Thursday, February 27, 2014


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

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