Product Placement on a Plane

On Friday I took my life in my hands as I fought through the swarms of  Bank Holiday shoppers squabbling among the remnants of Easter eggs.  I even witnessed one small girl have a full-blown tantrum because she wasn’t going to be able to stuff her face with the Cadbury Buttons easter egg she was hoping for…  Clearly brand still is everything.

Samual L Jackson

Samuel L Jackson stars in Snakes on a Plane

And nothing made that clearer when later that afternoon I settled down to watch my latest LoveFilm rental – the 2006 action-horror Snakes on a Plane.

The story goes that the script for this firmly C-class movie was rejected over thirty times by different Hollywood studios until New Line eventually gave it the tentative green flag.  But it was getting the world’s coolest guy Samuel L. Jackson to play the FBI lead that turned this potentially dreary film into an overnight internet phenomenon.  Talk about branding in action.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it pretty much does what it says on the tin; there’s a plane, there are lots of snakes, chaos ensues.  And with an actor credited as “Man Bitten on Penis” with lines such as “Aw, fuck! Fucking bitch! Get off my dick! Aw, fuck! Fuck” there is clearly no need for sophistication.

As you may have gathered the plot doesn’t really matter, and to be honest I didn’t care – for once it was quite nice to be entertained without engaging my brain.

Yes – this film is bad, but in an eye-rollingly good way.

However, it seems to me that this serpent movie had enough cold-blooded wigglers slithering around without adding (and I’m allowed to say this because I’m in marketing)  advertising executives to the mix.

product placement

Nothing like a swig of Red Bull before you witness a grizzly murder

Red Bull gets in there early on with some beverage glugging in the opening sequence, and then later the empty can returns in a police evidence bag to link a character to the scene of a murder…  The Apple Macbook gets a full screenshot, the FBI apparently spend their afternoons shopping for porn on eBay and the Treo Smartphone is highlighted as the communication tool for reptilian disasters.

But it’s Sony who pull out all the stops… not just with chubby security guard Troy glued to his PSP for most of the movie, but they also managed to get Samuel L’s line “All praises to the PlayStation !” into the final cut – impressive.

So, in the somewhat bastardised words of Samuel L Jackson: ” I have had it with these motherf**king ads on this motherf**king plane.”



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