A few weeks ago I received a tweet from a colleague asking me if I had seen The Intern, the latest Robert De Niro movie. He was appalled by the huge number of brands that can be seen in the movie. He also compared The Intern with The Island, a movie that is regularly on the list of movies with the most product placement.
I didn’t mean to watch The Intern, but movies with a lot of product placement have to be seen. Just to be aware what’s going on in Hollywood.
The Intern is about a 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) who seizes the opportunity to become a senior intern at an online fashion site. Ben soon becomes popular with his younger co-workers, including Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the boss and founder of the company.
So I watched The Intern. My colleague was right, there was A LOT of brands in the movie. Let’s check product placement from the movie.
Apple’s products are quite regular in recent Hollywood productions and The Intern is not any different. We can see iMacs, MacBooks, iPads and iPhones.
Audi Q7 and Uber
Jules had a car with a driver and that car could be seen from every possible angle, from outside and from the inside. On one occasion it literally drove into the camera. Yup, Audi Q7 had a lot of screen time.
Uber on the other hand was only mentioned in a bar drinking scene. After a few glasses of tequila (or something similar) a drunken Jules announced that she’s had enough and “she’ll be Ubering home”.
In Jules’ office we could see several Dell monitors.
Ben recorded his application for an internship on a Sony camera.
After a long day at the office Jules and Ben ate pizza and drank beer: it was Stella Artois.
During the pizza & beer conversation Jules helped Ben set up his Facebook profile.
When we first saw Ben he explained us his daily routine that includes visiting Starbucks, just to be among people: “Come rain or shine, I’m at my Starbucks by 7:15.”
Jules spoke with her colleague via Skype in her car.
As a movie The Intern is a mixed bag. Both lead actors were good, even though I don’t really like De Niro’s work from the last twenty years. The movie is also way too long (more than two hours). From the product placement perspective The Intern can qualify in the segment of movies set in present day that involve a lot of product placement with several brands having a lot of screen time (Audi, Apple). On the other hand the movie is about an online fashion store, so it’s fairly difficult to avoid showing means of communication in the present world. Yes, you could do it without showing Facebook or Skype and mentioning Uber, but I guess that all those brands are now part of our reality.
I would expect Apple watch and a self-balancing two-wheeled board (self-balancing electric scooter) to be in a movie that deals with startups. Apple watch is something that is quite new and fresh and a self-balancing board should replace the bike that Jules used to drive around the offices.
The Intern is way too long and you can spend those two hours watching something better and funnier. From the product placement point of view there were too many brands in the movie for my linking, although the majority of them were placed nicely. However, Audi’s role and visibility were a bit too much.