Product placement. It’s tacky, obvious, and unstoppable, but we don’t seem to mind. In fact, it’s no longer a surprise for us to see James Bond carrying his Vaio laptop, or that horrible stepmother demanding an Evian from Lindsay Lohan and British Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap. I guess it’s because some franchises are just assumed to be that smidge heartless. If Bond goes through girlfriends like he does condoms (Correlation? I think so.), why wouldn’t he agree to whore out his technology use to Sony? Not like the Muppets. They’re so genuine, for felt. Their first major movie focuses around Kermit refusing the offer of starring in a restaurant commercial. His gambit paid off: with 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Muppets are above in-film advertising!
In Muppets Most Wanted (2014), Kermit is replaced by an imposter, and Fozzie Bear makes this discovery with the help of a refreshing Chicken or Turkey Avocado six inch SUBWAY TM sandwich! Yes, that’s right, the Chicken or Turkey Avocado six inch on A RANGE OF BREADS drops some of its LIMITED EDITION AVOCADO SAUCE onto a photo of the imposter, revealing his identical appearance to Kermit. There’s even a TASTY CARBONATED DRINK MM YES SUBWAY EAT SUBWAY on the table next to him.
My jaw dropped in the cinema. Since when did a sandwich play a major part in uncovering plot? But SUBWAY sandwiches are no shying wallflower, oh no. In terms of performances, they’re as versatile as Meryl bloody Streep! You can see SUBWAY in Josie and the Pussycats, FRIENDS, The Terminator, to name but a few, and they don’t just stick to your regular film foodstuff background role. An episode of Baywatch shows an overweight marvelling at how beneficial SUBWAY sandwiches are at keeping his health in check. Thanks SUBWAY for apparently saving a life! Aw, it’s like being hugged by a Meatball Marinara. SUBWAY’s beneficial (AND TASTY NOMNOMNOM) presence extends to behind the scenes too; in 2012, SUBWAY partnered with USC School of Cinematic Arts to fund young filmmakers… provided they market the sandwiches. Hmm. Suddenly this Veggie Delight is leaving a bad taste in my mouth…
It gets worse. Now if Adam Sandler releases a film, it will be 80% Pepsi billboards and 20% Salma Hayek/a similarly beautiful and talented actress after some quick cash sighing as Sandler trips over a Big Mac and falls on his ‘heiny’. However, this never happened so grossly before the release of Happy Gilmore in 1996. Roger Ebert’s review notes the amount of product placement in the film, and he’s right: Happy is constantly stuffing his face while Sandler is stuffing his pockets with gold. And which chain is the very company who steps out of their mute product placement role to hire Happy and sponsor his progress, therefore furthering his career and the plot of the film? It’s SUBWAY!
Of course it’s SUBWAY.
Look, you may be thinking, hey Louise, you’re talking crazy. And you know what, maybe I am. But maybe, just maybe, we’re only eating these crappy sandwiches at 3am because of the active role they’ve taken in our films, infiltrating our very down-time in the movies we least suspect and carving consumer whores like Sandler into meek little billboards that will gladly peddle their wares for years to come. Or maybe at 3am we’re drunk and SUBWAY is the only place open, and I’ve done all this research for nothing. Fine, think of it that way, you drones. That’s what the sandwiches want you to think.