And Now the Product Placement Oscar Winners Are….

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Movies has been tracking product placement in films for about a decade now.  Amazingly, the site has determined that product placement is on the decline.  2013’s average of 9.1 per number 1 film is the lowest since Brandchannel started tracking in 2001.

Every years Brandchannel hands out its BrandCameo awards for the best, worst and in between of product placement.

This years 18 winners are (along with Brandchannel official comments) are:

2013 Award for Overall Product Placement – Budweiser 

Appearing in nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of all box office No. 1s, or 9 of the 39 No. 1 films last year, Budweiser and Apple were 2013’s most frequently-appearing products on the big screen.

Budweiser appeared in nearly one-fifth of all of the films that reached No. 1 at the box office last year. Budweiser and Bud Light’s appearance in 96 of the 502 top films (19.1 percent) during that period make it the sixth most common brand, behind only Ford, Apple, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet and Mercedes.

Bud’s placements were all over the map. The brand popped up in such top films as divergent as Texas Chainsaw 3D, Bad Grandpa and Zero Dark Thirty, while the year’s top historical films—42 and The Butler—both found a role for Budweiser. The year’s top superhero films—both rated PG-13—were no different; Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 featured Budweiser, with the latter loaded with at least a dozen on-screen appearances and a Bud-guzzling bad guy. No slouch itself, Man of Steel also featured a number of Bud logos and the Man of Steel himself chugs the King of Beers.

Finally, rounding out the year was Budweiser’s over-the-top, galactically incongruous placement in (also PG-13) Star Trek: Into Darkness. (A Budweiser factory was used as a stand-in for a spaceship in the film’s climax.) Beyond blockbusters, Bud could also be seen in 2013 nominees for Best Picture. Meanwhile, Bud’s presence extended well beyond box office No. 1s. For example, Bud bottles were in what seemed like every third scene in Don Jon.

2013 Award for Achievement in Product Placement in a Single Film – Pain and Gain

From Schlotzky’s Deli to Porsche to Met-Rx, Pain and Gain‘s product placement was as furious as its Michael Bay-directed camera cuts. Era-appropriate brands also got some screen time, including Pontiac Fiero and LA Gear. And it was nice to see The Rock swaggering around in Nike rather than his nearly ubiquitous Under Armour gear.

Many of Pain and Gain‘s 39 on-screen brands were incidental, yet others fit into the plot like Lamborghini and Schlotzky’s Deli. Pain and Gain’s 39 is just one less than last year’s winner, Ted. But it is still far fewer than previous winners like Transformers: Dark of the Moon (71), Iron Man 2 (64) and Sex and the City (94).

2013 Award for Worst Product Placement – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Papa John’s

Already infected with a disturbing depth of brand promotion, including Cinnabon, Time Inc.’s Life magazine and eHarmony prominently featured in the plot, Walter Mitty iced the cake—or sauced the pizza—with its middle-of-nowhere Icelandic Papa John’s location. In the sequence, Mitty imagines himself in a Papa John’s in the nothingness of Iceland’s rural landscape. You see, as a teen, Mitty worked at a Papa John’s in New Jersey, something that is almost impossible, as Papa John’s first ever location opened in Indiana in 1984; Ben Stiller was born in 1965.

2013 Award for Product Placement Achievement in an Oscar-Nominated Film – Philomena and Guinness

At a key point in the film, elderly Philomena (Judi Dench) is ready to give up her search in America for the son that was taken from her decades ago in Ireland. To change her mind, journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), seen quaffing Guinness throughout the film, uses the brewer’s Celtic harp logo to draw a connection to the harp lapel pin worn by a man suspected to be her lost son. The Guinness moment convinces Philomena to continue her search. While Guinness is mentioned in the original book, the Celtic harp plot twist was added to the film.

2013 Award for Product Placement Achievement in a Foreign Film – Dhoom 3 and BMW

Dhoom 3—an action film about a circus acrobat-turned-burglar that avenges his dad’s death by taking down a corrupt Chicago bank—took only a few weeks to become the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time. (The film even reached as high as fifth in the UK box office.) The film stars Aamir Khan—think Brad Pitt plus The Rock but Indian—racing around on his BMW super bike. Those pursuing him also ride on BMW bikes, which created a special campaign around the film.

