At the Movies: Adam Sandler Builds A Product Placement Joke With “Jack and Jill”


Of the handful of movies opening this weekend, only one — Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill” — has anything to offer the practice of product placement. But that one promises to make up for all the others.

This year has already seen one product-packed Adam Sandler movie. February’s “Just Go With It” featured nearly 50 brands, from YSL to Budweiser to Pizza Hut and Pepsi to Sony Ericsson.

And sure, the best Adam Sandler movie jokes now appear in the reviews before the film’s release, but in the last 13 years the actor/producer has 12 $100-million films. So when Adam Sandler farts, brands listen. [more]

It’s always a bad sign for the quality of a film’s product placement when numerous reviews make a point to comment on it. “An exercise in product placement masquerading as a movie.” Ouch.

But holding Sandler’s new project “Jack and Jill” up to standards of “cinema” is like holding KFC’s new “Cheesy Bacon Bowl” up the standards of “food.”

This go around, Sandler plays an ad exec, which makes the product placement all the easier. Watch for the Dunkin’ Donuts commercial disguised as a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial toward the end.

“Jack and Jill” replicates one product placement element of “Just Go With It” by putting the plot on the road. In “Just Go With It,” the plot moves to a Hilton resort in Hawaii. In “Jack and Jill,” a similar move happens when the gang goes to sea… aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. Just as Hilton had a sweepstakes tie-in with the film, so does Royal Caribbean host a promo:

“Jack and Jill” shares more in common with “Just Go With It” when it comes to product placement. Specifically, the way trailers for both films went to the trouble of blurring out the the product placement for TV commercials.

Lining up for the battle of the blurred Sandler film brands is a longtime marketplace rivalry. While “Just Go With It”digitally removed Pepsi’s product placement in its trailers, “Jack and Jill” has done the same for Coca-Cola.

It’s noteworthy that after working with PepsiCo-related brands like KFC, Pepsi and Pizza Hut in his last two films, Sandler seems to now have teamed with Coke.

Other films opening this weekend include “Immortals,” an armageddon battle epic set in Greece about the county’s debt crisis a weapon that can destroy humanity. (In Europe the film is being marketed as “A Greek Default.”)

Also, theaters will see “J. Edgar,” the story of how the most famous director of the FBI.