is actually Netflix Doing Product Placement In Its Latest Movies?

Two completely new Netflix movie releases,To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in addition to also Like Father, both contain some preeeeeetty suspiciously maybe kinda definitely advertisements.

Product placement in movies is actually not a completely new thing, however which can work in different ways. Reebok paid Jerry Maguire $1.5 million to feature its products, however then sued the film studio over the ending of the movie (which was supposed to show Reebok positively). General Motors gifted a million dollars’ worth of cars to use for the filming of the Transformers movie. however in two movies with very obvious product placement, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle in addition to also Cast Away (which prominently referenced FedEx), no payment was involved, just permission to use the brands from the movies.

Both To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in addition to also Like Father are traditional movies in genre in addition to also substance, however Netflix is actually a streaming site which blurs the lines between movies in addition to also TV in addition to also the internet (BuzzFeed News incorporates a show called Follow This specific on Netflix right right now, full disclosure). This specific is actually probably why some people are wondering, “Hey, did I just watch a giant secret ad for a cruise line?”

THE CASE:

Like Father stars Kelsey Grammer in addition to also Kristen Bell as an estranged father in addition to also daughter who go on her honeymoon cruise together after her fiancé leaves her at the altar. They bond! in addition to also most of the movie happens aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Harmony of the Seas.

I could strongly NOT recommend This specific movie, which you keep thinking is actually going to be a comedy, however the jokes never happen. The plot sounds like the kind of high-concept comedy which could poke fun at cruise ships, in addition to also yet which treats the cruise aspect as completely fun. Grammer in addition to also Bell enjoy the company of their assigned dinner companions, they have a great time participating in a live game show during the evening entertainment, in addition to also they love the food in addition to also drinks! This specific is actually what made people wonder if Royal Caribbean paid for all This specific publicity.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is actually a teen rom-com about a girl in a complicated love triangle using a common jock in addition to also her sister’s ex-boyfriend. which’s utterly delightful, in addition to also all the teens love which too.

More than one scene prominently features Subway sandwiches. In one, Lara Jean, the protagonist, incorporates a text message conversation with her wacky best friend about the friend’s craving for Subway. Later they meet up under the bleachers to eat sandwiches in addition to also drinks with Subway’s bright green in addition to also yellow cups. Subway also serves as a plot device: The reason Lara Jean’s best friend can’t have lunch with her from the cafeteria one day is actually because she felt the call of Subway, setting in motion a chain of events leading to…love.

One thing to note is actually which Subway is actually NOT mentioned from the book which To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is actually based on — the brand is actually only mentioned by name from the movie. Suspicious!

Fans…noticed.

is actually This specific heavy-handed product placement by Subway, or is actually which just part of the entire world-building where real teens talk about ironically loving garbage food like Chipotle?

THE NOT-SO-SHOCKING CONCLUSION

They’re both product placement. Well, sort of. Depends on exactly how you define “product placement,” in addition to also if you define product placement as an “ad.”

Royal Caribbean told BuzzFeed News which which provided the filming location for Like Father for free. However, they did not pay Netflix any cash beyond free use of the ship. Having a completely free filming location for most of the movie’s scenes is actually certainly a nice savings for a film’s budget.

is actually giving away a free filming location an “ad”? Netflix got something for free, in addition to also in exchange gave the ship publicity. If This specific was Instagram in addition to also the movie was a travel blogger who got a free cruise, they could be required to hashtag This specific as an #ad, per the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. however product placement in movies isn’t tightly regulated from the way FTC oversees social media ads, in addition to also which’s also not the same as the TV ads the Federal Communications Commission regulates.

What’s even more complicated is actually which Royal Caribbean told BuzzFeed News which Like Father’s production crew sailed with the ship ahead of filming to scout out the ship in addition to also its activities to include from the movie’s script. For example, the scene where the characters participate in a live game show? which was something which screenwriters added to the film after testing out the cruise’s entertainment events. So the movie was tailored to the cruise line.

Subway confirmed to Business Insider which yes, which had some promotional consideration in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Subway has aggressively courted movie in addition to also TV product placement from the past, so This specific isn’t a total surprise.

however which was unclear exactly what these terms actually meant, so I asked Subway for more details. A rep for Subway confirmed to BuzzFeed News which the company gave permission to the movie to use its logo in addition to also brand, however which did not pay any cash to appear from the movie. Also, Subway didn’t even give the production free sandwiches! Netflix had to buy them through the local Subway. In fact, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’s producers reached out to Subway asking for permission for the brand to appear in two scenes. Subway didn’t set up This specific deal.

So in both movies, the brands gave permission to feature their products in addition to also services. however neither paid money to appear from the movies, which is actually what we usually think of as the definition of “product placement” in movies.

Netflix has done product placement like This specific before. Ad Age reported back in 2015 which House of Cards had an agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to have Stella Artois in addition to also Budweiser beer appear from the show. However, just like with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, no money changed hands — the beer company simply sent free products to the production. Since Netflix incorporates a completely different business style than traditional television, its marketers considered the deal a success. Netflix declined to comment on the record because of This specific story.

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