Do excessive product placements work? Mabye.
After a while the I just felt like saying “Okay, enough, I get it. Stop shoving it in my face already.” This was a strong sentiment felt by my friends and I who watched “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. There was a mirage of products from Apple to BMW, every five minutes or so, the audiences will be reminded again of how much money these brands spent to raise awareness.
The trend picked up after the Transformers blockbuster movie. The “Transformers” cartoon, which the movie was based on, was created to promote the Transformers toy. The TV show was in essence an elaborate advertisement for the toy. The team behind the new Transformers movie franchise really embraced this fact and took the phenomenon to the next level. It is rumored that the movie had over 30 product placements.
Compared to that, MI4 took a different approach. Aside from showcasing you a variety of brands, it focused on two and exhausted ways of displaying their products. iPhones and MacBooks would constantly be used in scenes, most of the vehicles to get screen time had the blue white revolving circle logo from Bayerische Motoren Werken AG. Almost every single Apple product was given time to appear on screen, as well the concept car from BMW was constantly being toyed with and driven by Tom Cruise.
In essence, people are left with a strong impression of these brands, often very conscious impressions. Even though stats and psychology tests may suggest a correlation between brand awareness and purchase, it can get quite annoying when the same tactic is used on you consecutively. After such repetitions, the message becomes “we want you to remember us, that’s why we’re showing this again and again.” You would almost feel as if your intelligence is being insulted. Here is the trailer to the film.You can spot the iPhone at 0:24, BMW concept at 1:10, then again, BMWs crash at 1:32.