What happens when a movie turns into a string of product placements? Of course we have always had product placements in movies, Wikipedia has a good overview, but I felt MI 4 took it to a new level. Watching MI 4 I did not see product placement, I saw a 135 minutes long commercial. After seeing Tom Cruise trying to sell Apple products in a way that made you think the director was tired of the product placement and made spoofs (if you have not seen the movie, look at Tom using an iPad with a camera to see what is around a corner…) more than anything else I keep my fingers crossed for open source companies that care about sustainable development more than simple infotainment. I like the look of Apple, BMW, Burj Khalifa, but I see a pure cynicism in the way they try to create a brand for themselves.
If you feel fascinated by beautiful things, but care about people and the planet, seeing MI4 might be a cure that can help you look for companies that have a soul you can relate to. While the cynical, fun approach of the movie probably always will appeal to quite a large number of teenagers, adults (who control most of the purchasing/procurement) might soon outgrow these long commercials as guide for their consumption patterns.
Just an idea: Maybe the list of companies in the movie mirror those who care more about simple PR more than contributing to sustainable development? Looking at the list from Brandchannel it is almost a top list of companies that focus on PR but with a business model that is very far for sustainable. Comparing this list with free waging could be interesting.
Featured brands: Apple, BBC, BMW, Bulgari, Burj Khalifa, Canon, Casio, Coca-Cola, Dell, Dos Equis, Ferrari, LG, Oakley, Panasonic, Persol, Prada, Rimowa, Zippo
If there is one thing in this long commercial it is that it brings up the issue of the nuclear threat, maybe some will even think about the issue and find their way into the peace movement, or at least see Fog of War a really good movie with a kind of action that MI4 can only dream of.
To see Michael Nyquist in the movie is interfering, I hope he can use some of the money he made to support other things of more lasting value.
When you look at MI4 it might be hard to imagine the incredible performance by Michael back in 2007 Primo Levi, “If this is a man”. He was just standing still all alone on an empty stage reading the text. One of the strongest performances on stage I have seen. In the movie it looks like he can't act. I wonder if it is to make it look like as if Tom Cruise can act, or if he is just very uncomfortable in that kind of setting?
But let’s end on a positive note. If they can manage to make commercials that are this entertaining, maybe they can agree to reduce/remove commercials ads from cities and on the web? Then we can create havens where the focus is in quality and personal development. Where we can create beautiful things and address the major challenges of today while still allow the companies and (young) people that go through that phase of life to still enjoy escapism in beautiful format. Too many of the discussions is about all or nothing when it comes to commercials. Making them visible and keeping areas safe from them will probably/hopefully be an important area the next 30 years.