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 family

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.

Apple's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Apple’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
iPhone's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
iPhone’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

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”.

Audi's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Audi’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Audi's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Audi’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Dell

In Jules’ office we could see several Dell monitors.

Dell's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Dell’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Sony camera

Ben recorded his application for an internship on a Sony camera.

Sony's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Sony’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Stella Artois

After a long day at the office Jules and Ben ate pizza and drank beer: it was Stella Artois.

Stella Artois' product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Stella Artois’ product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Facebook

During the pizza & beer conversation Jules helped Ben set up his Facebook profile.

Facebook's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Facebook’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Starbucks

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.”

Starbucks' product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Starbucks’ product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Skype

Jules spoke with her colleague via Skype in her car.

Skype's product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Skype’s product placement in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

 

The Verdict

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.

Jules riding bike in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)
Jules riding bike in The Intern (2015, Warner Bros., screen capture)

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.

5 Comments
  1. Finally found that bike – it was a Franklin from Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Took me many months.

  2. i love the fact theres so many brands in there.i am a huge fan of the movie.i think i watch it twice in one day like almost every day because it inspires me to work hard towards my dreams.i am a huge apple fan and so…i enjoyed seeing so many apple products in the film. BUT each to his own.

  3. You forgot to mention a Samsung Gusto 3 flip phone! I wonder why you didn’t comment on that.

  4. Interesting feeling, when you realize that you are an old-timer! ☺️ But then only when you reach a certain age you can get to know all those products and brands that the author of this piece, probably due to his young age, missed during his research.
    For one there is the executive gentleman’s suite case Mr. de Niro carries with him on his way to the office. Since the “Executive Ashburn Attache does not exist in reality, they made that name up for the movie, the production used a 1980’s “BOYT” Extended Edge series Hard Case Tan Belting Leather Briefcase. What is true is that the particular model used in the movie has been in fact discontinued and is hard to come by even on the used market.
    Then there’s Ben’s (de Niro’s) Pencil Set, a true classic, the Century Line ball pen and pencil set manufactured by Cross. Once proudly produced in the US nowadays only to be found from Irish or Chinese production. Then there is the Casio MS-805 tax rate calculator, and, last but not least, the black BRAUN Quarz alarm clock, once a masterpiece of german engineering during the 70s and 80s, now available only as an Asian replica. Actually the one Mr. de Niro uses in the movie is not an original from the 80s, since the clock front presents the clock as “german movement”, and that means it is a modern copy with a movement that was originally developed in Germany, but it definitely comes from Asia. The original states “Made in Germany” and is very rare.
    Nonetheless all these oldies, including Mr. de Niro himself, are reminders of a time when personal items were not just disposable “things”, but statements that spoke for the character and the love of quality in accessories, that stood for a way of life and marked an era of harmony and style on our planet. Values that seem long gone today I’m afraid.
    Well, and how did I identify all those things? Easy, I do own all of them and I enjoy them in my daily life. Call me a nostalgic or a dinosaur, but there are a few “things” every gentleman should poses, including the obligatory handkerchief for the ladies 😉.

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