It's the end of 2011 and the last chance for Apple to get all its product placements in before beginning onscreen dominance anew for another year. Apple already has a starring role in the new Mission Impossible, and, who knows, maybe the glowing Apple will also appear in We Bought a Zoo (alongside Home Depot), The Darkest Hour or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
One film opening over the holiday break, based on everyone's favorite global adventurer, will likely not have any Apple tech products. But that doesn't mean Tin Tin can't sell some product or help build brand awareness.
Tin Tin's list of brand partners is a mixed bag (of dog food). There is Purina Dog Chow, Amtrak, Alouette cheese, Hampton Inn, and The Republic of Tea. (The second "tea" brand Hollwyood tie-in in as many weeks after "The Game is Afoot" gift basket inspired by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows film partner English Tea Store.)
Meanwhile, we have already noted how, fifteen years after the original product placement deal, Apple is back for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Apple is joined by a number of brands like Toshiba and Coke Zero.
Yet, the largest tie-in so far for the latest entry in the Mission Impossible franchise is for BMW. The brand has both heavy placement in the movie itself:
And it's running dealer promotions tied into the placements:
BMW is further making the most out of its Tom Cruise partnership. The automaker made sure its concept car, which appears in the film, was front and center for photo ops with the star during the film's premier.
Not that this brand promotion "mission" was foreign to the actor. During the premier for his last action film Knight & Day, bikemaker Ducati co-starred with Cruise.
The film that is really makes product placement waves is the American adaptation of the Swedish novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The film, which ran into a spot of trouble recently with its offscreen tie-in with H&M, is loaded with product placement. So much so, in fact, that reviewers have been commenting… unfavorably.
"… the actors frequently appear to be mechanically hitting their marks, often in conspicuous proximity to product placement—unless Salander's penchant for Happy Meals is meant to be a metaphor for emotional infantilism."
Such is the snark coming from Indyweek's review of Dragon Tattoo. "Salander" is the main female character of the book. Her "penchant" for McDonald's, it seems, rubbed the reviewer the wrong way.
Except, as we noted here almost a year ago, "Time and time again, [author] Larsen places his action at or near the 'McDonald's on Hornsgatan' and the 'McDonald's in Hedestad' where characters meet, sit waiting, or 'refuel' with 'a Big Mac' and 'a large Coke.'" Yes, McDonald's plays a central role in the original text of the book. So, snark away Indyweek (but maybe read the book first).
One brand name that does not gain mention in the book but lands itself prime screen real estate in the new Dragon Tattoo film is Wayne's Coffee. According to itself, "Wayne’s Coffee is Scandinavia’s leading coffee shop chain with around 30,000 customers served every day. Wayne's Coffee operates over 100 coffee shops today with a total turnover of EUR30 million (2008) and is one of the largest Franchise companies in Scandinavia. And are considered the obvious alternative to coffee lovers around the world."
In the original book, coffee is drunk by the truckload. Time and time again, scenes start, end, or are interrupted as characters pour cups of coffee, for themselves and each other. One line reads, "He had drunk more coffee in the last twenty-four hours than at any other time in his life." They often also go out for coffee at Giffy's the EPA Department Store cafeteria, and the Vesterlund Pastry shop. But Wayne's is never mentioned.
It remains to be seen, but maybe the placement will be just what Wayne's needs to jump-start its plans for world domination. According to the brand's franchise pitch: "Wayne’s Coffee's ambition is to become the world's best franchise system within coffee shop retail. If you share our passion for coffee and great service, you are invided [sic] to join us in taking our brand to your market."
Of course, finally, one more placement that doesn't follow the books is the Sony Vaio. It's not a surprise seeing as Sony Pictures had a hand in the film's making, but, all the same, the books were heavy with Apple technology.