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Movie 'Talladega Nights' Proves Product-Placement Bonanza for Marketers

A new comedy film from Sony Corp. is proving to be a product-placement bonanza for a wide range of major marketers. The film, which opens next Friday, is called "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and stars Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver. NASCAR pitched sponsors on marketing opportunities with the full blessing and encouragement of Sony, which remained open to a variety of suggestions. The producers pitched the story, and asked us: "Do you have any thoughts on where you would like to fit in?" recalls Sarah Nettinga, managing director of film, television, and music entertainment for NASCAR. The resulting film is one of the most blatant in-your-face efforts to cross-promote consumer brands in a movie, and vice versa. Just as NASCAR itself blankets every inch of its cars, drivers, and racetracks with ads and logos, so does the movie. There are 10 "promotional partners" from a blue-chip list of marketers that includes Wonder Bread, Goodyear, Coke's Powerade, Perrier, Sprint, and Unilever, whose brands make a prominent appearance in the film.



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