Re: Most annoying product-plugging in a movie!

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films,alt.cult-movies
Date: Saturday, December 13, 1997 4:39 PM wrote in message <>…
>I remember in the late 1980's when Black and Decker, Pizza Hut, Pepsi
>and twelve billion other companies were plugged to death in one of my
>favorite films, Back To The Future II (I love the whole series).
>…There was a lot of hoopla
>about it at the time… ..

I too enjoy the trilogy (but I'd say "I love" only about the 1st and 3rd entries), but I don't believe that influences my contention that "Back to the Future Part II" cannot be said to be product-plugging in the crass sense discussed in this thread.

As much as we might find our mouths drooling for Pizza Hut rehydrated pizza, prepared in seconds at home, no one today (nor at the time of movie's release) can go out and buy one. The product is fiction.

The same can be said of other products of the future depicted in the movie.

Actually, I thought that Pizza Hut somewhat berated their image in that movie. Pizza Hut, like other restaurants, courts an image of offering somewhat a "special" meal, a "family night out," or a treat when brought home to be eaten there. (In truth, many people order delivery because they don't have the time or energy to cook, but advertising doesn't acknowledge that.) By showing that Pizza Hut product is destined to be just another pre-fabricated, long-ago-boxed convenience item, like frozen food or canned hash, Pizza Hut made it appear that they were too eager to venture into future markets. (One would expect Tombstone or Celeste to go from frozen pizza to rehydrated pizza, but not the maker of presumably-fresh, individually-prepared-to-order pizzas.)

Still, the presence of the Pizza Hut logo contributes to an appearance of veracity in "Back to the Future Part II." You look at the labels and say to yourself that the scientific breakthroughs of the future are destined to have overly-cute labels cheerful names (e.g., the "Mr. Fusion" energy device that has the typography of "Mr. Coffee").

My understanding is that the manufacturers of the nonexistent products did not pay placement fees. The moviemakers decided what the future items might looked like and sought logo clearances without money changing hands.

David Hayes


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