2013 Award for Best Role in a Supporting Product Placement – The Internship and Google

2013 Award for Best Off-Screen Supporting Product – Anchorman 2 and Dodge Durango

2013 Award for Product Placement Impact – Frozen and Norway

Hoping to cash in on the Frozen juggernaut is Norway. Modeled on Scotland’s partnership with Disney’s Brave, Norway’s tourism authority has leveraged Frozen‘s popularity to draw obsessed kids (and their parents) to the land where the film takes place. Already, Norway’s US-oriented Frozen website has seen traffic triple. Meanwhile, data service Skyscanner has reported a 153 percent increase in searches for flights bound for Norway from the US.

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for Product Placement – Under Armour

In 1999, just three years after the brand’s founding, a pre-Oscar-winning Jamie Foxx appeared in an Under Armour jockstrap in the film Any Given Sunday. Since then, Under Armour has gone the extra mile to tie-in with films. It outfitted the Gotham Rogues football team in The Dark Knight Rises and partnered with the Lone Survivor Foundation charity, and then, in no accident, was all over the screen in the hit film Lone Survivor. The brand has also partnered with the upcoming blockbuster Captain America: Winter Soldier as part of its larger deal with Marvel. Expect to see the brand on Steve Rodgers’ chest in the film.

2013 Award for Product Placement Adaptation – Warm Bodies and BMW

2013 Award for Visual Effects in Product Placement – Rush

Since the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, product placement of cigarette brands has largely disappeared from cinema screens (though it still exists in films like 2013’s Escape Plan for Marlboro).

But what to do with a period film? Rush tells the story of the race for the 1976 F1 championship, a story in which one of the main characters is sponsored by Marlboro. While in the name of historical accuracy, the placement of Marlboro logos throughout the film was unavoidable, the film’s promotional posters were a different story.

The Forrest Gump Award for Achievement in Reverse Product Placement – Anchorman 2 and The Rigid Ghost condoms

It’s no surprise that the franchise that gave the world Sex Panther cologne (also a successful reverse placement) would give us more. Those seeking some afternoon delight can now choose from Brian Fantana’s condom collection, including The Rigid Ghost and The Hooded Guest. (The Gentle Mongoose and Lou Dobin’s Good Time Weiner Pouch are not yet available.)

2013 Coca-Cola Kid Award for Product Placement Title – 午夜微博 (Wǔyè wēibó) “Midnight Weibo

The core plot of Midnight Weibo, a hit Chinese 2013 horror film, centers on the spooky fates of five youths who venture into an abandoned factory after finding messages posted to their social media accounts on Weibo (aka “China’s Twitter”).

2013 Wayne’s World Award for Product Placement Product Placement – Anchorman 2 and Jockey

Will Ferrell is a master of self-aware brand product integration, so it isn’t a surprise to see Anchorman 2 win this year. “Give your little Anchorman the support he needs” went the motto for Jockey’s era-appropriate men’s briefs campaign starring lead field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd).

2013 Award for Unwanted Product Placement – Anchorman 2 and BP

“BP Oil, nature’s best friend!” reads the announcer as Anchorman star Ron Burgundy drunkenly takes the SeaWorld stage. It’s just one of the film’s several jabs at brands but it’s the one that stings the most, an immediate reminder to the audience about an event BP PR is still trying to escape.

2013 Cleo McDowell “My Buns Have No Seeds” Award – Movie 43 and ViewThisTube and Zwoogle

This award recognizes achievement in fake on-screen brands.

The most high-profile example of this phenomenon this year was Anchorman 2‘s CNN spoof: “GNN” (Global News Network). But the sophomoric and crass—and oddly A-list star-studded—Movie 43 takes this walking away with its faux YouTube and Google gags: ViewThisTube and Zwoogle.

2013 Award for Product Placement Production – Smurfs 2

By the time Smurfs 2 opened, it had already made up its $105 million budget with about $150 million worth of product and marketing support from its global brand partners that included everyone from McDonald’s and Walmart to Gourmet Trading Company and the Ferrero Rocher brand of chocolate.

2013 Award for Original Short –  Sriracha! The Movie

Sriracha! The Movie is a look at the origins and modern day cult status of the eponymous hot sauce. The documentary follows the sauce from its Vietnam origins to its current spot on the table of some of America’s (literally) hottest restaurants. It’s a 33-minute anthem for those who have become obsessed with the iconic spicy condiment.

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