Screencap from an ad for the Audi R8 spyderEnlarge Photo
Of all the ways that companies can advertise, product placement is by far the most hilarious.
Print ads? Totally predictable. Radio, TV, billboards, web banners? Been there, done that.
But product placement catches us by surprise because it's always "BTW". As in, "I am Lady Gaga and I am ferocious and BTW I like Virgin Mobile phones and Diet Coke." Advertisers and producers may think such placements are subliminal, but nine times out of ten, they're about as subtle as a tire iron to the 'nads.
In extreme cases, products begin to overshadow the actual movie/sitcom/cop drama in which they're appearing. Carrie Bradshaw's Macbook was a good example of that phenomenon in action, as was her shrill shout-out to Magnolia Bakery. It's as if corporate logos have eaten the show.
Up till now, the alliance between Audi and the Iron Man franchise has been similarly unwieldy. Although there's plenty to look at in the film, the presence of the R8 seems awfully distracting.
But in a just-released commercial for the all-new Audi R8 spyder, the (iron) shoe appears to be on the other foot. Take a look: is it just us, or does the car seem just a tiny bit overwhelmed?