I just watched World War Z, Brad Pitt’s biggest box office hit. It’s a movie about zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, it’s too long and inconsistent, with underdeveloped back story and for many of you it will (or was) quite boring. In other words: it’s pretty average.
The movie has a small number of placements (Volvo, Budweiser, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Royal Purple motor oil, …), but there’s one that stands out: Pepsi.
It’s one of those in-your-face placements that you might remember, because it’s so blatant and obvious, but it leaves a bad taste. After seeing Pepsi’s placement you don’t feel the desire to drink Pepsi, but quite contrary: it makes you want to tweet about how bad Pepsi’s placement was or something similar.
Placement was inserted in the movie right after one of the most important scenes: Brad Pitt has just found the cure to become immune to zombies and decided to take a Pepsi out of the vending machine. I think that at that particular moment Pepsi’s placement felt awkward and inappropriate. Also, I think it was disrespectful to the audience.
Zombie movies either take themselves too serious or are comedies (e.g. Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead). World War Z belongs to the former category and Brad Pitt’s decision to take a short break and drink a Pepsi left me a “Wait … what!?” moment. After watching him trying to save to world for an hour and a half, I expect a desire to end it, not to drink bloody Pepsi. :)
Yes, Pepsi’s placement it was visible, but at what cost?
For me, Pepsi in World War Z is just another example of in-your-face product placement.