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7 Worst Product Placements in Scifi Movies of All Time

P is for Product placement, a fact of life in modern movie making. Movies are expensive to produce, and every little bit that can be shaved off will be taken advantage of. That's why sticking a product prominently into a movie can add much needed revenue, and is used frequently. Sometimes the products are featured in such a subtle way that you don't even notice them. Other times, it's so obvious that it makes your eyes roll. Here are seven of the worst examples in sci-fi movies.

7. Converse Chuck Taylor Sneakers (I, Robot) - Loosely based on the scifi stories by Isaac Asimov, I, Robot centered around Detective Del Spooner who investigates a murder by a robot. Set in futuristic Chicago, much is made of Spooner's love for his vintage 2004 Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. What made these sneakers so special? Maybe the fact that the movie was made in 2004, and Converse sold those exact same sneakers.

6. McDonald's (Mac and Me) - Mac and Me (1988) is a scifi movie about a "Mysterious Alien Creature" (MAC) trying to escape NASA agents, and befriended by a young boy in a wheelchair. In a way, this entire movie is an advertisement. It's basically E.T., brought to you by McDonald's. The alien is named after the Big Mac. The main character works at McDonald's. There's even a musical number with Ronald McDonald in a McDonald's. Product placement. I'm lovin' it.

5. Hot Wheels (Green Lantern) - Green Lantern (2011) is a movie about the DC Comics superhero who can make energy constructs. At one point, a helicopter is going to fall on a helpless audience. What's Green Lantern to do? Catch the helicopter with a giant glove? Put a new rotor on the helicopter and land it safely? No, he puts wheels on the helicopter and drives it around a giant track for a minute or so. And what a coincedence, there's a Green Lantern Hot Wheels track playset at your local Toys'R'Us.

4. The Power Glove (The Wizard) - The Wizard is a 1989 adventure comedy about three kids travelling to California to compete in a video game tournament. Most of the movie pays homage to the Nintendo Entertainment System, which makes sense since Nintendo produced the movie. Yet the Power Glove controller is singled-out for special attention. Considering how poorly received the Power Glove was in the real world, the movie's reverence for it is particularly glaring. "The Power Glove. It's so bad."

3. Taco Bell (Demolition Man) - In the 1993 movie, Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes play a cop and a criminal who are cryogenically frozen and wake up in a dystopian future. At one point, they discover Taco Bell is the last remaining restaurant in the world, and is considered a fine dining establishment with valet parking and a dance floor. This despite the fact that they earlier established that all red meat and spicy foods are illegal. If everyone eats Taco Bell, then it's even more galling that they got rid of toilet paper.

2. Apple Powerbook (Independence Day) - The 1996 scifi action movie is about alien invaders who attack Earth and blow up...well, everything. Only one thing can stop them, and that's an Apple Macintosh Powerbook 5300. The lead scientist uses one to upload a computer virus into the alien mothership, and destroy both it and the defenses of the entire alien fleet. While we know the Mac is popular, it's kind of hard to swallow that iOS is compatible with an alien spaceship built on technology thousands of years more advanced than ours. Especially considering the Powerbook 5300 didn't work too well with our own technology.

1. Reese's Pieces (E.T.) - In 1982, the movie about a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth captured the imagination of the world. Just as captivating were the candies E.T. loved. Apparently, the original script called for M&M's, but Mars refused because they thought E.T. would frighten children. The producers went with Reese's Pieces, instead. In the process, Reese's Pieces became enormously popular. Yes, even out of this world.

Which do you think is the worst product placement? Can you think of any other examples of blatant product placement in scifi movies? Let us know in the comments.
[Image Source: Chucks Connection]

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P is for Product Placement, and CosGeek (Play) - http://cosgeek.blogspot.com/
A blog devoted links, photos, and tutorials on the geekiest cosplay found across the net.

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  1. The Reese's pieces one was at least good for the company. My favorite product placement scene is in "Wayne's World" where as they decry selling out they're blatantly shilling for Pizza Hut, Doritos, Pepsi, Reebok, etc. And then those scenes in "The Truman Show" where his "wife" would just break into product pitches for no reason. Often they aren't much more subtle than that.

    Probably one of the more successful ones was the new Camaro in "Transformers" despite that the car wouldn't even come to market for 2 years.

  2. i think nothing, but the numerous burger king promotions that followed many films... wait iron man had burgers...

  3. Me and Mac has got to be the worst excuse for a film ever.

  4. The only one of those I'm familiar with is E.T., but I thought it was kind of classic. For me, I love alien vs nice kid stories, I love E.T., I love Reese's Pieces. Win-win all the way around. :D


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