Hermes Birkin, Louise Vitton, Lenovo, Mac Ipad, Pontiac, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Mercedes Benz, Lacoste are just some of the products with obvious subliminal advertising intent in having exposure in the Transformers 3 movie.  To some movie goers and Transformers the other product brands may not be well so obvious more than the popular car brands and models that transform into Autobots.

Movie and television show inserts are a recent marketing strategy. From a time, movie and television show producers are more concerned of the quality of film or shows they create. Although, they seek advertisement to help finance the production, they are also careful in hiding or smudging brands or logos of commercial products that may incidently be needed in the production design as props.

But the airtime, attention span, and interest of the audience for mediated advertisement must be diminishing as a resource, if not getting more valuable. Airtime is expensive, advertisments during the intermission or prior to the beginning of a movie don’t bring direct income to the film production, it is the movie house that benefits from this. The audience particularly young people have lesser attention span, and they would rather sleep during the intermission and just open their eyes when the movie is on. Movie goers go to the cinema to watch a film, not the advertisements, so they would instead go inside the movie house just in time for the movie.

The movie audience are prime target of advertisement. If they have been grown clever or have lesser attention span, advertisers got to be more agressive in their strategic decision to insert advertisements by flashing their brand logos and product names within the scenes of the movie. Cast Away is another vivid example of this strategy. That movie was like a Federal Express and Wilson film. Probably, the said strategy have signficant influence in the market consumption of those products and services. Hence, an increase in sale through increase of brand awareness.

The novel turned movie, The Devil Wears Prada, is another obvious illustration of this kind of advertising strategy, featuring of course Prada brand, other brands and even a coffee brand. One may argue, its nothing but incidental. Yet, the positioning of those brands in some frames or a scenes are obvious means of manipulating the audience subliminally through the power of visuals. A critical eye should be able to notice the panning of the camera and the transitions that puts those brands in focus.

Like in Transformers 3, the main actor is but wearing a simple white shirt, and prominent on that shirt is the Lacoste logo.  The camera is tilted up, the chest of the main actor is in the center of the frame, and slowly zooms in to the shirt’s logo. Lenovo had several exposures, that monitor in the boardroom’s table contrasts that of the table. The white backside of the monitor is so visible with the logo, and most of the time when this is shown, the camera is also tilted up. The same with the exposure of the Mac product, the camera is also tilted up.

With those camera techniques, the eyes of the audience are pushed to focus on the product, rather than the facial expression or actions of the actors. It utilizes blocking to keep the audience eyes glued on a certain object while their ears listen to the dialogue. More obvious of this subliminal advetising strategy, is when the product brand becomes part of the script. In Transformers 3, of the intelligence division, a woman is pictured to be so powerful, dominant, strong and confident. She has everything she “needs”, and all with her assistant – bags.

In the movie, when the chief needed something from her bag, the assistant asked which one. Then the assistant showed LV bag, and two other bags. The chief said “the Hermes Berkin”. One could guess which is the sponsor of the movie, or which brought more money for the said subliminal exposure. Competitors do not buy the idea of having their products placed before another, rarely this happens or not at all. With visual and audible exposures, Hermis must have pegged in alot of money and chose to place it with LV, which in either way creates an image that it is unlike LV to be preferred and trusted more by a powerful woman.

Ferrari, Mercedez Benz, Chevrolet and Pontiac are various car brands. They all appearead in the Transformers 3 movie. Only two were represented best, but one brand stood out from the rest. Chevrolet, with a lot of visual exposure and several memorable audible exposures. Bumbly bee, the young man’s friend is there throughout the movie. Pontiac was just but an old neon light. Mercedez Benz was attacked as unfriendly and hostile to women, mean, evil and expensive, with “Soundwave” becoming a snare and revealed as a Decepticon, costing 200,000 US$ which is said to be unworthy in relationships.

There must have been advertisement inserts in the earlier Transformer’s movie, specific to Chevrolet. But, this year’s sequel had the most obvious ones. Apparently, such ads distracted me from really focusing on the movie. On this note, it has worked strategically offensive to my interest of appreciating a movie, because it made me wonder on how much these brands pegged in on the production of the film. Sorry for me, that I get to be so critical of this manipulative act to exploit on the visual and aural perceptiveness of the audience, that in the end I was not so satisfied as I was in the earlier movies.

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