Jul 16, 2008

Is Big Screen Equal to Big Ads?

Earlier last week, I wrote a piece on the excessive product placement in local cinema.

One particular film, Best Friend?, irked me greatly for going where no (local) film has gone before: displaying full-fledged sponsored products as the essential part of the film's main poster!

Now how desperate can a production company be in allowing such to happen? How aggressive a company does its negotiation to gain maximum benefits from a film? What or how much is the value of doing such? And in a much more ambiguous question that everyone would like to avoid: is it ethical?

As much as I am trying to decipher the logic behind the action, which clearly there isn't any, and as I kept wondering to find the answers to above questions that I am yet to find, I decided to trace back a little to past Indonesian films doing blatant product placements. The similarities, as you can read in the article, are the presence of the products in the film, not in the poster which easily goes to the subsequent derivatives, i.e. merchandise and DVD/VCD. Imagine the exposure, in which the film also includes the products in the storyline.
Or perhaps you won't, not when I tell you that a drinking game from instant-tea is possible.

My curiosity of the aforementioned invention made the cut. However, a particular editing made me as if I embrace the equally forceful product insertion in both Sex and the City: The Movie and Quantum of Solace. One of my interviewees actually said that, which I had not asked further as I wanted to give balance views from every possible angles: the filmmakers, audiences, and those working in marketing department of a company.

There goes my constantly-absent credibility.

Alas, I believe on what I write here, and I shall continue questioning and being intrigued with such practice.

(courtesy of Detikhot.com, and in case you're wondering, those are the sponsored products of instant-tea drinks on the background. All of them. And this is the final artwork.)

Read the full article here.

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Jakarta, Indonesia
A film festival manager. A writer. An avid moviegoer. An editor. An aspiring culinary fan. A man.