Product placement … in the trailer?

Product placement … in the trailer?

The folks behind the new Kevin James comedy “The Zookeeper” don’t have to worry if the film disappoints at the box office.

They’ve already cashed a big check from it.

Check out the film’s trailer below. James’ character, who learns the animals in his zoo can talk, has a conversation with one pretty hairy ape.

“Is TGI Friday’s as incredible as it looks?” the ape asks, to which the zookeeper replies, “it’s pretty good.”

Seconds later, James’ van pulls up to a TGI Friday’s establishment, the company’s brand reflecting on the windshield.


A kid-friendly comedy starring James might be the surest thing all summer save a certain boy wizard. So why throw in such a bald product placement? Isn’t the cost of admission enough for consumers to endure these days? How can movie goers fight back? Can somebody at least call Morgan Spurlock?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

KNo Gravatar May 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

We’re long overdue for a serious national discussion on the limits of advertising.

This comment brought to you by Doritos “Nacho Cheeze” flavor corn chips.

Tom in AZNo Gravatar May 29, 2011 at 5:58 am

I dunno, “is that thing as good as it looks in the ads” would be something I might ask, if I’d been in a cage my whole life.

The best (i.e. weirdest) product placement I ever saw was in an anime called “The Girl Who Leaped Through Space”, where, despite it being 10,000 years in the future and some of humanity’s space colonies being lost cities like Troy, Pizza Hut still exists. And can be used to bribe enemy agents to switch sides.

Mike B.No Gravatar May 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm

What about the terrific “evolution” (devolution?) of Fuddruckers hamburger restaurant in the movie “Idiocracy”?

I doubt Fuddruckers paid for that product placement or if they did they should sue Mike Judge.

To this day, I only think of the Fuddruckers name as it changed over time in a stupid world.

“Zookeeper” may be for kids, but I will definately look for it either streaming or on DVD, product placement or not.

jicNo Gravatar May 30, 2011 at 2:41 am

What about the terrific “evolution” (devolution?) of Fuddruckers hamburger restaurant in the movie “Idiocracy”?

What about, in the same movie, Starbucks becoming a chain of brothels?

By the way – I happened to be watching The Spy Who Loved Me today, and, like most Bond movies, it contained a few placements (all confirmed by ‘thank yous’ in the credits): Sony monitors, Seiko digital watches, Lotus sports cars, and Wetbike (a sort of motorcycle/jet ski hybrid). I had assumed that the closeup of a microfilm container with ‘Minolta’ embossed on it was a placement too, but they weren’t thanked in the credits. I’ve always thought that the Bond movies were the best examples of product placement enhancing a film. Ironically, they couldn’t convince Rolex to lend them a watch for Dr No; the Submariner featured in the movie was Cubby Broccoli’s personal property.

Tom in AZNo Gravatar May 30, 2011 at 5:37 am

Ironically, “Idiocracy” means “self-rule”, “self-power”, or “self-made”—”rule by idiots” would be idiotiocracy. Remember, Mr. Judge, if you’re going to call other people stupid, you really have to get the Greek right.

jicNo Gravatar May 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Remember, Mr. Judge, if you’re going to call other people stupid, you really have to get the Greek right.

And if you’re going to make a movie claiming our culture is becoming ever more stupid and coarse, the funniest joke in the whole thing shouldn’t be a sex toy attached to the hood of a beat-up old Ford Festiva.

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