The Mutual Benefit Relationship in Product Placement
“The Dark Knight Rises” is a movie that became immensely popular, generating a profit of around $530,000,000, it attracted thousands of viewers around the world. A brand that places its product in a movie like this can greatly increase its profits by creating awareness and advertisement. There are several scenes in the movie, in which I could spot brands. People who saw the movie are consciously or subconsciously more aware of these products.
The most important product placements in this movie are the scenes in which car brands are depicted. For example, at the beginning of the movie Batman rides in his Lamborghini, which Cat woman (Selina Kyle) steals from him. When she is riding the car, she is speeding and looks powerful. Lamborghini benefits from being in this movie because it convinces the audience by logos that if Batman and Catwoman drove it and where fast and powerful, they will be fast and powerful if they have it too. The audience that they are trying to attract is young, professional and successful adults like Bruce Wayne was at some point in his life. However, the movie also benefits from having a Lamborghini appear in a scene like this because it is a highly recognized and expensive brand, so it supports the fact that Bruce Wayne was a billionaire. Another car that appears shortly after in the movie is a Rolls Royce. This was another car that the billionaire owned and it is also a car recognized for its high quality. However, I think that for this car they are trying to attract an older, more elegant audience because in the movie Alfred, who was around 60 years of age, drives it. I believe these two cars are positively represented because they depict power and money. Another product portrayed in “The Dark Knight Rises” is Greyhound Bus, which benefits from being in this movie because of the way it is portrayed. Greyhound Bus appears in times of chaos during the war scene, it is thrown against a huge truck, however it doesn’t break down. I could infer two messages from this. First I think it is an argument of pathos because it appears to people’s emotions. Personally, it appealed to my emotions because it gave me a sense of freedom to have a bus like this one in times of war because it can take you anywhere, it can save you. And second, it is an argument of logos because since it doesn’t get destroyed, it convinces the audience that it is safe.
During the scene of the football game, several brands are advertised in the publicity posters of the stadium, such as: Heinz, UPMC, Doritos, Xfinity, Under Armour and Bud Light. In his article on Name-brand props in the movies, Martin Smith says that supporter of product placement say “brand-name products and logos realistically reflect the landscape of everyday American life (Smith 2). So, the movie benefits from having these brands that are used by consumers on a daily basis because it indicates that the people from Gotham are regular people like all of us, which is an argument of pathos because they can feel identified. The brands benefit by creating awareness. Other brands in this movie are McDonalds, Honda, GNC, One Oxford, Saks Fifth Avenue and Jos A Bank. Having several well-recognized brands shown through out the movie is an argument of Ethos because it gives the movie credibility.
The movie might also benefit from depicting this brand because the brands might give them discount or samples. In an article from the economic times, it says “Apple has given away tens of thousands of its computers to those working in the creative community around the world [and] Don Henshall, managing director of Krispy Kreme, views product placement as an extension of the brand's sampling activity” (The Economic Times). Furthermore as Andrew Giagnola said, "With the average production cost of a movie now (more than) $ 26 million, anything that helps hold down ticket prices is valuable" (Smith 1).
I give it a rating of three because I believe that the only the Rolls Royce and the Lamborghini really attract a specific audience and try to send a message about their product. The rest of the brands shown in the movie are just there and there is no demonstration in it.