Disturbia is a mysterious drama that displays many sponsorships throughout the film. This thriller shapes an argument for the use of these products. These advertisements add to the film, and the products benefit from receiving further recognition. Some sightings are more obvious than others. This movie’s dominant market range is teenagers and young adults. The sponsorships of Coca-Cola and Xbox fit in perfectly with these young viewers. This film promotes these products by using rhetorical devices.
In the opening scene of the film we see our main actor Kale and his father fishing up in the northwest. The setting is beautiful. The stream looks clear and healthy. There are large mountain ranges in the background. This was an advantageous time for Coca-Cola to incorporate their brand into the film. The father pulls out two refreshing bottles of Coca-Cola and they enjoy their drinks while admiring the beauty of nature. Ethos is clearly displayed. The film is affected by gaining credibility due to the well-respected brand of Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola also receives a benefit. Their product is the beverage to complement this perfect opening scene. Pathos can also been recognized here. The audience helplessly begins to thirst for a cold bottle of Coke. The product has smartly placed itself within a strong emotional attachment between father and son. This scene already has an emotional charge so Coca-Cola did a nice job incorporating their product here specifically. This sponsorship also includes logos. It gives believability to the film that the father and son would be drinking the world’s most renowned soda as they fish and bond. “Live on the Coke Side of Life” was Coca-Cola’s marketing slogan back in 2007, when this film was released (The Coca-Cola Company 2). This particular scene connects to the marketing slogan and infers that “the Coke Side of Life” must be paradise. A quote from publisher Judith Evans ties in nicely with this scene, “Travel where you will, anywhere in the world, and you will encounter Coca-Cola; on clothes, in signs, on packaging, in art – everywhere” (Evans 1).
The next clear sponsorship comes later in the film as Kale is in his room serving his house arrest sentence. Kale is in a dark place as he feels lonely and separated from the outside world. However, Xbox then comes in to save the day. An Xbox 360 is displayed as an extremely obvious advertisement. The actual movie consists of multiple seconds recording Kale’s video game. Xbox advertises their Xbox Live feature, which enables players to link up from around the world. This helps save Kale from his loneliness in his room. Considering the fact that many viewers of this film are probably teenage males, this product placement makes a lot of sense. Unlike, Coca-Cola Xbox does not have a particular marketing slogan. However, this scene gives them a lot of credibility as we actually get to experience the product. The film also gains ethos as it displays an extremely popular home entertainment and video game system. Pathos is also seen. The viewer feels empathy for Kale as we witness him aimlessly wandering around his home. The viewer is then comforted when his Xbox 360 saves Kale from his boredom. This product placement also adds believability to the film as it comes of no surprise that a teenage boy is playing a video game.
I firmly believe that both of these products benefit from the film as well as add to it. In Understanding Movies, there is a quote that reads, “The filmmaker uses actors as a medium for communicating ideas and emotions” (Giannetti 283). In this film, I believe the products also communicate ideas and emotions. Disturbia uses rhetorical devices to promote Coca-Cola and Xbox. These benefits are mutual. This mysterious thriller also receives credibility, believability, and an emotional charge by incorporating these products. Due to these mutual benefits I give this relationship five slurpees.