With “Jurassic World” shattering box-office records left and right, the movie must be sitting pretty on a big pile of cash. This has led many to wonder why the film needed to weave so much transparent product placement into its narrative.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Colin Trevorrow-directed film is dense with references to companies and products like Verizon, Samsung, Margaritaville, Mercedes-Benz, Brookstone, Starbucks and more. Given that it’s enjoying one of the most successful opening weekends in film history, the decision to include so much advertising seems downright greedy. However, “Jurassic World” is, at its core, a film about greedy people selling out. This makes the product placement seem to be more of a money-making meta-joke than simple money-grubbing.
As the Washington Post notes, many of the product tie-ins are actually worked into the plot of the Universal release, such as the “Verizon Wireless Presents the Indominus Rex” attraction that parkgoers in the film can attend -- before everything goes horribly awry, that is. However, some products aren't explicitly mentioned but do appear in the film, such as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Brookstone. Although the tie-ins are making money for both Universal and the companies in question, they still work within the context of the story. In the film, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is tasked with making the ailing park exciting once again to a public that’s grown bored with dinosaurs. Adding corporate sponsors is a Business School 101 solution to that problem.
In fact, the director said previously that “Jurassic World” would skewer the modern day moviegoing public by making the Indominus Rex, the film’s principal baddie, a metaphor for the extreme lengths creators have to go to in order to entertain the masses. It seems logical that this way of thinking extends to a grander concept of consumerism as well, hence flagrant product placement being integral to the movie’s plot.
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