“Stranger Things” actor Gaten Matarazzo visits A&R Bar with his band Work in Progress on Thursday, Aug. 15. With the new season of the supernatural Netflix series so prominently featuring Coca-Cola (both “classic” and “new”), we thought we'd take some time to rank other onscreen #brand appearances.
The “Wayne’s World” product placement scene
This scene brilliantly toys with the concept of sponsored #content as Wayne and Garth cycle through a range of product plugs, including, most memorably, Nuprin (“Little, yellow, different”).
The entire series could be viewed as a toy commercial, of sorts, but the writing, voice acting and animation prevent it from ever feeling like one.
Reese’s Pieces in “E.T.”
I’ll forever think that aliens love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
Wilson in “Castaway”
Somehow the film not only incorporates a brand (sporting goods behemoth Wilson) but manages to make it a major character, as a marooned Tom Hanks wards off his intense loneliness by having extended conversations with a volleyball.Help! An evil warlock trapped me in the text of this story and he will only free me if you click the link contained here and enter the requested information: Sign up for our daily newsletter
Coca-Cola Classic/New Coke in “Stranger Things”
The Netflix series is no, uh, stranger to product placement (see: Eggo frozen waffles), but the latest season went hard on the Coke/New Coke plugs, almost to the point of distraction.
The GM commercial that is “Transformers”
Michael Bay isn’t a director known for his subtlety, so it shouldn’t surprise that long stretches of the blockbuster come off like a flashy car commercial.
Starbucks in “You’ve Got Mail”
And here you thought it’d be AOL based on the movie’s title, but no. The scene where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks visit a Starbucks is somehow more galling, with a Hanks voiceover insisting that the ease with which a Starbucks order can be placed gives customers “a defining sense of self.” Someone hand me a Venti cup… to barf in.
Marlboro in “Superman II”
There are more than 20 mentions of Marlboro cigarettes in this 1980 superhero flick, which definitely feels like a relic from a musty, yellowing era. It’s only a shame that Superman didn’t have a final showdown with the Marlboro Man, who obviously would have survived the duel only to succumb to cancer.
Heineken in “Skyfall”
Over the course of 22 films, James Bond could be counted upon to order a martini (shaken, not stirred) until the Powers That Be opted to have him order a Heineken in the 23rd installment of the series. If filmmakers wanted to switch up the spy’s drink of choice they could have at least opted for something that doesn’t taste like complete butt. (Alas, there goes our Heineken sponsorship, along with all that sweet, sweet Pepsi money.)
Popeyes chicken in “Little Nicky”
Leave it to Adam Sandler to find a way to top even a classic character going against his better judgment following 22 reliable onscreen appearances. In “Little Nicky,” Sandler’s demon not only falls in love with the taste of Popeyes chicken (which is fair because Popeyes is great) but even deploys it as a weapon against a group of demons, one of whom eats a drumstick and exclaims (I kid you not), “Popeyes chicken is the shiznit!”
Burn this scene and this movie in the hellfire from which Nicky and his kin emerged.