It probably wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Ben Stiller had some pretty big expectations when he took on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” The film boast the biggest budget of any of his directorial efforts and was poised to be a player during the awards season. Well, as a matter of fact, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has earned an award, but it might not be one that Ben Stiller is proud of.
Brandchannel has recently given out their annual product placement awards, which gives awards to various films from 2013 for the dubious distinction of displaying a lot of ads, whether incidental or purposeful. They’ve singled out Budweiser for being the most prominently featured product of the year, having appeared in movies like “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” “Nebraska,” and “Don Jon,” for example. Meanwhile, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has received the award for Worst Product Placement of the year, and considering that Life magazine, Papa John's pizza and eHarmony are all crucially part of the plot, perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise.
Here’s what Brandchannel had to say:
“Already infected with a disturbing depth of brand promotion, including Cinnabon, Time Inc.'s Life magazine and eHarmony prominently featured in the plot, Walter Mitty iced the cake—or sauced the pizza—with its middle-of-nowhere Icelandic Papa John's location. In the sequence, Mitty imagines himself in a Papa John's in the nothingness of Iceland's rural landscape. You see, as a teen, Mitty worked at a Papa John's in New Jersey, something that is almost impossible, as Papa John's first ever location opened in Indiana in 1984; Ben Stiller was born in 1965. “