MMMS 3:30 Friday
26 March 1998
There are many films that have been created throughout the extensive history of Hollywood. The advertising industry has taken advantage of the wide range of films and the extremely large audiences. Mark Crispin Miller's "Hollywood the Ad" really touches on the fact that so many films openly flaunt ads for major corporations. Be it in clothing or in consumables ads are featured in every way shape or form in contemporary cinema. One movie which Miller speaks of is Ferris Bueller's Day Off, directed and written by the unparalleled John Hughes. Not only does Hughes feature Ads in that particular film but also in many of his other films. Hughes is notorious for advertising in his movies and is a key example in the way Miller says that though the Ads are not made obvious by the characters they are obvious to the average observer.
John Hughes seems to favor using and showing certain brands in his movies over others. Two such examples are Nike and Pepsi. If there are teenage characters in his films, as there almost always are, at least one of them will be wearing Nike shoes or Nike apparel. The Breakfast Club, one of Hughes' brat pack favorites, has Nike all over the place. Emilio Esteves' character Andrew Clarke wears Nikes and you know it, he also sports a Nike T-shirt. Anthony Michael Hall's character Brian Ralph Johnson also wears Nikes. His stand out even more because of their prevalent yellow swoosh. His Nikes are even featured in the movie poster. People may not have gone to see the movie, but they definitely saw the Nike gym shoes on the poster. One of the films Miller Discusses, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is an extremely good example of films which exploit products. Pepsi gets so much time it is unbelievable. TheĀ can which a kid in the high school is collecting money for Ferris is a Pepsi can, and the drink which a girl spits on to Shermer High School's Principal, Edward R. Rooney, is a Pepsi. Nike is also featured in this film. The shoes which Jeanie Bueller wears are an old pair of Nike wrestling shoes. Ferris' mom works at a reality company and this film uses the Chicago based Koenig and Strey as its company. This is a way in which John Hughes advertises for local businesses in his films. Another local Chicago business which Hughes advertises for is a grocery store called Sunset Foods. This store is featured in the Kevin Bacon hit She's Having a Baby. Hughes at one point in his career actually wrote in a line for Pepsi. It came about in the 1990 high grossing film Home Alone. The line was directed toward Fuller McCalister, played by Kieren Culkin ( Macaulay's younger brother who is also featured in Father of the Bride 2), and it is the following: "Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi." That film also advertised American Airlines heavily. Apparently, it isn't a John Hughes film unless it has many advertisements in it and it has an ending which appeals to the vast majority of the audience.
That ending is a happy ending. Miller says that most companies choose to advertise in films which feature happy endings. John Hughes films almost always have happy endings, especially the ones where Ads are most prevalent. If the principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off got the best of Ferris, or if "she" never had a baby in She's Having a Baby, Pepsi and Sunset Foods would have been less likely to want advertising time. If the students in TheĀ Breakfast Club never broke the rules, bared their souls or touched each other in a way they never dreamed possible, Nike would have pulled the shoes right off of the actors' feet. Finally, if Kevin's parents didn't realize they left him at home and never came back in Home Alone, Pepsi and American Airlines would realize that it would be advantageous for them not to advertise in a movie without a happy ending. The absence of a happy ending in any movie for any advertiser would be a red light to stay away.
Through the years John Hughes movies have touched us, made us laugh, made us cry, made us wonder, and made us go out to buy the products advertised therein. Though most Hughes movies may be geared towards teenagers, and the teenagers do turn out in droves, advertisers still choose to place their products. Nike, Pepsi, and the numerous local businesses have most likely benefited with endless profits. Miller is right in saying that movies with happy endings always get the Ads, which explains why Hughes always get the Ads. John Hughes is on top of the ad placement industry within the film industry, if only he would be able to rise to fame with the cinema again, as he raises the profits of the advertisers in his movies.