Are you experiencing Award Season Withdrawal? (It's a real thing; I don't care what my stupid doctor says.) Jonesing for another round of guessing who is or isn't going to be a big winner, but sick of seeing all those gosh darned movie stars showing off all their fancy attire? Then do we have something for you—the 2014 Product Placement Awards!
A total of 39 films hit No. 1 at the US box office in 2013. In those top 39 films, we logged 325 identifiable brands or products on-screen, or an average of 9.1 product placements per film.
See, they did math and everything. So you know you can trust these results!
First up, the 2013 Award for Achievement in Product Placement in a Single Film: Pain and Gain. There were 39 different brands highlighted in this movie. Also interesting to note—there was a movie that came out last year called Pain and Gain!
Next up, the ProdPlacey—that's what we call them in the industry—for a film nominated for another award. The 2013 Award for Product Placement Achievement in an Oscar-Nominated Film: Philomena and Guinness It was part of the plot of the film (SPOILERS, Y'ALL). That's the way to roll in the product placement biz, my friends.
The Forrest Gump Award for Achievement in Reverse Product Placement: Anchorman 2 and Rigid Ghost Condoms Yes, the prestigious Forrest Gump Award is one that will be perched high on the mantle of one lucky winner. This award, which recognizes when a fake movie brand becomes real brand (like the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company) recognized the outstanding work of Rigid Ghost Condoms. Bravo!
I'm going to forgo the usual musical numbers featured as part of the traditional Product Placement Award ceremony, and skip right to the big award of the night. (This is so exciting!)
2013 Award for Overall Product Placement: Budweiser OH YES! This is so great—I was rooting for Budweiser! According to SlashFilm, the King of Beers was pretty much everywhere in your favorite movies in 2013, even in Star Trek: Into Darkness. You remember that great scene where Khan, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is wrestling with Chris Pine's Captain Kirk and then all of a sudden they stop, bro-hug it out and slam a couple of Budweisers, yeah? No of course you don't. Because the best product placement is subliminal, see? That's how come they work so well!
Oh, and we can't forget the saddest award of the evening, 2013 Award for Worst Product Placement (it's sort of like the "In Memoriam" segment, except with corporations who have totally let their integrity and sense of good judgement die) The big winner was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Papa John's. This one was a hot mess for a lot of reasons, much like an actual Papa John's pizza.
So that's it! The awards have been handed out, the speeches have been given and the tears have all been shed. What we know for sure now is that, 2013 marked an unusually low point for the ancient art of product placement, via SlashFilm:
Although consumers continue to complain about particularly clumsy attempts at silver-screen marketing, the site found that product placement in movies is actually on the decline. The 39 #1 movies of 2013 averaged just 9.1 product placements each, the lowest number since Brandchannel began keeping score in 2001. Indeed, several films featured no brand names at all.
So who's to say what will happen in 2014. Will we ever see another strategically placed commercial product in a Hollywood film? Only time and film financing needs will tell.
Image via Lee Daniels' The Butler.