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'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Declared Worst Offender For Product Placement In Movies In 2013

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by Ken Guidry
March 7, 2014 10:43 AM
2 Comments
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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. “

Well, you can’t argue with that logic… or can you? Feel free to share your thoughts below. You can check out the rest of the product placement awards on the film’s site. [via TheDissolve]

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2 Comments

  • James | March 7, 2014 12:18 PMReply

    I dunno. I get tired of people trying to sound like jaded insiders and screaming "product placement" every time they see a brand name in a movie, as if it's always a bad thing. I'd rather have legit brands in films than go back to the days when they were all hidden, or said "Acme".

    As for Life Magazine... A) The magazine is not published anymore. B) It's owned by a competing studio. As a Hollywood Reporter article pointed out, the head of Fox actually had to talk to Time Warner to even get permission to use Life Magazine. That's the exact opposite of product placement.

    People always shriek the same thing about "Mad Men", even though Matt Weiner has said many times that they don't get paid for the vast majority of brands that appear in the series, they just don't want to make brands up.

  • Ella Tan | May 22, 2014 3:42 PM

    I totally wish I can like your comment, man! Too bad I can't OR I don't know how. I really liked this movie! :) It had a crazy plot but the most insightful and yes, inspiring story! I guess, people see what they wanna see! :P

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