Product placement is now big business. From TV shows to the big screen, companies are aware of the power of film in establishing brand identity. Porsche is no exception. With a reputation for luxury living, Porsche models feature heavily in many popular movies and series.
Iconic Porsche movies
1983 teen comedy Risky Business features the outlandish escapades of Joel Goodson, played by a young Tom Cruise. The movie aided struggling sales of Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer sunglasses and incidentally advertised the Porsche brand. A car-chase scene in Goodson’s father’s Porsche 928 is followed by the famous slogan: ‘Porsche – there is no substitute.’
In Le Mans (1971), the Porsche 917s competes with the Ferrari 512s in a 24-hour race. The film is popular with racing aficionados and the vehicles are central – there’s not even any dialogue in the first 30 minutes of the movie. No Man’s Land also contributed to the Porsche brand and is popular among Porsche fans. In the 1987 film, the criminal lead played by Charlie Sheen is a discriminating thief – he claims to ‘only steal Porsches’.
In cinema car chases, Porsche has played a significant role, with viewers enjoying the aspirational lives of on-screen characters. Whether or not an audience member is the proud owner of a Porsche model, brand placement in film gives the viewer a glimpse of luxury living.
Modern product placement
2006 film Cars and the recent 2011 sequel Cars 2 from Pixar Animation Studios feature a Porsche 911 called Sally as one of the main characters. Interestingly, the films introduce car models to a younger audience who are often excluded from vehicle brand identity.
In the successful crime thriller Sin City, Goldie drives a Porsche Spyder convertible, while a 911 Turbo was used in the 2005 blockbuster Fantastic Four. These films re-inforce the luxury and excitement associated with the Porsche brand.
Porsche has also made its way through many popular TV series, notably Scrubs and Friends. In non-fiction programmes, models have been the focus of episodes of Mythbusters, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Geographic’s Porsche Junk Yard, to name only a few.
Audiences often view product placement as an overbearing presence by brands who pay large sums to have their products exhibited on screen. Porsche, however, often lends vehicles to producers without any cash being exchanged. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Porsche’s presence in hit show The Sopranos was driven by the script rather than financial concerns. The car manufacturer has now established an image of being synonymous with luxury living.
Photocredits: Flickr via CreativeCommons]