This Is Not The Movie Product Placement The Beer Company Covets
Normally, product placement is a great thing for a company.
Junior Mints on “Seinfield,” Charlie Harper drinking Coronas on “Two And A Half Men.”
There’s a huge business of product placement, in fact, in which companies pay big money to have their products featured in movies and TV shows.
It does go overboard, though, such as the James Bond drinking Heineken instead of the “shaken and stirred” martinis. Changing culture is not what it should be about, of course.
But not all product placements are good, and Anheuser-Busch is asking Paramount Pictures to remove Budweiser from Denzel Washington’s latest movie “Flight.” The movie – for which Washington has received widespread critical acclaim –is about a commercial airline pilot that over-indulges the night before a flight and then does heroic flying when a potential disaster strikes.
Naturally, A-B does not want its beer associated with drinking and driving or, in this case, drinking and flying.
According to the New York Times, though, it’s not the Bud that steals a scene but an airplane-sized mini bottle of vodka:
“There is a single image in “Flight” of a miniature bottle of vodka that’s more nerve-racking than almost anything in the thrillers released this year,” says the Times review. “Shot in close-up with a room blurred in the background, the bottle looks so very big for something so small, like a totem of some mystical deity. It represents a million earlier drinks downed in a forlorn, existential frenzy, but it also resonates with a foreboding that the director Robert Zemeckis sustains for several unsettling seconds.
“What gives the image such tension, an almost unbearable throb of suspense, is that you know that right outside the frame is a man who is just dying for that drink. And you’re dying a little along with him.”