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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s the most ridiculous summer movie product tie-in you’ve seen (or can imagine)?

I don’t know about you, but when I think of badass crimefighters in powered armor, I think of confections of chocolate and peanut butter — and vice versa, of course. So I wasn’t at all surprised to see images of Iron Man all over the Hershey’s store in Times Square (yes, it’s a tourist trap, a shop masquerading as a theme park attraction). If only Tony Stark could have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup shoved in his mouth, the experience would be complete.

But Reese’s is far from the only product hoping to catch a ride on Iron Man’s metallic coattails, according to Hollywood.com:

Blue-chip marketers such as Burger King (with an Iron Man 2-branded sandwich, the “Whiplash Whopper”), Audi (Tony Stark’s vehicle of choice is the R8 Spyder convertible), 7-Eleven, LG Electronics, Hersheys and Dr. Pepper along with smaller brands like Royal Purple motor oil are attached to the marketing blitz — but are they at risk of getting lost in the clutter?

“The key here is to get excitement about our brand to all of our partners,” Dave Fleming, Dr. Pepper’s director-brand marketing, told the trade. “And to be able to do a promotional spot where a Dr. Pepper machine is being made in Tony Stark’s lab is really one of a kind,” he added.

Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that Tony Stark’s vehicle of choice just happens to be from one of the companies trying to make themselves look cool next to Iron Man? What are the odds?

*sigh* These kinds of promotional tie-ins must be effective, or wouldn’t keep seeing them, but c’mon: What does Dr Pepper have to do with anything?

What’s the most ridiculous summer movie product tie-in you’ve seen, for any movie? To what ridiculous extremes can the promotional tie-in be taken?

Have fun.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • RyanT

    What does Dr Pepper have to do with anything?

    Gwyneth Paltrow’s character’s name is Pepper Potts. Is she a doctor? Does it matter? Heh.

    As for ridiculous summer movie product tie-ins, nothing is coming to mind though maybe that’s because every year we do get saturated by these ridiculous tie-ins so that I just don’t even notice them anymore. Sad, right?

  • David

    Maybe not ridiculous in terms of product-film connection, but I once got a “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” promotional Mountain Dew from a vending machine in Kansas… in June 2001.

  • Jester

    The summer of 1989, I sent in a proof of purchase and a couple of bucks to receive a “Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier Official Marshmallow Dispenser”. Just like the one used by Spock in the film! Well, except Spock’s version made a cool futuristic noise. And I’m pretty sure his wasn’t made of incredibly cheap plastic or covered with badly-applied decals.

    http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Marshmallow_dispenser

    But sure enough, you could insert 5 or 6 marshmallows into the thing and get them to come out with a little plastic slider on the side. It worked great as long as you didn’t mind your marshmallows turning into little white rocks between the time you inserted them in your kitchen and the time you got around to dispensing them at the camp site.

  • Kenny

    I actually still have an unopened ‘Ghost in a can’ from Macdonalds which I got in a happy meal when Ghost Busters 2 came out.
    I always rather let movie tie in promotions roll on by me. I feel like they cheapen the movie so much. I don’t want the movie saturating my real life existence. I want it to be another world I escape to when I watch it.
    Haha… I had never really considered it this way before. I’d always just assumed the movie tie ins were advertising for the movie, rather than the other way around.

  • Shadowen

    I actually kind of like the peanut butter cup tie-in. “Peanut butter was just peanut butter…until it built a chocolate suit.”

    This brings to mind the idea of superheroes in Candyland.

    Anyway. The most ridiculous? Any tie-in where the brand name in question cannot appear in the movie for obvious reasons (such as PepsiCo’s deal with Lucasfilm for Episode 1), which means they have to step up the actual advertisement. I mean, I like that Tony Stark simply said “I want an American cheesburger” and then when he walked into the press conference he was wolfing down burgers from a relatively subtle Burger King bag (Burger King’s bags not being very much decorated). But from the start you knew you weren’t gonna see Amidala suckin’ back slices from Pizza Hut(R)(C)tm and washing it down with a refreshing Diet Coke(R)(C)tm. So the cross-pollination was disgusting for Episode I.

    Although that may be more sequelitis. I mean, the first Transformers and Iron Man weren’t bad for it, but RotF and, apparently, Iron Man 2 were/are apparently going to be terribad.

  • LaSargenta

    Ok. I’ve seen it. This is totally ridiculous:
    http://www.onlythebrave-ironman.com/_ww/_ww/ironman/index.htm The site also takes a ridiculously long time to load, so you might prefer to see what this is about via this: http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/features_fashion/2010/04/summer-blockbuster-iron-man-2-gets-a-fragrance-from-diesel.html

    Yes, you’ve read that right: Men’s Cologne. For Iron Man.

    Personally, I like the smell of sweat from someone with loads of testosterone and clean living. Something tells me that is NOT what will be in that bottle.

  • Aww, come on, LaSargenta! I think Iron Man cologne is brilliant. XD

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