Product Placement: Audi v Transporter, Mercedes v Slumdog

This morning began fairly inauspiciously, but as I loitered on the Subway platform, I noticed a rather badly art-directed ad for the latest Jason Statham vehicle “Transporter 3“. I was moved to chronicle said design deficit, and snapped a picture with my iPhone (well, its no good for calls, websurfing or emails after all). I do actually dimly recollect watching bits of Transporter 1 on a plane with the sound off, and thinking it resembled a long car ad. (And there was a part 2? Who knew!)

transporter3

I have no beef with product placement (quite the contrary), but only if it is done well … that is to say adds value to the production, and is seamless and intuitive. At the most basic level, sadly, I think the way Audi was integrated on to this billboard – and let’s be fair to these guys – looked shit. The car looks grafted on! I fear this may presage the way the car is featured in the film…

A lot of car manufacturers got “BMW Films” envy, and Audi seem to be one of them. I’ll withhold judgment – as I haven’t seen the film, but my initial reaction is that they failed to make the Audi integration seamless and intuitIve, which for me is the measure of success.

C-.

Conversely,  Mercedes had their cars removed from the new movie ‘Slumdog’. Evidently, “Slumdog” presented an entertainment marketing conundrum: Only a handful of companies have the global presence to benefit from the worldwide exposure that a motion picture generates, but they also have widely divergent customer tastes to meet — and often divergent business priorities.

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