We Bought a Zoo is the latest Cameron Crowe movie in which Matt Damon plays the lead character, Benjamin Mee. After his wife died, Benjamin and his family moved into a rundown zoo and started preparing it for its reopening to the public.
The movie is based on a memoir by the real Benjamin Mee, who moved to a zoo near Devon in England. The zoo was known as Dartmoor Wildlife Park, but after the purchase by the Mee family and following major refurbishment work it was reopened in July 2007 as Dartmoor Zoological Park. According to the article in Guardian the zoo is still struggling to keep going and Mee hopes the film’s release in Britain will attract more visitors. Apparently if it wasn’t for the film, which premiered in the UK in March, the family-run zoo would have gone bust. Mee hopes the film will boost annual visits from 100,000 to up to 500,000.
Since it’s still early to predict the impact of We Bought a Zoo to the number of visitors in Devon, let’s check some of the most obvious examples of product placement from the movie.
Ford and GMC
We could see Matt Damon driving Ford’s big SUV Flex in several scenes. On the other hand the only ‘bad guy’ in the movie, a strict zoo inspector, was driving GMC Canyon.
in We Bought a Zoo (2011, 20th Century Fox, screen capture)
When Benjamin’s family moved to the new home, they used Mayflower moving company.
The Home Depot
Even though members of Benjamin’s family mentioned Target a few times, they went shopping in The Home Depot, where they engage in a conversation with a friendly cashier.
Apple’s MacBook Pro could be seen in several scenes, notably during one night when Benjamin started browsing through photos of his late wife.
Some other movies from the ‘Product placement in pictures’ series: