Captain America: Civil War
Product placement in movies and TV shows is a way to advertise certain brands while going about the plot of the story. Usually big name brands are used if the movie or show can afford that companies logo and need it for the brand of the movie. Other times they are used to help new companies get their products out there to the public. In the superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War audiences see a new action packed film about the Marvel favorites. The change in political power causes the characters of Captain America played by Chris Evans and Ironman played by Robert Downey Jr. to go against each other. While this movie continues the story of Captain America, it also implements lots of advertising for numerous products. A list of over 20 companies and products are shown in this movie, most of which are different car companies and motorcycle models (Donnelly, 2016). Though the products were used in a positive light by the superheroes, some may argue that they were overwhelming for audience members.
One brand that was pushed a lot in the movie was the car company Audi. There were multiple instances where characters drove an Audi or ran past the vehicles. The logo was very clear and easy to recognize, gaining viewers’ interest. In the “Chase” scene Captain America is running through a tunnel type structure after the Winter Soldier, and while people see them running the cars start slamming on their brakes to avoid colliding. During this scene about five Audi vehicles are shown within a short amount of time, making it very obvious that the car company was intending on pushing their new model. By using so many Audis in one scene viewers were inundated with the logo due to it appearing multiple times. It did not come off as very realistic in that scene because there are many more car companies represented in the movie like BMW, Volkswagen, and more, but those are missing from this specific scene. Other vehicles are shown but from a much further distance than the Audis. The production team made sure to shown the front grill symbol and rear trunk logo each time a character moved to a new car.
Other modes of transportation featured in the movie were the new Harley Davidson motorcycle models. Harley Davidson has been coupled with the Captain America franchise for years, but it “reignited the Marvel Studios’ Partnership” for the 2016 film (CycleNews, 2016). The Harley’s were used frequently throughout the movie by multiple characters from both superhero teams. The Captain America team member Winter Storm was seen using the Street 750 bike in the chase, while the Ironman team member Black Widow was seen riding the Iron 883 model in a separate scene. The TV commercials and online ads showed the two models and said, “Choose a Side” (Sauer, 2016). In contrast to the Audi advertising, the motorcycles were shown only for a few moments in the film. This aided in the company’s advertising tactics by not overwhelming the viewers with their new models, but still showing the newest products.
Captain America: Civil War featured many brands and companies throughout the movie as well as outside the film. The production company partnered with Audi and Harley Davidson among many others, and aired a record number of 940 TV ads costing a total of $5.54 million dollars (Variety, 2016). These commercials not only assisted with promoting the movie, but also helped with promoting the brands. Overall this movie deserves a 3.5-star rating because while it represented other brands appropriately, the overuse of Audis and its logo deterred from the plausibility of the movie.