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buy Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Last week, we noted on the 40th anniversary of the release of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that the film was the 'greatest reverse product placement of all time.'

Now, with the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean helping itself to moviegoers' booty, we're declaring the franchise the greatest branded content reverse product placement of all time.

And it's a miracle it worked, considering nearly the same concept became an epic failure eight years earlier. [more]

In less than a decade, The Pirates of the Caribbean films have now made over $2.5 billion. That is the take from the films alone, not including the microeconomic of product tie-ins the films inspired, which range from halloween costumes to nail polish to lamps (which says nothing of the unlicensed tie-ins).


This ease with commercialization isn't surprising considering the film was itself just a brand extension.

Old Man Disney himself helped design the original Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which opened in 1967 just months after his death. The ride, where guests float through a tunnel filled with pirate regalia, was a hit and became a staple for visitors to the park.

One of the reasons the Pirates film extension translated smoothly to overseas success was that the ride on which it was based had already been test marketed internationally. After the Pirates ride opened at Disney's Magic Kingdom in 1973, it was rolled out at the Tokyo location in 1983 and then in Paris in 1992.

For more on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides product placement, CLICK HERE.

Featured Brands: Disney


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buy Battle: Los Angeles
Battle: Los Angeles
Date:
11-14 Mar., 2011
Studio: Comlumbia Pictures
Weekend gross: $36 M
Featured brands: Bushmaster, Casio, Chevrolet, CNN, Domino's Pizza, Ford Mustang, Johnson & Johnson, Landshark, MSNBC, NASA, O'Doul's, Pepsi, PUMA, Shell, Skype, Sony, Sony VAIO, Tide, US Marine Corps
Comments: Retreat, Sell! 'Battle: LA' and Product Placing the Marines
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buy Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Date:
25-28 Mar., 2011
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Weekend gross: $24 M
Featured brands: Apple, Chevrolet, Doritos, Ford, Google, Quiksilver, Samsung, Snickers, Tostitos, Twix, VTech, YouTube
Comments: Wimpy Kid's MacBook Suckered By Glock
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buy Fast Five
Fast Five
Date:
29 Apr-1 May., 2011
Studio: Universal
Weekend gross: $83.6
Featured brands: AE Performance, Antarctica Beer, Apple, BMW, Brahma beer, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Corvette, Conjure Cognac, De Tomaso Pantera, Dodge, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Ducati, Embratel, Ford, Fox Racing (Fox Head), GMC, Honda, IWI Jericho, Kenwood, Koenigsegg, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nike, Nissan, OMP Racing, Panasonic, Panasonic Toughbook, Porsche, Smith & Wesson, Subaru, Under Armour, Volkswagen, Year One, Zippo
Comments: With Universal claiming that Fast Five's opening weekend is the most lucrative opening in the studio's history, it was a winning weekend for Chrysler and Dodge, the brand that poured a lot into the film including extensive cross-branding and marketing tie-ins, both onscreen and off.
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buy Green Hornet
Green Hornet
Date:
14-16 Jan., 2011
Studio: Sony
Weekend gross: $ 40 M
Featured brands: Armani, Belvedere, Bowflex, Bruichladdich, Bugatti, Cadillac, Carl's Jr., Chevrolet, Chrysler Imperial, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Corona, Corvette, Dasani, Dodge Charger, Everlast, Ferrari, Ford, Gonpachi, Green Bay Packers, Gucci, Harley-Davidson, Heckler & Koch, Hotmail, Hummer, ITT Technical Institute, Jaguar, Jamba Juice, Mercedes, Metamucil, Microsoft Windows, Monster Energy Drink, Negra Modelo, Nos, Oakley, OxiClean, POM, Red Bull, Rimowa, Rolls Royce, Saleen, Sony VAIO, Spy Optic, Summit Racing, Sun-Maid, The Standard, Tsingtao, Victorinox Swiss Army
