The nominees are, for Uhaul product placement in a Best Picture:
1. UHaul in “Gravity”
You may have noticed product placement has become inevitable in cinema. The real key to success comes when the product plays a role in the story line of the film, one of the best examples being the FedEx product placement in Cast Away. Despite a plane crash in the beginning of the story, FedEx still shines bright, a symbol of enduring human spirit.
In Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, space debris slams into the astronauts while working on a space walk and leaves them stranded in space. When the debris hits, it’s an intense scene and lasts maybe only 30 seconds. And did you notice, what was mixed in with that space debris? That’s right, a 14′ Uhaul rental truck. Company officials at Uhaul weren’t worried about the negative connotations viewers would have about the Uhaul brand causing the astronauts to be cast away into space. What was important was the number of eyeballs that would see the brand.
2. Uhaul in “Nebraska”
In a much subtler way, Uhaul makes an appearance in the Coen brother’s Nebraska. And this placement was free. Bruce Dern’s character revisits a garage he used to own, and it looks as though it is a Uhaul dealership. This impression has no impact on the plot, Uhaul simply benefits from dealership signs scattered across 15,000 locations, a truly iconic American brand, like Buicks and old tractors.
3. Uhaul in “Philomena”
And who could forget the wonderful dialogue between Steve Coogan and Judi Dench in Philomena as they drove around the States in a Uhaul? All of this footage was edited out of the theatrical version of Philomena, but will most likely be included in the Blu-Ray Edition available soon.
And the winner is?