Jun 07

Tourism: The appeal of Product Placement

Turkish Airlines wrapped plane "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" product placement

With travelers spoilt for choice when it comes to vacations and how to get there, tourist boards,  airlines and even cruise ships are doing all they can to market themselves as the first choice, with the latest tool being Product Placement.

With many countries seeing the economic benefits of “destination placement” (the industry term for this specific form of product placement) from local jobs created when filming to the increase in tourism after the locations appear in the final cut,  tourist boards will do all they can to entice big Hollywood movie studios.  Such incentives include tax breaks,  heavily subsidised services to even implementing global multi-million dollar marketing campaigns to support the release.

Turkish Airlines: “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”

In January 2016, Turkish Airlines announced an innovative partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures and it’s huge action blockbuster picture “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. Having been written into the script with one key scene taking place aboard a 777 Turkish Airlines plane, the product placement partnership  led to a huge global promotional partnership around the film’s release, which included;

  • Commercials featuring Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) that premiered during the superbowl.
  • Promotional piece with director Zack Snyder talking about the benefits of the sponsorship.
  • Innovative movie-themed virtual experiences for fans online.
  • Sponsorship of the film’s Premiere offering 8 fans the opportunity to fly first class to attend the Premiere.
  • An exclusive Turkish Airlines wrapped plane in film imagery.
  • Limited edition movie-themed in-flight amenity kits for adults, which includes an eye mask and slippers and for children, headphones, slippers, and a watch.
  • Movie-themed in-flight menu items, such as branded cookies and cupcakes.
  • A Time Out travel guide featuring content focusing on Gotham City and Metropolis, which was distributed to moviegoers, passengers at select movie theatres and airports.
batman v superman dawn of justice product placement turkish aiirline
Turkish Airlines: “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Premiere”

As with all big blockbusters the film’s day-and-date release in all key markets, ensured that amassed over $424 million at the box office in it’s opening weekend, breaking the record for the biggest worldwide opening for any superhero movie and going on to achieve over $870 million globally at the box office.

“Now You See Me 2” & Sands Resort

The “Now You See Me 2” film shoot is the latest example of both a resort and location mutually benefitting from destination placement. The resort was Sands China and was integrated as a backdrop for a major heist scene in the movie. Scenes were shot in a variety of locations at the resort, including the rooftop of Sands Macao and the Great Hall of The Venetian Macao.

Instead of an integration fee, the casino provided locations and branding that ultimately helped keep the spiralling production costs down for Lionsgate and director Jon M. Chu. Sands China brought the Hollywood production to Macao as its latest move to further promote the city as an international tourist destination – whilst increasing global awareness of the resort.

Following the success of the sequel “Now You See Me 2”, grossing over $334 million and becoming China’s biggest ever opening film, Lionsgate is pressing forward with a third instalment of the popular franchise which will no doubt be a huge success in China as one of the most important markets for box office revenue globally.

Now You See Me 2 cast at the Sands China Resort product placement
Now You See Me 2 cast at the Sands China Resort

Darryl Collis, Director of Seesaw Media, has witnessed the rise of Destination Placements first hand “In addition to representing one of the World’s leading Cruise Ship companies, in the last twelve months alone we have seen 200% increase in the number of resorts and tourist boards that have enquired  looking for us to promote their destinations as filming locations”

Mexico & James Bond: “Spectre”

Unsuprisingly no other film shows off a destination quite like James Bond. From Casino Royale’s opening shots of Paradise Island in the Bahamas to the famous Palio horse race in Sienna in “Quantum Of Solace”, tourist boards will do all they can to have 007 “shooting” in their city, even if it means destroying it.

In Bonds latest venture “Spectre”, grossing over $860 million at the box office Worldwide, Mexico City plays as much a part of the film as Moneypenny. Having engaged early with the Producers they negotiated the all-important iconic opening 8 minute pre credit sequence to be shot entirely on location in Mexico. Taking place during Mexico’s infamous “Day Of The Dead” ceremony the whole sequence is a commercial for the Mexican Tourist Board (apart from the destroyed building or helicopter crash).

It was reported Mexican officials payed $20 million and had very specific requirements not only to ensure that the city was shown in a favourable light but the Mexican people were too, namely:

  • Highlights of the skyline and other ‘modern’ features of Mexico City.
  • A known Mexican actress must be cast as glamourous Bond girl Estrella (Stephanie Sigman was cast as the woman whose hotel room Bond uses to start his hunt for the main villain – Sciarra).
  • The main villain, Sciarra, could not be Mexican.
  • Bond’s pursuit of Sciarra had to be during the Mexican “Day of the Dead” Parade.
Spectre: Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico product placement
Spectre: Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico

Music Video placement

With music videos being the go to place for any brand looking to engage with a younger audience, it was no surprise UK based holiday company First Choice Holidays partnered with UK artist Alesha Dixon for her summer single “The Way We Are”. The video was shot on a number of First Choice resorts across Paphos in Cyprus as part of their ‘Summer of Music’ campaign.

Alesha Dixon "Summer of Music" campaign product placement
Alesha Dixon “Summer of Music” campaign

The campaign gave fans the opportunity to create a summer soundtrack for their holiday using the ‘Summer of Music Playlist Generator’ on the First Choice website and were also able to vote for 1 of 3 conclusions they liked best for the music video ending.

With a number of glamorous locations appearing in some of the summers big blockbuster releases, be sure to head on down to the cinema for some holiday inspiration!