Comments: Product placement in The Green Hornet is a little like the film itself. It's stylish, it's all over the place, and there is a lot of it — even if the surplus doesn't necessarily make any sense, or for a better film. Just like parts of the film, some of it even seems thrown in for the hell of it.
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buy Hall Pass
Hall Pass
Date:
25-27 Feb., 2011
Studio: Warner Bros. (New Line)
Weekend gross: $13.5 M
Featured brands: Apple, Applebee's, Ben & Jerry's, Chili's, Chrysler Sebring, Coca-Cola, Corona, Dell, Doritos, Dove, Ferrari, Fila, Five Guys, Ford, Ford Mustang, Gap, GE, Harvard University, Heineken, Honda Odyssey, Johnny's Hideaway, Lumber Liquidators, Mazda, McDonald's, MET-Rx, Nike, Olive Garden, Splenda, Subway, Sub-Zero, Toyota Prius, Under Armour, Viking, Wheel of Fortune, Whynatte, Wilson
Comments: Coming as it does from the Farrelly Brothers, whose gross-out comedy masterpieces include There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber, it's no surprise that much of the comedy in Hall Pass is, well, gross. But a considerable number of the jokes in Hall Pass are brand-based.
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buy Hop
Hop
Date:
1-10 Apr., 2011
Studio: Universal
Weekend gross: $37.5 M
Featured brands: Apple, Baby Carrots, Butterball, Cadbury, Eagle Creek, Gibson, Gretsch, Hershey's, Mrs. Meyers, Playboy, Ray-Ban, Sabian, Stax, The Orpheum, Toyota Prius, UPS, Volvo
Comments: Hop spent more time on product placement than on the plot of the film. Naturally, candy brands abounded; but what was a Playboy brand reference doing in a kids' movie?
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buy Just Go With It
Just Go With It
Date:
11-13 Feb., 2011
Studio: Sony
Weekend gross: $31 M
Featured brands: Apple, Barneys, Botox, Bud Light, Chevrolet, Discovery Channel, Grey Goose, Gucci, Hannah Montana, Hawaiian Airlines, Heineken, Hilton, Honda, Jan Marini, Jansport, Jelly Belly, Jimmy Choo, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Magazine, Louis Vuitton, MasterCard, McDonald's, New Balance, New York University, Old Navy, Oxygenetix, Oxygenetix, Pepsi, Pepto-Bismol, Pizza Hut, Pop-Tarts, Rachel Ray, Ray-Ban, Seventeen, Showtime, Smithsonian, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sony PlayStation, Stella Artois, Tiffany & Co., Titleist, Tommy Bahama, Ultimate Fighter Championship, University of California, Los Angeles, Waldorf-Astoria, YMCA, Yves Saint Laurent
Comments: Of the nearly 50 product and brand mentions or appearances in Just Go With It, from Heineken to McDonald's to Tommy Bahama, the most interesting is the potshot Sony Pictures takes at Apple and its family of iDevices.
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buy Limitless
Limitless
Date:
18-20 Mar., 2011
Studio: Relativity
Weekend gross: $19 M
Featured brands: adidas, Apple, AT&T;, Bentley, BlackBerry, Bloomberg, Dell, Google, IBM, Levi's, Louis Vuitton, Maserati, Mercedes, New York Post, Percocet, Red Bull, Smartwater, St. Regis Hotel, TRUMP, Two Men and a Truck
Comments: 'Limitless' and Maserati is a made-in-Hollywood romance, but not guerrilla marketing.
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buy Little Fockers
Little Fockers
Date:
24 Dec-2 Jan., 2011
Studio: Universal
Weekend gross: $60.3 M
Featured brands: American Medical Association, Apple, Arthur Murray Dance Studios, ASICS, Bolshoi Ballet, Cadillac, Chanel, Chevrolet, Chicago Cubs, Children's Memorial Hospital, Classico, Deepak Chopra, GE, Google, Hilton, Jell-O, Lactaid, Landscape Structures, MySpace, Nokia, Pabst, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Sharp, Skype, Tesla, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen, YouTube
Comments: The last number one movie of 2010 is also the first number one of the new year. Unlike 2010, which saw a largely product placement-free Avatar dominate well into February, Little Fockers starts our 2011 annual count with a slew of brands including Google, Prius and Sustengo — and our 2010 Brandcameo continuing champion, Apple.
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buy No Strings Attached
No Strings Attached
Date:
21-23 Jan., 2011
Studio: Paramount
Weekend gross: $20.3 M
