The Help, one of the most successful movies of 2011 is set in 1963, so I hadn’t had high expectations regarding product placement. However I was pleasantly surprised with the number of brands involved and also with the execution. As we could’ve seen in Mad Men, producers can include brands in movies and TV shows that take place some 50 years ago to provide a better historical landscape and also without making fools of themselves.
Let’s check brands from The Help:
The heroine, Skeeter Phelan, drives a Cadillac, which is a natural fit, since she’s from a wealthy Mississippi state family.
One of the world’s and America’s most iconic brands has a prominent role when a young southern girl has a conversation with a future maid. They both drink Coke and the bottle can be spotted in several scenes.
Life magazine is briefly seen in a scene which shows Medgar Evers’ widow and her son, after the assassination of her husband. Evers was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. He was assassinated in June 1963 by a member of the White Citizens’ Council.
Shinalator (in the movie it is called shinolator) is a hair product from the 60s that was used to treat frizzy hair. Skeeter got it from New York and her mother used it to prepare her for a date with Stuart.
Movie’s most interesting product placement was for Crisco. Crisco is a classic American brand of shortening (any fat that is solid at room temperature and used to make crumbly pastry) that was used for frying, baking and everything else in the kitchen
One of the main characters in the movie told us:
Well … I reckon if there’s anything you ought to know about cooking, it’s this.
The most important invention since they put mayonnaise in a jar.
You got gum in your hair, you got a squeaky door hinge…
You got bags under your eyes.
Want to soften your husband’s scaly feet.
But it’s best for frying chicken.
You can find more pictures of product placement from the movie at Brands & Films’ Facebook page
Other movies from the ‘Product placement in pictures’ series:
Placing a product in a “golden years” picture should be a winner for the brand since such films usually connect to very positive emotions. Plus the brand can be seen as trustworthy, solid etc.
(Obviously not too cool if a brand nowadays suffers a negative reputation for being dull and out-of-date).
All lasting clients are built on friendship.
The task of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead a lot more than teamwork.