Big Soda and the rise of product placement

Kai Ryssdal and Adhiti Bandlamudi

Product placement has become so commonplace in television and movies that audiences can barely recognize it anymore. Coca Cola buying Columbia Pictures in 1982 marks the genesis of product placement as we know it today. Although the Big Soda company sold Columbia Pictures seven years later, they made a lasting impact on the industry. Soon, movies started to build stories around products, like the “Transformers” franchise or “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle”. The concept of product placement has become so native to the entertainment industry, that producers and screenwriters often make fun of the practice in movies and television shows.

Kevin Lincoln wrote a piece in Vulture titled “You Can Blame Soda Brands for the Rise in Product Placement in Entertainment.” He talked with us about the rise of this phenomenon and whether it works on audiences.

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