We understand why movies have product placement. How are studios supposed to make money? You know, other than from ticket sales and DVDs. And merchandising.
The point is, if they have to show a Pepsi label now and then so Will Smith can keep the heat on in his home, we're fine with that. But don't rewrite the damned movie to work the product into the plot. Movies that disastrously stepped over that line include:
10E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Loves Reese's Pieces!
Visionary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has always been a step ahead, and his 1982 alien romp ET blazed the trail for modern day product placement. The film was to have a scene where a boy coaxes an abandoned alien into his clutches by use of a classic sex offender technique: leaving a trail of candy on the filthy ground.
But not just any candy. The choice was made months prior to production when Spielberg looked for a partnership with a candy company that would promise promotion for his film. The very droppable M&M's were selected, but the suits at Mars, Inc. refused to have their treats associated with a creature whose appearance falls somewhere between stray dog with mange and syphilitic genitals.
However, the waddling little monster didn't bother the people at Hershey, who were hoping to bolster their Reese's Pieces line. An agreement was made to produce a million dollars' worth of advertisements for the film, and they plastered E.T.'s face right on the candy's packaging.
Most Shameless Scene:
The product is never mentioned by name here, though customers still had no problem identifying it by the package (as proven by 65% spike in Reeses Pieces sales after the movie hit theaters).
The same can't be said for Coors Beer, which E.T. drinks in one scene, hilariously transferring his drunkenness to an underage Elliott via a psychic connection.
You know, between the innocent getting lured into a home with candy and a young boy getting drunk against his will, we can't help but think Spielberg was working out some terrible repressed memories with this one.