In the 1980s, sales of Ray-Ban's Wayfarer sunglasses had sunk to an abysmal 18,000 a year. In an effort to turn things around, the company offered the producers of Risky Business $50,000 to feature the Wayfarer model in the teen comedy and, just as importantly, on the movie poster.
Sales of Wayfarers immediately took off. By 1989, Ray-Ban had sold more than 4 million pairs of the now-iconic model, a pretty sweet return on their investment. But the Cruise promotional juggernaut had just gotten started.
Three years after Risky Business, Ray-Ban and Cruise struck product-placement gold again when he and Val Kilmer battled it out for king douche of the sky and the sand in the box office hit/Navy recruitment propaganda film Top Gun. Cruise, Kilmer, and co-star Anthony Edwards all sported Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses in the movie.
"The Top Gun rules of fashion are for your style and for that of your team. They are not flexible, nor am I."
Once again, the partnership was a resounding success. Sales of Ray-Ban Aviators rose 40 percent in the seven months following the release of the film. To this day, they remain the eyewear of choice for anyone looking to inject a little "Hot Cop" flair into their wardrobe.