Film School 101: Product Placement

on Thursday, February 24, 2011
Film School 101 highlights overlooked aspects of film and television to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the screen. Well, that's the idea anyway.

Words: Saam Das

At the end of the month, UK television shows will be mandated to show a logo demonstrating whether they've had paid for product placements. The BBC note that while the UK has restricted advertising of products to commercial breaks, the US have been far more happy to endorse products in programming. Especially films, which we'll have a quick look at here.

The good folks over at Filmdrunk have put together a compilation video (embedded below) charting a history of product placement. The most ridiculous product placement I've seen is probably in 'Evolution' which basically is a feature length advertisement for a popular shampoo brand.

I'm not overly bothered by product placement myself, and if it helps a filmmaker realise their vision thanks to more moolah then fair play. Robert Rodriguez "jokingly" pointed this out in his recent Nike short film. Obviously, when product placement is jarringly obvious (see Avril Lavigne's new video) then that can be pretty rubbish

Perhaps fortunately, there'll be strict rules on the types of products that will be able to be placed in UK TV shows and also what shows will be able to use product placement. For example, children's and current affairs programming will not be allowed to use paid for product placement. But is this a slippery slope? Will anyone really care? I'm not so sure.

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