When a company places a product in a television show or movie, they are taking a risk. Successful product placements can reap many benefits—they can lead to an increase of sales for a company, they can serve as free advertising, and they could also improve a brand’s image—but if done poorly, they can do more harm than help. Sometimes product placements are overt and in your face, sometimes they are extremely subtle. In the film Deadpool, there is one specific product placement that although subtle and risky, is ultimately effective.
In one particular scene, the infamous character, Deadpool, is in his home with his roommate, who is a senile old woman. This woman is blind, but she is trying to put together a dresser on her own. Deadpool walks in and asks her how assembling the Ikea Kullen dresser is coming along, and says, “Ikea doesn’t assemble itself you know.” They then debate over which dresser models from Ikea they like the best, and the woman declares she is done putting the dresser together. However, as soon as she sits down, the whole dresser falls apart.
At first you may be thinking, how is this a good product placement? And why would Ikea pay to be featured in a film this way?
Well, Ikea didn’t pay for the feature. However, they did know that they would be featured in the movie, and they only had one request upon hearing the news. The creators of Deadpool stated that, "The one thing we weren't allowed to do is make names up. We had to use real Ikea furniture. There was a wealth of real-life furniture to choose from, so it wasn't a problem," (Movie Pilot, 5).
You are probably wondering why Ikea would allow their product to be portrayed as so complex to put together, hard to use, and cheaply made. However, I believe that the film and the brand were both benefitted by this product placement.
First of all, Ikea and its products gained attention and recognition from this feature. Deadpool was an extremely successful movie, grossing over $363,024,263, which means many people saw it. Secondly, Ikea is a well known company, and by acknowledging their brand image it gives them credibility. The fact is, it is well known that Ikea has affordable and cheap furniture that is extremely hard to put together.
Additionally, most people would agree that furniture in general is hard to put together, not just Ikea's. So, the fact that Ikea decided to embrace their reputation rather than hide the truth and avoid stereotypes is actually pretty clever and shows they are an honest company. They even were willing to laugh at and make jokes about the challenge of putting together their products; it is extra clever to have a blind woman try to put together a dresser that is already challenging to put together even when you have eyesight. By embracing the stereotypes rather than avoiding them, Ikea gained attention and proved that they are an honest brand that does not avoid criticism.
The ethos, pathos, and logos of the film were also benefitted by this product placement. Deadpool is not just an action movie, it is mostly a comedy. By adding this placement of the Ikea dresser it gives the movie comedic credibility, since it uses a real life example of real life comedic moment. Many families across the country struggle with putting together furniture, so the ethos of this film was definitely improved by the Ikea product placement. The product also helped add pathos to the movie, in the sense that it invoked happy and funny emotions. By placing an Ikea dresser that falls apart in the film, it causes viewers to laugh and adds comedic emotion to the movie. Lastly, the product placement helped add logos to Deadpool. By using a real product and its real name, it makes the movie seem more real and logical. Problems like putting together furniture are real world logical problems that everyday people have. All in all, Deadpool was also benefited from the partnership.
Ultimately I believe that both parties, Deadpool and Ikea, benefitted from the product placement. It is confusing at first as to why Ikea would allow the placement, but it is pretty clever upon closer inspection. Fort this reason I am rating the product placement partnership at four nachos. Deadpool gained comedic effect, and Ikea gained attention by embracing their criticisms in a funny and lighthearted way. Yes, their furniture may be hard to assemble. However, you can always hire someone to put it together, force your roommate to do it, or maybe even read the directions.