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Archive for April 29th, 2009

wolverineWhenever I hear about product placement in movies I think about Wayne’s World. 

You remember… he’s eating Dominos and drinking Pepsi with Nike shoes as he comments on product placement while doing product placement. 

Scriptwriters needed to write an epic superhero piece on mankind’s downfall, while promoting American motorcycle heritage and culture.   Or at least avoid denigrating it!  No problem.  Enter Harley-Davidson placement rights to solve the issue with 20th Century Fox/Marvel’s newest X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman.  The movie release is May 1st and the stripped down Road King painted in matte black is set to hit the big screen.  Really it should be called product integration not placement.  The mutant character has to drive around so, why not get paid for making sure he drives a Harley motorcycle, right?!  In the last movie, the X-Men: The Last Stand a special edition V-Rod was used.  I’ve written about HD product placement previously HERE, HERE and HERE.

hugh_jWhen I watch this movie clip it makes me think how Marvel is going down the same path as DC did with the barrage of crap for sale in the Batman movies of the 90’s.  Sell to kids with toys, meals, video games, placements and marketing stunts.  Like so many before, this movie will be full of 12 year old fanboys hoping for a chance to win a special edition motorcycle!  As a lifestyle brand, I’m sure HD feels this will excite consumers around the world and bring style to purpose – meaning, sell motorcycles.

But, one issue for Harley is that the bikes are drastically modified and don’t match any current models.  Therefore, not really available for purchase.  At some point, marketers will have to figure out how many product placements per hour viewers are willing to tolerate before it defeats the purpose.  It’s becoming so prevalent that we can’t escape it by even taking a bathroom break.

So, let see…we’ve seen the meat-shaped-like-a-stick (Jerky) which comes in multiple flavors and is distributed in truck stops.  Next up for the aging demographic is Harley-Davidson pudding cups!  Oh yeah, tasty in butterscotch.

Photo courtesy Marvel and HD.

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