How product placements may soon be added to classic films

DM

Product placement is big business for movies and TV series alike, and items can now be added digitally to films and programmes both new and old. Fans of classic war flicks will know the scene – actor Steve McQueen revs his motorcycle furiously as he is chased by German soldiers. Hoping to use the bike to jump over a barbed wire border fence, and reach safety in Switzerland, he pauses to gather his thoughts by a barn. On the side of the building is a big poster advertising a best-selling beer. You don’t remember the billboard advert? Well it might not have been there the last time you watched The Great Escape, but it could well be the next. Product placement in films is almost as old as the movie industry itself. The first example of the phenomenon is said to be the 1919 Buster Keaton comedy The Garage, which featured the logos of petrol firms and motor oil companies. Fast-forward to 2019, and the total global product placement industry, across films, TV shows and music videos, was said to be worth $20.6bn (£15bn) that year, according to a report by data analysis firm PQ Media.

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