Product placement in pictures: The Smurfs
The Smurfs is an animated television series that was hugely popular during my childhood. It was first introduced as a series of comic books by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo in 1958. The stories follow a group of Smurfs, small (three apples high) creatures that live in the woods and their everyday battles with the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael.
This July The Smurfs 3D hit the cinemas. It’s a big budget production that cost $110 million, but till today grossed more than $480 million worldwide. The movie received generally negative reviews and I have to agree with them, although the movie might be a bit more interesting for those viewers (including myself) that watched the TV series some 20 years ago.
The Smurfs was full of product placement, so let’s check some very obvious cases.
Sony’s product placement is obvious, because the movie was created in Sony Animation Studios and was distributed by Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
M&M’s has a huge placement – it was involved in a few scenes with Grouchy Smurf: first, he landed in s dish, full of M&M’s; he then fell in love with a green M&M’s plush and had a log conversation with her / it. During the movie credits we can also see Grouchy Smurf in a romantic cart ride with a Smurf-made green M&M’s plush.
Some scenes were shot at F.A.O. Schwartz toy store. F.A.O. Schwartz is an upscale toy retailer in New York City. It’s located on 5th Avenue and it’s the oldest operating toy retailer in North America.
Blu-Ray and Blue Man Group
Those two placements could stand out if there weren’t so many other brand integrations in the movie. On the first glance they both look funny and clever, although Blu-Ray placement was kind of unnecessary.
Madame Alexander is a brand of American collectible dolls introduced in 1923.
Rock Band & Yamaha
On August 9, 2011, Sony Pictures Animation announced a sequel to be released in August 2013. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Smurfs invade Australia next time, perhaps they’ll end up in S(m)urfers Paradise :)
There are more screen captures from The Smurfs at Brands & Films Facebook page.
Other movies from the ‘Product placement in pictures’ series: