Best product placement/endorsement

The other week the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was on TV. I didn’t watch it, but I did see highlights. It got me thinking about a classic dunk moment: back in '91 or ‘92 the Celtics’ Dee Brown won the dunk contest. When Brown won the contest, he was wearing the popular new Reebok “Pump” shoes. The one’s with the basketball shaped “pump” at the top of the shoe’s tongue.

The reason I remember this event in particular is because I was in grade school at the time. The “Pump” were the coolest shoes you could have. Just wearing them would increase your athletic ability. This was confirmed as a scientific fact when before going for his winning dunk Dee Brown bent over and pumped up his shoes. That was all the proof I needed. He pumped his shoes, and then he won the contest. It all made perfect sense. Having “Pump” shoes would surely do the same for me. Maybe not allow me to win the NBA Dunk Contest, but some type of smaller scale equivalent – I was only in fourth grade at the time.

So I ended up getting a pair of “Pump” shoes and now the only memories I have of them are that “pumping” them would make it feel like a closer fit (like you had pulled the laces tight). You also had to be sure that you didn’t pump them up to far, because according to some kids on the playground there was a sixth grader whose cousin had a pair and when he pumped them too far they exploded (the pump, not his feet) and wouldn’t work after that.

Well then, has any type of on-screen movie appearance or celebrity endorsement made you want (or not want) to buy a product?

Best ever has to be Diet Coke (or was it New Coke?) in the Bill Cosby movie “Leonard Part 6.”

Yes, I’m joking.

Best ever: the Democratic National Committee’s ad in 1964 showing a child plucking a flower and then an atomic bomb going off.

It was shown after a network broadcast of “Dr. Strangelove,” effectively turning the entire movie into an anti-Goldwater ad.

The first product placement that came to mind was Reese’s Pieces in ET. They (Spielberg & Co.) wanted to use M&M’s, but Mars wouldn’t do it - so S&Co switched to RP’s. Apparently sales skyrocketed. What’s more, I believe this little trivia tidbit got a lot of media coverage, and is one of the first of the “new generation” product placement events - where placements are now a big strategic/economic/commercial deal instead of a minor thing.

As for endorsements - what could possibly compare to Air Jordan Nikes? Aren’t they, like, totally resposible for Nike becoming the bazillion dollar behemoth that it is? And their marketing certainly burnished His Airness’ image to a finer sheen.

My $.02

Of course, there’s the whole scene in Wayne’s World about product placement.

Back to the Future 2 was nothing BUT product placement.

Well, there’s Cast Away. It might as well have been a movie about FedEx. It really didn’t sway my opinion though.

Nor did Taco Bell’s prominent placement in Demolition Man. The service and the food still suck.

My favorite product placement moment is in “Clerks”, during the “salsa shark” scene. They tape over the Tostitos logo on the jar of salsa, but when they cut to the wide shot, you can see plenty of brand names on the shelf behind Randall.

They also had no problems referring to “Gatorade” by name.

Not to mention the Josie and the Pussycats Movie which is like a 90 minute version of the Wayne’s World product placement scene. :slight_smile:

…but condescending and unfunny.

Some people must make their political opinions known at all times. I must make my hatred of Josie known.

The Sean Penn/Chistopher Walken movie At Close Range. Terrific movie based on a true story of a father-son organized crime relationship…just check out the very pivotal scene of Mary Stuart Masterson and Christopher Walken having a serious discussion while a very popular cereal brand box is placed between them and very conveniently facing the camera.

In one of Warren Beatty’s movies (I think it was Heaven Can Wait), Beatty takes a long drink from a can of Coca-Cola, with the logo in clear view. If he were drinking from a real can in that position, it would have spilled coke all over his face.

The box of Cheerios in the movie Superman.

One of the “Killer Tomatos” movies (One with John Astin and I think George Clooney) does a hilarious take on this. Halfway through the film it’s announced that there isn’t enough money to continue the production unless they make product placement deals. A couple scenes later the main characters are sitting at a diner table discussing how to save the town when a box of Corn Flakes slowly rises from the bottom of the screen and is pushed on the table between them. They stop talking and sort of stare at it in puzzlement. Later they show a shot of the outside of the evil scientist’s lair and there’s a huge neon Pepsi sign on it. LOL!

If it was a 1980s Columbia Picture, I wouldn’t be surprised. Apparently, they made a lot of references to their parent company, and Pepsi could only be mentioned in a deragatory way.