Mar 15 Film

Heritage Product Placement

The Theory of Everything

– 15th March 2017 –

For every new movie release there is always the ubiquitous brand promotional tie-in, where brands look to promote their latest model/flavour/product on the back of the film. Increasingly more and more promotional partners are usually promoting a product that has appeared on screen, through product placement partnerships. For contemporary set films such as ‘Bridget Jones Baby’, ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘La La Land’, they offer a great platform for brands to showcase their current products or products they are about to launch to an international audience.

However, with distributors and broadcasters green-lighting more and more period productions, does this limit the opportunities for product placement?

Darryl Collis, Director of Seesaw Media, an agency that specialises in product placement in both contemporary and period productions, doesn’t believe so, “Consumers are looking for brands with longevity and a history and product placement in period productions is a great way for a company to showcase that heritage – that the brands are relevant then and now.”

 The stunning collaboration between The Great Gatsby (2013), set in the 1920s, and Tiffany & Co is a prime example of a brand that has tapped into this valuable potential. Tiffany unveiled ‘The Gatsby Collection’, pieces they had specifically designed for individual characters, and launched it alongside the film in New York, as well as showcasing the collection in Gatsby themed window displays across all their stores.

Tiffany also made the one-of-a-kind pieces available to buy on their website. From start to finish, they capitalised on the publicity surrounding the film and used it as an opportunity to release a press release saying that, “Now as then, Tiffany jewels ignite the red carpet and silver screen with legendary style.”

iffany Carey Mulligan Great Gatsby
Carey Mulligan in ‘The Great Gatsby’ dressed in Tiffany & Co.

Fashion brands have also used films to showcase their heritage and none more so than outerwear label, Belstaff, a brand for which Darryl and his team have been instrumental in reminding viewers of the brands’ heritage through collaborating with costume designers.

For over 10 years, as well as dressing modern characters, we have worked on period productions which have reinforced Belstaff’s association with trail blazers, icons and rebels”.

These collaborations have included dressing a young Bob Dylan (played by Cate Blanchett), the Queen of the Skies, Amelia Earhart (played by Hilary Swank) and the infamous gangster, John Dillinger, portrayed on screen by Johnny Depp in Michael Mann’s ‘Public Enemies’.

However, for Darryl, Belstaff’s most effective use of the silver screen to showcase their heritage was in David Fincher’s Oscar winning adaptation of ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’, which saw Brad Pitt’s character wear no less than three Belstaff jackets, including their iconic Panther;  all of which were authentically reproduced from their archive.

Brad Pitt Belstaff
Brad Pitt wearing Belstaff’s Panther jacket in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’.

Another opportunity for long-standing brands to showcase their heritage is through placements which recreate historical moments in time. Moët & Chandon was the official champagne provider for Formula 1 from 1966 to 1999, so when Ron Howard  was looking to recreate the 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda for his biopic ‘Rush’, he naturally turned to Moët. Not only did this reinforce the association between the brand and the historical event, but for a Director such as Ron Howard, it also was integral to establishing character and contributing to the authenticity of the story.

Moet and Chandon Rush
Moët & Chandon in ‘Rush’.

Furthermore, with period productions having a reputation for doing well at awards season i.e. ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘The Theory Of Everything’, ‘Imitation Game’, ‘Fences’ and ‘Hidden Figures’, brands that feature on screen reap the benefits too. This awards season ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and in particular the film’s star, Meryl Streep, made the headlines. This coverage and interest in the film was to Dewar’s whisky’s benefit; the drink of choice consumed by the life and soul of the party, Florence’s doting husband played by Hugh Grant.

With a number of period productions set to hit our screens in the next couple of years from acclaimed Directors such as Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Damian Chazelle and Steven Spielberg, the opportunities for brands to showcase their heritage has never been more…timely.


To find out how Seesaw Media can get your brand more exposure, contact us at info@seesawmedia.co.uk.