Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Liquor (and other) Product Placements in Classic Films?


Herman Bricks
 Share

Recommended Posts

I watched The Sting (1973) recently for the first time in a long while. I was struck by the amount of product placement that appears in this film. Every scene seems to have a Coca-Cola sign or an Ezra Brooks Bourbon billboard in the background.

I enjoyed seeing Hine Cognac (first pic) and Old Bushmills Irish Whisky (second pic) being consumed.

Hine Cigar Reserve Cognac in The Sting (3) Old Bushmills Whiskey Drunk by Robert Redford in The Sting (1)

I was surprised to see Hine depicted. Hine is a very old Cognac house that as far as I know, never had a major marketing presence in the U.S. (but I could be wrong). A boutique brand if you will, as opposed to the commercial Cognac monoliths like Hennessy and Remy Martin.

Bushmill's on the other hand, was at that time and still is a big brand. You may recall that it is placed in quite a few movies. Burt Reynolds may have had a direct relationship  with Bushmill's, I recall it appearing in several of his movies. 

Does anyone out there know how Hine and Bushmill's wound up in The Sting? Or have any thoughts on liquor product placements? It seems to me that these placements began to be commonplace starting in the 1970's. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

Haha I like seeing GAS PRICES in older films...it's shocking to see 85¢/gal in 70-80's movies.

Well,  85 cents in 1978 be equivalent to about $3.60 these days, due to inflation.

Gas was at it highest in 1981 or 1982, when they were around $1.30 or $1.40, which is equivalent to well over $4/gallon today.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quaker Oats had a free child's movie ticket promotional tie-in with the producers of Please Don't Eat the Daisies.   Here's an ad from Life magazine that came out about a week before the movie..

content?id=NE8EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA18&img=1&zo

 

In the movie itself, you can see the familiar oatmeal box prominently displayed on the set multiple times.  The ad above even explains why you see the oatmeal in the movie (leaving out the part of money exchanging hands, of course...)

In the same film, Coca-Cola gets a lot of mentions, because it's one of the few words the baby knows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always find it interesting that so many characters smoked Chesterfield cigarettes.  Also, that Chrysler Corp. products showed up in so many movies.  Think I read that they rented cars to moviemakers for 50cents per day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chesterfield was a popular brand back then I guess,(and into the '60's as I used to smoke 'em too) as I've seen several packs in older movies too.  Along with those dark packs of Lucky Strikes due to the movie being black and white.  Before WWII Lucky's had green packs.

I've also seen little cans of CLABBER GIRL baking powder, along with OLD DUTCH CLEANSER.

And sometimes FELS NAPTHA soap, which Mom used to treat cases of "blue" language when we were kids.  ;) 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't TCM have a spotlight on product placement in the movies several years back?  I distinctly recall them metnioning the placement of Brunswick radios in early sound films.

Then of course there's Joan Crawford and Pepsi....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In "Frau im Mond", there is a scene where Helius and Professor have a meal together, and hen a bottle of wine is brought out, the Professor gets a couple of glasses, and one of them has "Odol" printed on it.

 1737500586_Screenshot2022-03-29at23-36-37WomanintheMoon(1929).png.4dcbe3566fdb1dab2f64fa5ecd3d3b4c.png

The camera lingers on it for a strangely long time, and you even get a closeup.   It's a German brand of mouthash and toothpaste that's still sold today.

AKG313501.jpg

SM_11196.jpg

The Woodill Wildfire as a fiberglass bodied sports car that actually beat the Corvette to market by a year, and Robert Woodill aggressively promoted the car to filmmakers in Hollywood.  You can see one playing a prominent role in the film Written on the Wind.

i100565.jpg.74a98aacccefcaa24470597d3e11bcec.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the outstanding 1936 movie "The Petrified Forest," Apache Beer bottles and signs are very noticeable, so much so, once you start noticing them, you can't stop. I assume this was a paid product placement, but the brand and label design also fit the look and feel of the Arizona diner very well. 

Apachebottle.jpgApachesign.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always thought this was an interesting juxtaposition.  As Warren Oates drives his police car away from the diner in In The Heat of  the Night, you can see the Coke sign on the building.

rjTRAAj.png

But in the next shot, you see a Pepsi sign. Perhaps in the 60s both products were sold side by side in diners, but today I don't  think you would find that happening anywhere. Then again, maybe the set designer just goofed.

QvKj2f4.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, slaytonf said:

How can you tell when a brand name product appears in a frame due to an agreement, or simply because the director represented their world?

That's a good question.  In the case of the Odol glass in Frau im Mond, it does help to illustrate the Professor's dire straights when all he has to drink from is a mouthwash glass, but the amount of time the camera lingered over it suggests there's something more to it..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though the opening scene displays a Lone Star Beer can, which is also an important placement, the movie Fandango (1985) heavily features Shiner Bock beer (Spoetzl Brewing, Shiner, Texas). Shiner was still a small, local beer brand in the middle 1980 (a "craft" beer before we were calling it that). Its placement in this film is a very clear representation of a specific location and time period, that being West Texas in the summer of 1971. 

Beginning in 1991 Spoetzl widened distribution, and today the Shiner beers are available in every state except Hawaii. I have seen Shiner placement in a variety of films and television programs in the last decade or so, such as Tarantino's Death Proof (2007), Shameless (2011-2021), and others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kiss_before_dying_poster_1956.jpg

I love spotting product placements.  A Kiss Before Dying was good but the cars driven were all Fords and the camera lingers.  Even when Jeffrey Hunter stops to make a phone call, the car stays in the picture.

KissBeforeDying1bb.jpg.801ac6a793cf93c00d42882e0071080f.jpg  KissBeforeDying1cc.jpg.621b32ae1d0418ebf5936b67e1bd5db7.jpg  KissBeforeDying1ccc.jpg.0d058cf93819324b7b49204d673fb1f5.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But that's not too uncommon Katie.  In fact it bugs me when I CAN'T spot the name of a car's maker when the film is old enough when most cars from various makers all looked the same.  But in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD the other night, you'll notice the CHEVROLET symbol on the Finch car door the first time in the movie Jem goes with Atticus to see the Robinson family.

As to COCA-COLA signs, they're hard to avoid if your shooting in actual locations as they're everywhere, even today.  One thing that stuck with me was seeing a photo in an old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine many moons ago of an old trading post somewhere in the deep recesses of the central African jungle.  The wooden structure's boards were grey, and near rotted with age and had a deep sagging roof while the structure was leaning heavily to one side.  And on the front of the building two things were very clear....

A little square sign with a bell inside a circle(denoting a public telephone) and a huge, round COCA-COLA sign!  As a kid I recall seeing those little Bell telephone signs outside of several stores, diners and bars around my hometown.  ;) 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...