August 10, 2022

Advertising and the Movies An Ideal Relationship for Both Industries

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Advertisers are constantly looking for new and inventive ways to showcase products and services. Over the years, product placement in movies has created a strong relationship between the advertising and film industries. Seamlessly weaving products into movie scripts is a win–win for the two. Advertisers get massive exposure for their products, and movie makers get to include name brand products in their films. We even see the two industries working together outside of the theater. Many advertising campaigns use famous film characters in commercials to build an association between the star and the product. What are some examples?

Reese’s Pieces and E.T.

Perhaps one of the greatest, and most famous, examples of the relationship between advertising and the movies is between Hershey’s and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial filmmakers. The makers of the film asked to use Reese’s Pieces to lure the friendly alien in the beginning of the movie. The candy company agreed, and are probably glad they did. Sales of the candy skyrocketed within the first two weeks of the movie being released.

Crocodile Dundee and Subaru

Car company’s are famous for using movies to show off their best new cars. In 1995, Subaru, the Japanese automaker, ran a series of ads for the new Subaru Outback that featured Paul Hogan from the film Crocodile Dundee. The ads used Paul Hogan’s rugged character to showcase the Outback’s car safety features, versatility and durability. Hogan helped position the Outback as one the best new cars that was an alternative to sports utility vehicles. The ads ran successfully for five years and paid off for Subaru dealerships. Subaru saw sales increase by 50% in the six years after the start of the campaign, according to the New York Times.

FedEx and Cast Away

Another classic case of product placement is the use of the FedEx brand in the movie Cast Away. In this example, Tom Hanks’ character in the film actually worked for FedEx, making it easy for screenwriters to seamlessly work the company into the story line. After being abandoned on an island when his plane crashes in the ocean, Hanks’ character collects several pieces of FedEx mail that wash up on shore and help him survive throughout the movie.

Movies are just one of the ways that advertisers try to reach consumers with their products and services. Their creativity has increased over the years, and it will be interesting to see where advertising goes in the future.

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