More Strange Trademark and Product Placement

07 March 2009

Still on Spring Break, this Ipper had the chance to go to an Imax film yesterday.  The last thing she was expecting was strange IP sightings.

On the way to the Imax, sort of in-line with the strange umbrellas, there was a car with a giant Baby Phat logo on its rear window, and a smaller logo on the back side window.  Now, Baby Phat logos on shoes, pants, even earrings, makes sense since it is a clothing company.  But, on a car!?  Somebody must really love that clothing company to put the brand on their car.  (Purchase Baby Phat car decals here).

The Imax film itself brought more unexpected IP joy.  Imax films are usually educational films shown in museums, so the product placement that has become so standard in Hollywood was a bit of a shock here.  The film was about water conservation and followed a group of travelers on a trip down the Colorado river.  As the group travels down the river, they discuss how things have changed since the building of the dams, how much the dam created lakes have shrunk and how the environment has changed.  At the end of the film, the different participants from the trip gave suggestions about how people can save water in their homes.

The film was sponsored by Teva and Kohler.  Every rafter's helmet said "Teva" on the side of it.  In one scene, a guy is shown writing in his journal.  He just so happens to be sitting in a way that clearly shows the bottom of his sandal, complete with Teva logo right in the center.  The real kicker though was one shot near the beginning of the film where a young girl was shown getting ready for her trip.  She was wearing sneakers.  The logo on her shoes was covered with white tape.  Really?  Would showing that logo for a few seconds hurt Teva?

Kohler did not have any obvious logo placements, though it's possible the variety of water saving toilets, shower heads and other fixtures were Kohler.  Personally, I liked it better that way.  The film showed the products, and since Kohler's name was associated with the film, people might think of them first if looking for new water saving fixtures.  The placement of product names in every shot, and especially the covering up of other brand names just seems to make the movie feel so fake.


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