Product placement is when a character in a movie or on a TV show conspicuously picks up a name-brand product, or walks past a giant poster bearing the name of a company. It’s a form of advertising, and corporations pay big bucks to movie productions to have their wares prominently featured. Usually just a character drinking a Coke, or mentioning their Toyota, sometimes it can get out of hand.
The Wizard (1989)
This movie captured the cultural zeitgeist of the late 1980s—kids were in love with the Nintendo Entertainment System and all of its many video games. But it also serves as one long ad for Nintendo and various Nintendo products. It introduced an accessory called the Power Glove, when a cool video game master puts it on and shows off his hands-free gaming technique. (It soon became one of the hottest toys of the 1989 holiday shopping season.) Meanwhile, the three main characters are on their way to the Nintendo World Championships, a touring road show that Nintendo brought to cities across America. They also get to play the highly-anticipated new game, Super Mario Bros. 3.
The Internship (2013)
The plot of this 2014 movie is a fairly standard one for an inspirational movie, and even offers a little cultural commentary: Two middle-aged guys (Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson) see their sales jobs disappear, and feeling like dinosaurs, they apply to be way-too-old interns at a tech company. But it’s not some fictional tech company invented by screenwriters: They work at Google.
Happy Gilmore (1995)
In Adam Sandler’s comedy about an angry hockey player turned angry golf pro, it’s actually Subway who saves the day. Happy Gilmore (Sandler) lands an endorsement deal with the sandwich chain, and later in the movie he wears Subway T-shirts, is seen eating Subway sandwiches, and films a commercial for Subway in which he hits a hole-in-one with a Subway sandwich instead of a golf ball.
Christian Mingle (2014)
ChristianMingle is a very successful online dating service—more than 16 million people have used it to find romance with someone with whom they shared the same religious beliefs. Christian Mingle is the name of a romantic comedy in which a woman (Lacey Chabert) uses Christian Mingle to find the man of her dreams.