Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ted Product Placement

Almost everyone loves an inappropriate comedy to just sit back on the couch and just have a good time, but one that involves a live teddy bear creates a debatable classic.  This combination is the exact definition of the movie Ted written by Seth McFarlane who is notorious for his hilariously inappropriate television show, Family Guy.  This comedy was such a box office hit that it made a total grossing of $218,628,680.  The movie Ted begins with a little boy named John, who is played by one of my personal favorite ex-rap artist and actor Marky Mark or better known as Mark Wahlberg.  John is depicted in the beginning of the movie as a little boy whose only friend is a teddy bear named Ted because all the other kids his age do not like him.  On Christmas, John makes a wish as a shooting star passes over him that he and Ted could be friends forever and the next morning when John wakes up, Ted is alive as if he is a real person the same age as John.  Fast-forward twenty years and the comedy part of the movie begins showing the life that John and Ted now live, demonstrating their life as party animal bums, trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.  Not only is Ted a laugh until your stomach hurts type of movie, but it also uses non-stop product placement in almost every scene.  In fact, Ted won the 2012 Award for Achievement in Product Placement in a Single Film from, accumulating a total of 38 placements of products.  The product placement goes as far as seeing generic brands in the grocery store Ted is working in to the “pothead-beloved snack foods like Corn Pops” as Ted and John are in scenes smoking marijuana.  Although those products are seen in many scenes, no product is seen more in the movie than the Anheuser Busch products Bud Light and Budweiser and the overall city of Boston where the movie takes place.
Being two natural party animals, beer is constantly being drunken between Ted and John.  It is very easy to just make it look like an actor is drinking a random beer, but “a generic can labeled "BEER" is more jarring to a viewer than a recognizable label” (Smith 2).  The beers we see are Bud Light, Budweiser, Jameson, and Michelob with Bud Light and Budweiser being the most prevalently drunken and seen.  “Front Row Marketing Services estimates the value of the product placement on-screen time for Budweiser at $778,325 and Bud Light at $229,670 for Ted's opening weekend”.  Busch products are seen everywhere in the movie.  My favorite scene that involves lots of product placement of the two beer products is the scene when John walks into his house with his girlfriend and finds Ted sitting on his couch with four prostitutes.  The living room is trashed with Bud Light cans spread everywhere on the table and floor as if there was a huge party that had just been thrown there.  Either Bud Light or Budweiser is always seen in the film. 
Almost every time John and Ted walk into the house they go right to their fridge to grab either of the beers to start drinking.  Everywhere you looked from seeing one of the beers in their house or at the club, to Budweiser bottles being used in a fight with each other, to using Bud Light boxes to help Ted move out of John’s house, both brands are always seen. A product like this has many reasons why they would want to be advertised in a movie like Ted.  If you look at Bud Lights market campaign, you will see that their slogan is “Here We Go”, as in as soon as you open your Bud Light you are about to have a good time.  There is no better movie showing people having a good time than Ted and the actors are constantly showing how good of a time they are having while holding on to or drinking a Bud Light.  If you look at Budweiser’s market campaign, their slogan is “The King of Beers”.  John and Ted live a lifestyle like they are kings.  Always drinking, partying, and being around beautiful people.  If you are living like a king why would you not drink like one?  The only issue with the product image is the products are seen in a strictly party atmosphere.  To some, it may seem that those beers are for only party situations and not to relax with.  This could discourage some beer drinkers from buying Busch products, forcing them to buy another beer over Bud Light or Budweiser if there wanted to drink them in a non-party atmosphere.

The city of Boston also used the movie Ted for product placement in the essence that the city was the actual product.  Everywhere the movie was shot is a real place in Boston.  Every street, bar, or restaurant that is seen in the movie is a real place in Boston and is being advertised in the in the film.  In fact, “The Ted filmmakers received $9 million in state funds to shoot the film locally, from local landmarks such as Fenway Park to spots that locals only might recognize”.  The state was willing to give that much money to the movie because they wanted to advertise what a great city Boston is and
also to get people who saw the movie to go to the places seen in the movie the next time they are in Boston because they saw it was in such a great movie like Ted.  One of the largest product placements for the city of Boston in the movie Ted is at the end of the movie when Ted is being chased through Fenway Park, which is the stadium the Boston Red Socks baseball team plays in.  The ballpark is renowned for its left field wall, which is called the Green Monster because it is almost 40 feet tall.  As Ted is being chased, he climbs the Green Monster trying to escape, but is ripped in half by the person trying to grab him.  This is a very important part of the movie and it is all happening on the Green Monster that was done in an effort of advertisement for the Green Monster and Fenway Park.

The addition of the Anheuser Busch products and the city of Boston as products really benefit not only the products, but also the movie Ted by making it seem as believable and relatable as possible.  As a result, I am giving Ted five slurpees for its use of product placement in the film.

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