Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


Prompt Thoughts: Product Placement

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:25 AM

Movie Product Placements

Here's another thing that's words people are saying this past week and complaining about: Man of Steel has a lot of product placement. Most people are ok when there's a cereal box or a Coke in a scene, a family eating Cherriors and Pop Tarts is fine, but it's hard to not see the obviousness of Man of Steel's placements of Sears and Ihops and, I think, KY Jelly.

Maybe I'm misremembering.


Yet, I'm not that bothered by it. Places like Ihop, Sears and so on exist in the real world, you'll see them walking down the street, so if your're seeing a movie taking place in the supposed "real" world, then seeing those things are kind of expected I think. Plus, most of them get utterly destroyed, so it's not like they were put in with a little CG "sparkle."

Even stranger is that the original fight with General Zod from Superman II had its share of products too. Coca-cola, JVC, Marlboro, I think a burger joint, but nobody was calling out anything with that...and rightfully so. I think people, especially today, try so hard to find something to fault that they just result to just pointing things out rather than actually critiquing.

Just need a smoke real quick, mkay Zod?

Do you know what actually takes me out of a movie? When they don't have real places and things and just make shit up. A fake chain restaurant or fake can of soda bothers me a million times more than something that actually exists, because if it's the real world, these people are supposed to be in it, then seeing something that doesn't actually exist takes away from that supsension of disbelief that I had. I'd rather see Superman destroy the hell ouf an International House of Pancakes than the Indoeesian Hut of Patay.

You know, speaking of that.

Complaining Isn't Criticism

Maybe it's the internet-train-wreck-of-a-thought that started this, but the line between critical analysis of something, i.e. writing a review, and just complaining about things is blurred beyond recognition.

It's fine to not like something in a movie and sit there and tell us why you don't like it, but if you can't sit there and also tell me why it makes the film bad, then what good is that complaint? There's a dissassociation there that has people thinking just because you didn't like something that it proves something else (as in the film or game or whathaveyou is bad).

Think of it as a scientific formula: if there's something you don't like is A, C is the conclusion that it makes the end product lesser as a result, then you need to prove B, which is making that argument as to why A is causing C to be bad. Simply saying "I didn't like the fact the martians were green" isn't a critique, it's a preference. You'd prefer them not to be green, but you need to explain why them being green is a bad thing in the first place.

So back to the product placement, it's fine to not want to see real things (or in my case obvious unreal things) in a film, but you need to explain how it makes it a lesser film as a result. Does seeing a McDoogles instead of McDonalds bother me? Yeah...but I can't objectiviely say it makes the film bad as a result and therefore isn't something I would bring up when trying to be critical of it. Leave that type of stuff to the teenagers, set yourself apart from your subjectivity and find conclusions based on that formula, not knee-jerk "I didn't like it" nonsense.

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