One of the main reasons that the advertising in Freaky Friday is successful is because it is not blatantly obvious. USA Today concluded that the average person sees over 3,000 advertising messages a day. While it is really easy to feel bombarded by the constant messages we are seeing, the marketing within Freaky Friday is not overpowering nor does it retract from the storyline within the movie. The products in the film are brought up quickly and they fit well with the current scene. For example, towards the beginning of the movie Anna sits at the kitchen table eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Most viewers will absorb this brand without even realizing it due to the fact that Cheerios are a common breakfast food. Viewers may feel inclined to go purchase this product because, as the brand motto states, “Nobody can say “No” to Honey Nut Cheerios.” The subtle addition of products makes the audience open to brand persuasion.
The characters’ use of certain products in Freaky Friday gives viewers the idea that the product is credible and useful. In one scene, Anna (in her mom’s body) decides to go shopping to give her mom a makeover. She goes from store to store trying on clothes and buying dresses, shoes, and accessories. Each time she checks out at the register, she hands over her American Express credit card. The screen clearly shows the American Express label as she makes hundred-dollar purchases. Though Anna swipes this credit card for a large number of purchases, it never declines. The usage of the American Express card sends viewers a message that this card is reliable and secure. The audience may reflect back on this scene later and reconsider their credit card company. The placement of the American Express card proves that it is possible to convince viewers to reevaluate the current products they are using.
Another reason that the advertisements in Freaky Friday were successful is because they were applicable to the age and demographics of their viewers. Freaky Friday’s audience most likely consisted of teenagers and their parents. The products included in this movie, such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Propel, and McDonalds wanted advertisements in this film because the demographics of the audience were similar to the brand’s target audience. The marketing campaigns of each of these companies stress family values and healthy lifestyles, both of which are included in this movie. In Everything’s an Argument, Lunsford states, “If you strike the right emotional note, you’ll establish an important connection” (32). The teenagers and parents watching this film will relate to the family dynamics within the movie and may feel inspired to replicate the products used in the film.
The analysis of this movie has made me realize that it truly is quite freaky how much advertisements impact our everyday lives. Although I had not previously thought about products within Freaky Friday, I was able to see that the producers included over 20 usages of advertisements during the movie. I believe that the product placement was successfully incorporated into Freaky Friday. I am giving this movie’s use of product placement 4/5 nachos. While the placement wasn’t too pushy, viewers were left with an impression that the products used were reliable, useful, and worth the purchase. Overall, product placement has proved to be an easy way to build brand strength.