Posted by Abe Sauer on November 10, 2010 02:00 PM
Due Date may not have been the number one film this past weekend, but it still opened big. And in product placement terms it had far more to note than did Megamind (even if Megamind's product placement was more groundbreaking).
Due Date has iPhones and Macbooks and Blackberries and Range Rovers, Even Dunkin' Donuts – which is having a heck of a year after appearing in Kick-Ass, Paranormal Activity 2, Iron Man 2, The Town and Wall Street 2, – notches up a placement.
Yet the Due Date product placement that most interests us, for a number of reasons, is the Subaru Impreza. Subaru filled us in on how it all went down and how the brand feels about that crash scene.
A spokesman confirmed that the Impreza in Due Date was indeed part of direct involvement from Subaru. However, no money changed hands. He said that the placement was in-trade (vehicles supplied for the role) an that Subaru typically "does not do paid placements." Subaru has a reoccurring role on The Office.
Simply put, Due Date kicks the hell out of the Subaru. For starters, a man masturbates in it. Then a dog does the same. All of this before the Impreza crashes off a bridge in spectacular fashion. A compilation of clips from the film, featuring the Impreza, below. Mildly NSFW, depending on your W.
Yet, Subaru displayed an impressive sense of humor about the whole thing, something that doesn't always happen in product placement. For its now famous role in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, BMW would not allow its vehicle to be used in a "negative" scene, such as a crash.
Of the crash, the Subaru spokesman said that the brand worried a bit but that "we were assured they would survive a dramatic crash." Subaru even found a way to spin it: "We have a long history of building exceptionally safe cars, and are IIHS Top Safety picks on all of our vehicles."
The spokesman said response to Subaru's role has been "very good." Indeed, as he noted, many reviews of the film have noted the Impreza by name. "We definitely feel its a positive take away when we can garner this much screen time." And he's right.
While the Subaru's placement in Due Date may not have Imprezas flying off the lot, it does invigorate the Subaru fan community. One reaction on a message board for "SoCalSubies" was "good for Subies... THEY SURVIVED AN EPIC LAUNCH CRASH loll." Another board for the North America Subaru Impreza Owners Club declared "need to see movie now."
The takeaway is that auto brands have a lot to gain, even in roles that may have a laugh or two at their expense. A lesson Brandcameo already learned this year with Pruis' role in The Other Guys.