Daniel Todaro MD of Gekko looks at whether Back to the Future nailed product placement and the relationship between brands and filmmakers when it comes to the production of seminal films.
The relationship between brands and filmmaking has always been a tricky one especially when product placement detracts from the plot for the sake of advertising. On the one hand, there is the commercial thrust from the brand that wants to be in the film and on the other, the filmmaker who wants to ensure the film retains its integrity and doesn’t ‘sell out to the corporate world’.
With Back to the Future celebrating its 30th anniversary this week, and a lot of the hype around this seminal film which resonates with so many in my age group, it focuses on whether the film has actually predicted anything about the future, today 21st October 2015, through its product placement.
By no means do brands always get product placement right but Back to the Future is a showcase example of how brands can add value to the script. The brands fitted in to the film, they were contextual and relevant to the script, and from a brand point of view they allowed big corporates to advertise their products as ‘futuristic and forward thinking’, well some of them perhaps.
Fortunately for the brands in this particular film, many got it right, but where there is a fine line between brand success and irrelevant advertising when it comes to product placement, did they predict or allow the film to define the future?
By Daniel Todaro