Brandcameo: Behind the Scenes of Safe House’s Product Placements


CIA field agents secretly stationed in South Africa probably use iPhones, right?

Well, in the world of this week’s new #1 movie, Safe House, they sure do. It’s just one more product placement victory for Apple, which just ran away with the top award at the annual Product Placement Awards. What’s more, the placement in Safe House already puts the brand in four of 2012’s eight top films, a full 50 percent of the #1 movies so far this year.

Apple isn’t the only notable “brand” in Safe House, which co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington. BMW finds a way into the film throughout the action, including shiny sedans and a BMW motorcycle ridden by the star at the beginning of the movie.

And you know your car chase scene rocks when the BBC’s iconic Top Gear series finds it worth mentioning. Top Gear‘s webpage compliments the scene for involving “a battered maroon E32 BMW 735i.”[more]

Last seen behind BMW’s role in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, agency Propaganda GEM handled the subtle sprinkling of BMW throughout Safe House. So why exactly did Safe House‘s hero escape in a older “battered” BMW model and not, say, a shiny new 650i convertible?

Ruben Igielko-Herrlich, co-founder of Propaganda GEM, told us, “Daniel Espinoza, the director, felt that an older version BMW would be better suited for the chase scene in South Africa considering the neighborhood the car was commandeered in.” Igielko-Herrlich added that the closing scene in Paris was a better placement for the new 5 Series BMW sedan. “Our objective, and our client’s, is to support the filmmaker’s vision to ensure their story comes across as they intend it to.”

One starring “brand” of the film is a place branding nod to its location, South Africa. The seaside nation serves as a stunning backdrop to the action and highlights everything from the beautiful coastline and beach resorts and “Table Mountain,” to the less-appealing slums of Langa. In between, the film stops off for some action at Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium, which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The South African Embassy even hosted a party for the movie’s premiere. It was a coup for the nation to get the production after the script originally called for it to take place in Rio de Janeiro.

South Africa’s flume community hopes that the success of the film leads to more interest in shooting in the nation and, hopefully, some interest from tourists as well.

For all the brands and products in Safe House, visit the Brandcameo Product Placement Database.