Just Asking

The James Bond movies do it well, while ill-conceived attempts such as Star Wars/Burger King just cause resentment of both the producer and the product. Tie-ins don’t work when the connection between a brand and a movie is forced. When the soul of the brand and the content of the movie are a natural fit, everybody wins. —Teddy Lynn, executive producer, Arnold’s branded entertainment division, Boston

Well, it’s kind of like asking if humor works in advertising. Anything can work, if it’s done properly. Just be prepared to put your brand at the mercy of a movie studio.—Zak Mroueh, vp, executive creative director, Taxi, Toronto

It depends entirely on the movie and entirely on the product. They can work or they can pollute what is meant to be an artistic experience. The product and the character [must] work together to advance the film. —Ty Montague, CCO, JWT, New York

Reese’s Pieces’ product placement within Spielberg’s ET in 1982 is one of the greatest success stories for movie tie-ins. Sales went through the roof only weeks after the movie broke. Some reports indicate profits for Hershey nearly doubled. The scene is now one of both film and advertising legend—proof that when done well, a shameless plug can be some of your best negotiated media dollars. —Theresa Wilhelm, senior art director, Moroch Partners, Dallas

I think that there are so many tie-ins out there that it’s numbing, for the most part. Unless it stands out in an original way … it’s just going to blend in. People come to expect product tie-ins in movies. Unless a concept is attached, it’s just a bunch of hype. —David Angelo, CCO, davidandgoliath, Los Angeles