TRANSFORMERS: THE AGE OF CHINA
According to business.com, brands work with movies and production so that their products will be included or mentioned in a film, as a form of subtle advertisement. But how does this benefit the movie its elf? Other than possible sponsorship and funding for the film, it would seem many ticket sales are not affected. However, in Transformers: Age of Extinction, this is not the case.
In addition to a number of expensive, highly known brand name cars, a number of items were placed in this film. A Beats Pill speaker, a Victoria’s Secret billboard, a Bud Light trailer, a carton of “shuhua milk”, and finally, a China Construction bank card and ATM. Now what do all of these items have to do with the movie? Well most, being the cars, Bud Light Trailer, the Pill, as well as the VS ad, are just your typical cases of movie product placement. However, the “shuhua milk” as well as the Chinese Construction bank card and ATM are new and interesting additions. In the film, the protagonist, Cade, uses the ATM card to track the enemy's movements, helping lead to their salvation of Earth. "[We have] fully demonstrated our product's features through seamless integration with the plot" says a spokesman for Chinese Construction Bank, not only showing the product, but also some of its functions and abilities, describing it as “Equipment for heroes” (South China Morning Post).
In Chinese box offices, the new 2014 Transformer movie had more than $300 million in sales within its opening week. This number was high due to the location of the film as well as the number of Chinese products in the film. Melanie Lo, chairwoman of the media committeeat the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies in Hong Kong, tells us a possible reason why, “Maybe you'd feel a little bit proud that a [Chinese] brand is appearing in an international movie," she says. "In that sense, that works” (South China Morning Post).
However, the film was not a foolproof success in its product use. Lo says that while people did respond to the product placement well, it was “blatant” and “odd”. A major loss in the film. "Product placement, unlike an ad, should be natural, so audiences can accept a product or learn more about it. If you jam a lot in, you'll achieve the exact opposite," says Kineta Hung, a professor who authored a study on the subject at HK Baptist University says.
Personally, I enjoyed the first three Transformer movies much more than this one. This one felt rushed as well as confusing. While the product placement seemed to have worked in its favor, it was not done so in a graceful and incognito way. For this reason, I give the movie this rating: