Product placement in pictures: Friends With Benefits

No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits are two Hollywood movies within a year with the same concept and with lead actresses that had important parts in the brilliant Black Swan. Natalie Portman hooked up with Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached, while Mila Kunis’ friend with benefits was Justin Timberlake. Both movies were mediocre at best, although I liked the chemistry between Mila (Jamie) and Justin (Dylan). I thought that the two enjoyed working with each other.

Friends With Benefits follows the ancient cliché used in romantic comedies: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. You might find the movie interesting, but you also might watch it to spot some product placement.

Let’s check some most obvious examples.

Sony

Sony is everywhere: you can spot Sony’s TV, Vaio laptop, Sony Experia mobile phones and Sony Playstation. All placements are obvious and expected, since the move has been distributed by Screen Gems, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. It looks like Sony went into product placement business seriously and Friends With Benefits is just one of the many Sony movies which is full of Sony’s product. It’s clever and efficient movie by the entertainment giant.

Sony Vaio laptop in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Sony Ericsson Experia in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Sony Playstation in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Sony TV in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Olive Bridge

Mila Kunis’ character is an executive recruiter for a leading job agency in New York City, which is called Olive Bridge. If you google ‘Olive Bridge’, you would find Olive Bridge Entertainment, a production company which was responsible for Friends With Benefits and Easy A. The company was owned by the director of both movies Will Gluck and was recently acquired by Sony.

Olive Bridge in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


GQ

GQ (originally Gentlemen’s Quarterly) is a monthly men’s magazine focusing on fashion, style, and culture for men. The magazine was heavily involved in the movie – for more on this story please read Abe Sauer’s story in the article When it Comes to Product Placement, Captain America Has Friends With Benefits

GQ magazine in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


iPad

Even though the movie was full of Sony’s products, Apple’s iPad somehow sneaked in. Mila’s character used Bible app on iPad instead of an actual book, which was a clever move from the storytelling point of view – it generated funny situation, which wouldn’t be the case if she brought The Holy Bible in a printed form.

iPad in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Skyy vodka

Skyy vodka was included in the movie as a poster in Justin Timberlake’s office and they used the movie for a cross promotion and some sweepstakes. Nicely played.

Poster for Skyy vodka in Friends With Benefits (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


Collaboration between GQ and Skyy vodka


Sweepstakes


L.T. Kali

There was also one intriguing placement, although I haven’t found any information about it. Dylan gave Jamie one painting as a present. It was @Ftale by a street artist called L.T. Kali, which is a kind of Banksy-like art. It looks like some sort of an internal joke, but if you find some useful information about the artist or this placement, please let me know.

Who’s L.T. Kali? (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


L.T. Kali’s painting @Ftale (2011, Screen Gems, screen capture)


EDIT:

On 18th October I’ve sent a message via Twitter to Sony Pictures with a simple question: “Is L.T. Kali from Friends With Benefits a real street artist or some fictional character?”

Next day I’ve received an answer:

Conversation between Sony Pictures and BrandsAndFilms on Twitter


Thanks again to Sony Pictures for a quick answer. Twitter really rocks!


———————

Other movies from the ‘Product placement in pictures’ series:

The Smurfs

Fast Five

The Taking of Pelham 123

Morning Glory

Hall Pass

Due Date

Drive Angry

Limitless

No Strings Attached


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18 comments

  1. I think this Lt. Kali dude is the same guy who did the iPod like artwork for Roger Waters’ 2010 The Wall Live Tour. These artworks appear during the performance of “Run Like Hell” (check YouTube for examples). Cannot find his name though..

  2. Erik, I simply love Twitter either! I am getting a lot of authorization for use the image of huge and important writers around the world (as Henry Jenkins, John Hegarty….). Everything by Twitter! That’s really cool!!

  3. Thanks Lukas.

    I’ve found some photos from Roger Waters’ tour. Here are some of them:
    http://www.sound36.com/another-brick-in-orwell-parte-1/

  4. Hi ! I’ve just seen this topic concerning Friends with Benefit’s movie, and I’d like to ask you if you were able to tell me the reference of the great gold watch that Mila Kunis is wearing in this film ?
    Thank you so much for your help !

  5. Do you know if the app Dylan uses to check if Jamie is menstruating is real? If so what is the name of the app, there are a million period tracker apps, but this one seemed to be a period “sensor” app. He just waves his phone in front of her…

  6. Huh, I don’t know the name of the app. I thought it was a joke.

  7. aw. =[ i guess it was then. thanks!

  8. Hey

    Is there anyway you guys can find out what is the software Dylan used for the websites on the beginning of the movie?

  9. Lt. Kali is a fictional street artist. Will Gluck says so in the FWB commentary.

  10. Hi,

    I would like to know where i can purchase the Lt.Kali paintings? Im from South Africa.
    Thank’s, Alan

  11. what was the movie they watched?

  12. ok so no luck finding L.T. Kali and that might not be his/her real name but someone knows WHO THEY REALLY ARE!!! So, if anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated :)

  13. hey i don’t know if this helps but i was looking for the art work my self and i found this blog i think it might be his blog http://kalithedestroyer.tumblr.com

  14. In the trivia for the movie it said Lt. Kail is really Banksy, a street artist from the UK. He was featured in Exit Through The Gift Shop

  15. The software Dylan uses to edit the websites at the beginning of the movie can you find out what it is?

  16. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this
    website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

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