THANKS BUT NO THANKS
Free Publicity In ‘Crazy People’ Costs Advertisers Some Pride
April 19, 1990 | By Yardena Arar, Los Angeles Daily News.
The new Paramount comedy, “Crazy People,” starring Dudley Moore as an adman fixated on truth in advertising, is filled with fake ads for real-life goods and services-none of which paid a penny for the exposure.
Of course, the exposure isn’t exactly a real-life advertiser’s dream.
“Would the Hindenburg have paid for placement in the newsreel?” AT&T spokesman Burke Stinson asked rhetorically during a conversation about the AT&T ad in the film.
Wow, 1990, how adorable! Really, think about that: There was no product placement in Crazy People, even for items that didn’t appear in ads. This would never happen today. And, Dog willing, it won’t in the awesome remake.
In the remake of Crazy People (which I just so happen to have written a treatment for) products that are given the ‘crazily honest’ approach would have to pay for the privilege.
Ever since this movie I’ve thought of Volvos as “boxy but good.” Which I still consider a compliment.
Other crazily honest ads in the movie which brands might like to see are ones that get a laugh without belittling the product.
There are entire memes on the internet for them. Such as:
Could the companies parodied in the movie sue for copyright or trademark infringement? Well, Paramount’s line in 1990 was that the ad parodies are protected by the 1st Amendment, but “in this business, you’re always prepared for the unexpected,” the producer said.
The only fake company in the original film is one for a fake brand of cigarette: “Pulmonary cancer, perhaps. Flavor, for sure!” The producer admitted this was because cigarette companies are notoriously litigious.
Will there be ads for brands that won’t pay?
Let’s hope so.