Featured brands: 7-Up, Apple, Audi, BMW, Budweiser, Calbi, Coca-Cola, Dodge Challenger, Google, Harvard University, Jolly Rancher, M.I.T., Mercedes, Pamprin, Paramount Pictures, Patron, Star Wagons, Stella Artois, Stolichnaya, Toyota Prius, Trojan, Tuborg, Under Armour, University of Michigan, USA Today, VitaminWater, W Hotels, Walt Disney Concert Hall
Comments: No Strings Attached is attached to many brands and products — nearly 30 by our count. It shouldn't come as a surprise. Kutcher, as much a producer as an actor these days, is a product placement machine and very comfortable with the practice.
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buy Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Date:
20-22 May., 2011
Studio: Buena Vista
Weekend gross: $90.1 M
Featured brands: Disney
Comments: It may be free of brands, but Disney’s latest installment of Pirates of the Caribbean features the greatest product placement of all time: Disney itself.
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buy Rango
Rango
Date:
4-6 Mar., 2011
Studio: Paramount
Weekend gross: $38 M
Featured brands: Alka-Seltzer, Benadryl, Colt, Esso, Lonestar Beer, Pepto-Bismol, Pop-Tarts
Comments: Rango wrangles brands for comic effect.
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buy Rio
Rio
Date:
15-24 Apr., 2011
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Weekend gross: $66.8 M
Featured brands: Animal Planet, LG, Volkswagen
Comments: Rio was the top movie at the box office this weekend, and parents were probably happy to find that the film contained but a couple of passing brand mentions.
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buy The Rite
The Rite
Date:
28-30 Jan., 2011
Studio: Warner Bros.
Weekend gross: $15 M
Featured brands: Bell, Citroën, Fiat, Loyola University, McDonald's
Comments: Other than one good product placement joke, The Rite, fits the horror genre profile in its disdain for product placement. That one moment of levity in the film? Brought to you by McDonald's.
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buy The Roommate
The Roommate
Date:
4-6 Feb., 2011
Studio: Sony / Columbia
Weekend gross: $15.6 M
Featured brands: Bank of America, Brown University, Crayola, Goyard, I LOVE NY, Kaldi's Coffee and Tea, Kodak, Marc Jacobs, MINI, Mr. Coffee, Pepsi, Porsche, Prada, Seven Grand, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sony VAIO, Vera Wang, Vogue, Wells Fargo, Yves Saint Laurent, Zippo, Zyprexa
Comments: As Sony Pictures production, The Roommate does not lack Sony products. The most interesting plot twist: the ironic anti-Facebook Facebook-like site created for the film.
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buy Thor
Thor
Date:
6-15 May., 2011
Studio: Paramount
Weekend gross: $100 M
Featured brands: 7-Eleven, Acura, Apple, Budweiser, Dell, Dr. Pepper, Facebook, Kashi, Pop-Tarts, RadioShack, Taser, USA Today
Comments: A total of just 12 brand or products can be easily identified in all two hours of Thor.
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buy True Grit
True Grit
Date:
7-9 Jan., 2011
Studio: Paramount
Weekend gross: $15 M
Featured brands: Colt, Sharps Rifles
Comments: What would a Hollywood western be without a Colt? Two of them make appearances in the latest version of True Grit, including Mattie's Civil War-era hand cannon and the ever-present Colt .45 Single Action Army “Peacemaker.” But another firearm brand steals the show — Sharps.
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buy Unknown
Unknown
Date:
18-20 Feb., 2011
Studio: Warner Bros.
Weekend gross: $21.8 M
Featured brands: Berlinder Kindl, Bing, BlackBerry, Bocca Di Bacco, Canon, Dallmeier, Glock, H&M;, Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Mercedes, Rolex, Samsung, Volkswagen
Comments: Taking place in in Berlin, Unknown, naturally, is filled with German brands, from tech brand Dallmeier to Mercedes to Berliner Kindl beer.


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Browse by brand or film:
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View by year: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
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View by year: All | 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
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