I was one of the slightly unhinged parents caught up in the annual Xmas shopping panic this week. As I explored the toy aisles of one of our large discount retailers, I recognised a ridiculous amount of entertainment tie-ins.
I imagine most of us are accustomed to the odd product placement in our entertainment. It might be the laptop a character is using, the car they are driving, or some other visual or verbal reminder of a something we can buy.
What about when the whole premise of the movie is the product?
As a parent, this is not a new concept. Thanks to Mattel and Hasbro we’ve had Barbie and My Little Pony books, toys, apps, television shows and movie-length-straight-to-video features playing in stereo at my place for years.
So, you would imagine the last thing I’d want to do is take the kids to see a movie about Troll dolls? Right?
And you know what? Despite the parental guilt regarding the evils of consumerism, I did enjoy Trolls and yes, we were singing Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling in the car and yes, we also have Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie on our play list too.
Feature length advertisement or not, it’s hard to resist the saccharine pull of a feel good flick, particularly when it’s got parents in mind and the kids streaming down to the front of the cinema for an impromptu rave at the end.
Honest Trailers (warning: highly addictive movie parodies) said it well when they described The Lego Movie as ‘everything’s a product’ in song. Right you are Screen Junkies but I enjoyed it just the same.
Best of luck in the toy aisles this holiday season folks – rest assured they’ll be coming to a screen near you shortly.