Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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When product placement becomes wretched excess

There is a scene in Reloaded, the second movie of the trilogy, in which some of our heroes are caught in the Matrix and pursued on a virtual freeway by various evil computer programs in the form of human-looking bad guys. Of course, mayhem ensues. The 10-minute-long freeway chase is an astonishingly ambitious action set-piece, it's fantastically entertaining, and ... every car involved is a GM vehicle.

Yes, that's right--about 10 minutes of movie time are completely dominated by GM products...a little research turns up the fact that GM donated 300 vehicles for use in the scene, and I believe it.
Well, that helps to explain why GM's costs are out of whack. They were throwing cars away on product placement in mediocre movies, while Honda and Toyota were actually selling them.

And they really were thrown away. I watched that movie. I am not a car guy, though I am a (rare) car buyer, and I never noticed the GM cars. GM's money was thrown away on me. I wonder, did a mediocre action film filled with mediocre GM products ever generate a single sale?

I suspect it's impossible to say. Which a the problem with this kind of advertising. How do you know whether it's working? How do you know whether it's money well spent?

GM has spent an awful lot of money over the past three decades, and has little to show for it.
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