Product Placement: These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty
From the question posed a few days ago, your answer:
Click on the page to see the cover of the trade publication, “The World of Pretzels,” which Patricia's grandfather edited.
Yes, “The Big Bounce” is the second film in as many years to feature ... pretzels!
The line is meant to trumpet the product but it almost feels disparaging, doesn't it? Because surely there were more movies with pretzels in them. It's such a standard product. It's as if some industry organization trumpeted their use of couches in a movie. Hey, we were able to make sure there were sinks visible to the public and in close association with this star who used this sink. Tell your friends!
Apparently, though, according to Patricia, scion of a pretzel empire, pretzels were basically an east-coast, Germanic thing and didn't start spreading across the country until the 1950s and '60s. Maybe Patricia's grandfather helped. Maybe Ryan O'Neal did. Who knows? But it's an indicator. Nobody wanted to be the guy who didn't get Clark Gable an undershirt in “It Happened One Night” and thus, and probably apocryphally, sunk the undergarment industry.
Do industry-wide organizations still engage in product placement (“Let's make sure there are oranges in this film!”) or are we all out for ourselves now (“Sunkist oranges!”)? The model is no longer the fear of being the undergarment industry in “It Happened One Night” but the fear of not being Reese's Piece in “E.T.”