Product Placement: The Difference A Year Makes

    August 29, 2006

On August 18, 2005, I wrote about how I had seen some extreme Microsoft product placement in The Island, a Michael Bay movie starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.

In it, there was a very brutal and futuristic video game sequence where the two stars fought each other in a holographic environment as part of some future Xbox version. Also, the stars got vital plot information from an MSN Search-powered information directory.

I just saw the movie again yesterday on Cinemax, and it was startling how dated the future world already looks. The black and green Xbox logo has already been replaced by a white and green Xbox 360 logo, so the logo in the film represents previous-generation technology. Meanwhile, MSN Search has been supplanted by Windows Live Search, and certainly won’t be around anymore by the time we reach the “near future” portrayed in the film.

It all kind of makes me wonder if product placement in futuristic films is a good idea. Sure, studios will keep doing it for the money, but I’m willing to bet that no more than five-ten logos used today will still be used thirty years in the future. Think about it: how many logos from 1976 have not changed at all till today?

Hmm Good question

IBM? Ford? Chevrolet? McDonalds? Coca-Cola?

Hell, even Apple’s logo has changed. They took out all the Technicolor : )


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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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