Related Videos

Top 10 Product Placements In Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script Written by Fred Humphries It’s something we just can’t escape in today’s society and video games are no exception. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Product Placements in Video Games. For this list we look at instances where product placement is front and centre in a video game title but is not the base tenet for the game. For games solely aimed at being an ad for a product be sure to visit our video on the Top 10 strange ad based games. Special Thanks to our user "Daniel John" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Script Written by Fred Humphries

Top 10 Product Placements in Video Games


It’s something we just can’t escape in today’s society and video games are no exception. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 in your face product placements in gaming.

For this list we look at instances where product placement is front and centre in a video game title but is not the base tenet for the game. For games solely aimed at being an ad for a product be sure to visit our video on the Top 10 strange ad based games.

#10: Chupa Chups
“Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension” (1992)


Our protagonist Zool has landed on Earth in this platformer, only to find a world riddled with product placement. The iconic logo was actually designed by Salvador Dali and is instantly recognisable and it admittedly doesn’t look horrendously out of place as Zool’s levels run with the same candy-landscape theme throuhout. The brand name Chupa chups stems from a Spanish verb meaning ‘to suck’, and ironically, this placement does not suck anywhere near as hard as next few entries.

#9: Barack Obama
“Burnout Paradise” (2008)


This carnage filled open world racer was targeted by Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and you can definitely say that this approach to ads was out of the norm. Although a number of games ended up featuring the now president’s face, it was Burnout that gained the most attention, as the huge billboards that lined the in game roads definitely did not go for subtlety. The ads were patched out of the game at the end of the election, so even John McCain could enjoy it with all that extra time off he’d be getting.

#8: Mercedes Benz
“Mario Kart 8” (2014)


This free DLC in Nintendo’s incredibly popular kart racer was used by the German car giant to promote their new line of GLA vehicles, allowing the player to ditch the kart for a shiny new Benz. A bizarre series of adverts featuring live action versions of Mario, Luigi and Peach first introduced us to the idea of the crossover, but the corporate plug kind of feels out of place in a world of flying turtle shells and piranha plants. No doubt the cars look cool, but do we really need it in a Mario title? It’s lower on the list because you can choose not to have that car in your face by just: not downloading it.

#7: Powerade
“Enter the Matrix” (2003)


This game was released as a side story to The Matrix Reloaded and was ambitious but ultimately mired in mediocrity. So, the attempt to shoe horn in some marketing for the sports drink did no favours for a franchise already struggling to not ruin a good legacy. A TV add released at the same time unashamedly has an agent telling you to ‘drink more Powerade’ while the in game advertising comes in the form of vending machines where you can grab yourself a bottle of the good stuff. Oh and apparently their bottles are bullet proof too.

#6: Skittles
“Darkened Skye” (2002)


More like waste the rainbow, am I right? Here, you follow protagonist Skye through various fantastical lands in this action-adventure title, where brightly colored candy are the very items that you have to seek out to grow more powerful throughout the game. We knew that Skittles let you taste the rainbow, but it’s a bit of a stretch to believe they can give you magical powers that don’t involve childhood obesity or diabetes.

#5: Duracell
“Pikmin 2” (2004)


This sequel to the original real time strategy game reunites us with Captain Olimar and was equally as popular and well received, yet even this great title wasn’t afraid to embrace product placement. It wastes no time in giving the product it’s airtime as the first treasure to be retrieved is the classic copper-top battery. It seriously breaks the illusion of unfamiliarity, and considering that the treasures are human waste, it might not be the best association for this battery brand. You know you’re not supposed just to throw those out right?

#4: Verizon & Energizer
“Alan Wake” (2010)


In a game where your flashlight is the key to your survival, what else could you plug as easily as batteries for said flashlight. Apparently the people of Bright Falls never played Pikmin 2, cause Bright Falls is an Energizer town, through and through. Asdie from that less than subtle gameplay mechanic, it feels thoroughly out of place that you can stop and watch a 30 second Verizon advert on a TV in the middle of a level. Incredibly, you are even given an achievement for standing still and enduring the whole thing. Wayne and Garth would be proud of this one.

#3: Airwaves, Nokia, & Axe
“Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory” (2005)


This Tom Clancy stealth title has you playing as agent Sam Fisher, but it’s product placement couldn’t be less stealthy if it tried. It could be argued that the best product placement fits right in with the tone of the game but neon lights in a darkened area and a blimp with a chewing gum brand emblazoned upon it have really worked hard to worm their way into the game. It seems that there might be an uncanny relationship between stealth games and shameless product plugs, as we’ll see with our next entry.

#2: Doritos, Mountain Dew, Axe, Pepsi,
“Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker” (Japanese Version) (2010)


The Metal Gear action-stealth series of games are never shy to make obvious their corporate associations as Metal Gear Solid 4 showed with the iPod and Playboy, yet it is the Japanese version of Peace Walker that takes it to a whole new level. Snake can be outfitted in Mountain Dew and Axe t-shirts while Doritos and Pepsi serve as blatant in game power-ups. The man behind it all, Hideo Kojima, justifies the placements in the interests of ‘keeping it fresh’. I suppose by “it”, he means their budgetary constraints.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

Hooters
“Homefront” (2011)
Best Buy
“Need for Speed: Underground 2” (2004)
Marlboro, Pepsi
“Pole Position” (1982)

#1: Burger King
“Fight Night Round 3” (2006)


Sports and their video game counterparts are no stranger to advertising and product placement, as is the case in this boxing title. So a bit of Burger King branding on the canvas did little to stir your suspicion, it even adds a bit of authenticty. But wait what? The Burger King can now be your boxing trainer? Something is not quite right here. Well … Other than the blatant attempt to plug the fast food chain of course, he would be a horrible distraction in your corner, that perma-grin would only serve to creep you out. Plus I really wouldn’t trust any training diet that he gives you.

Do you agree with our list? With so many corporations cashing in on the popularity of video games to plug their products, we are bound to have missed an ad or two. So let us know what video games have sold out, And for more shameless plugged top 10s published daily be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs