If you’re planning to hit the movies this fall or winter, there are some great book adaptations hitting the theatres for avid readers out there. It’s not uncommon to see books being made into films, but whether they do the book justice is always a question that is quick to be answered by critics and fans of the original novels. You should definitely take a look at what is coming out this season, especially if you are interested in books made into movies. Here are a few examples of product placement and brand integrations from recent releases.
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express
First up, is the highly anticipated adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel, Murder on the Orient Express. With an all-star cast, including Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer, this murder-mystery takes place onboard the Orient Express train, travelling from Istanbul to London in some very bad weather conditions. A big product placement in this film comes from the Belgian chocolate company Godiva. Their website quotes “To celebrate the release of the new film, Godiva is thrilled to announce our Murder on the Orient Express collection – decadent chocolates that capture all the luxury, style and excitement of the movie.”, with chocolates decorated in moustaches, a clear nod to Poirot’s greatly talked about trademark moustache.
Stephen King’s IT
A huge hit in cinemas, particularly during Halloween season, Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of the infamous ‘Pennywise the Dancing Clown’ is a very memorable image. So memorable in fact, that the film hit headlines for a rather ridiculous reason. With claims of a very unintentional ‘product placement’ coming from Russia’s Burger King, upset that Pennywise the Clown resembles McDonalds mascot Ronald McDonald. Okay, so obviously McDonalds was not really a product placement in the film, but it’s still very amusing to think that the terrifying Pennywise could send viewers running to McDonalds. Realistically, it is quite a far-fetched idea that he could possibly be promoting McDonalds – Russian Burger King, what were you thinking?
Blade Runner 2049
Whilst not entirely based upon the book, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner takes inspiration from the 1986 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick. The sequel to the original Blade Runner film, released in 1982, stars Ryan Gosling on a quest to uncover the truth. This sci-fi fantasy takes place in Los Angeles 30 years on from the original film, with futuristic technology in a dystopic universe. There are plenty of brands featured in this film with regards to product placement, but one of the biggest comes from Peugeot. The French car brand is a very strange one to include in this film, as French cars have not been sold in America for a very long time. But apparently, we can look forward to them making a comeback as a futuristic, flying car, better known in the Blade Runner universe as a spinner.
There were quite a few negative comments about that placement and the one below is probably the most coherent.
It still cracks me up that Blade Runner 2049 presents a future so bleak that Peugeot is the dominant car manufacturer.
— Tom Grochowiak (@TomGrochowiak) October 15, 2017
If you want to read more about product placement in Blade Runner 2049 check this great piece by Abe Sauer for Brand Channel.
Godiva’s brand integration with Murder on the Orient Express looks quite good. Not organic, but Hercule Poirot’s mustache gives them enough room to create a special edition of its chocolate. On the other hand product placement in movies set in the future is always tricky. Hopefully we’ll get some better/great examples by the end of the year.