ago. Funny thing, GOOGLE MAPS, puts the donut shop three blocks away from the field office. There’s only one guy who met with Swagger before he disappeared, he lives in Philly.”

This is an obvious product placement of Google Maps in the scene. The FBI agent could have just said that the donut shop was 3 blocks away. This is making an ethos argument that is stating the FBI uses google maps to find locations. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses google maps they must be good and you should use them too. The way the FBI agent says google maps stands out.  He pauses and says the words a little louder than the rest of his sentence which makes it seem like he is promoting it in a sort of way.  I really doubt that the FBI uses google maps to find locations, Im sure they have much more sophisticated technology as the previous scene showed. This would also make a logos argument because it is logical that you could find a donut shop on google maps because that is what the application does.
 On a side note he might also be promoting donut shops in a way advertising that they have free wifi. It just doesn’t make since to add that the donut shop has free wifi without purposely throwing it out there. This might be a sort of pathos argument for people who really like donuts. It makes them more likely to go to a donut shop who offers free wifi. This would also make a logos argument because it is logical that you could find a donut shop on google maps because that is what the application does.

Overall I thought this was a pretty blunt form of product placement in the movie. Product placement is all about the money as Martin J. Smith wrote in his article in the Orange County Register, ”Product placements during the past decade have gone from a mostly bartered and low-key public relations vehicle into what increasingly are straight cash-for-exposure transactions.”  It seems that Google paid to have their brand and product advertised in the movie. They didn’t actually show the app on a phone or tablet but they said it very distinctly. Ill rate this a 4 star which is hard for me because I love the movie so much. But I think they could have said it with a little less distinction to make it flow better in the scene

Marley and Me

Marley and Me

            Most movies need to use common and popular products on set, so the audience can relate themselves with the actors in the movie. Also many companies pay the movie producers for the use and advertisement of their product. Since the products that the actors use has large influence with the movie or actors fans. If the producer makes the product look desirable many of the audience would be soon interested and want to have the product.

            In the movie Marley and Me by David Frankie shows some products and companies that could be advertised. The first one is the company that Owen Wilson, John, worked for, South-Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper. At the beginning of the movie when John was just getting out of the car for his interview at Sun Sentinel, his wife Jennifer Anniston, Jenny, told him to be confident since he is being interviewed to a “major metropolitan newspaper”. This definitely brings advertisement to Sun Sentinel since it is mention several times throughout the movie. Also since John shows before being interviewed that he really want to work there, it makes the company be desirable for the audience. John portraits the company as a prodigious company so this helps the company be more recognized worldwide. The advertisement ethos shows the credibility of South- Florida Sun Sentinel Newspaper Company. It’s logos, when Jenny told John to be confident and to be exited that he is being interviewed with one of the major metropolitan newspaper made me feel exited and I could imagine myself exited by being interview to one of the major companies in my industry. 
  Later on the movie, when Sebastian, Eric Dane, was movie to New York and mentions to John that he got a job at New York Times. John mention with gratitude how proud he feels for him and how they always wished to work for New York Times. In my opinion this is consider a kind of advertisement since it remarks that to work for New York Times is a huge deal and it is a very recognizable company worldwide. As logos the advertisement shows authority and credibility since the New York Times is a really well known company. Movie Producers if they want to they can just create a new brand or name for the products on the movie instead of advertise certain companies. But as Martin J. Smith mentions in his article “First, they say, brand-name products and logos realistically reflect the landscape of everyday American life” (Smith, page 2). Obviously if they incorporate recognizable brands it makes the movie more credible and the audience can relate to the movie much more easy thank creating a new brand. 

            In conclusion, the companies get lots of profit and recognition by being advertised in movies. Also by the movie producers incorporating recognizable brands help their audience to relate easier with the movie since shows more like a really day-to-day life, instead of something new that no one knows about.