Best Product Placement of the Week: Julie Andrews, Pepsi and the Family Research Council



A basic in sales is: Know your market, Know your product, See a lot of people, Ask them all to buy.

A product logo seen on the screen, large or small, generates sales. A product placed in a movie will get a lot of people to see a product in use by celebrities. Tom McMahon, as usual, has a multiple matrix on product placement and the public good:

An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Strategic Product/Logo Placement To Cover Up The Naughty Bits

Say you’re the Program Director for Spike TV and you need to run a Julie Andrews movie. The Sound of Music is for the chicks, Mary Poppins for the kids, but the 1982 movie S.O.B. would be perfect.

And the movie would now pass, as McMahon suggests, the scrutiny of the Family Research Council…


ET and Reeses Pieces Another movie made in 1982, ET, also had a product placement. When Reeses Pieces were displayed and eaten in the classic movie E.T.:Extra-Terrestrial, sales tripled.

Hollywood says that movies reflect culture and really do not have a pushing or leading effect on behaviors.

This is, of course, nonsense. Very smart people spend a lot of very smart money to influence the public behavior through advertising in entertainment. Because it works.

Movies move our culture. But Hollywood does not often act in the public good — Hollywood should retain Tom McMahon to get it right.


Thank you (foot)notes:

And be sure to visit Tom McMahon’s 4-Block World.

See Snopes on the backstory of why Mars candy said “No” to ET and Hershey got the gig on one of the great marketing stories in Hollywood.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger’s wife, Charmaine is employed by the Family Research Council.

Also see Does E.T. Really Prefer Reeses Pieces To M&M’s? Or Was He Paid To Like Them?

from IMDb,


Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Melissa Mathison (written by)

Release Date: 11 June 1982 (USA) more view trailer

Genre: Adventure / Drama / Family / Fantasy / Sci-Fi more

Tagline: He is afraid. He is totally alone. He is 3 million light years from home. more

Plot Outline: A group of Earth children help a stranded alien botanist return home. more

Plot Synopsis: This plot synopsis is empty. Add a synopsis

Plot Keywords: Friendship / UFO / Entire Title Is Capitalized Acronym / Seti / Acronym In Title more

Awards: Won 4 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 27 nominations more

User Comments: Still Blows Me Away to this Day more


(Complete credited cast)

Henry Thomas … Elliott

Dee Wallace … Mary

Robert MacNaughton … Michael (as Robert Macnaughton)

Drew Barrymore … Gertie

Peter Coyote … Keys

K.C. Martel … Greg

Sean Frye … Steve

C. Thomas Howell … Tyler (as Tom Howell)

David M. O’Dell … Schoolboy (as David O’Dell)

Richard Swingler … Science Teacher

Frank Toth … Policeman

Robert Barton … Ultrasound Man

Michael Darrell … Van Man

rest of cast listed alphabetically:

David Berkson … Medic

Susan Cameron … Medic

David Carlberg … Medic

Erika Eleniak … Pretty Young Girl

Will Fowler Jr. … Medic

Barbara Hartnett … Medic

Milt Kogan … Medic

Alexander Lampone … Medic

Diane Lampone … Medic

Rhoda Makoff … Medic

Robert Murphy … Medic

Richard Pesavento … Medic

Tom Sherry … Medic

Mary Stein … Medic

Mitchell Suskin … Medic


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