Top 10 Shameless Movie Product Placements

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Niki Neptune.

One minute, we're watching a movie and the next minute, it's a commercial. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 shameless product placements in movies. For this list, we're taking a look at products that snuck their way into films in less-than-subtle ways. We understand that companies just want to make a buck; but can we at least feel like we're being led gently to their goods and services? Some of these are just insulting in their obviousness.

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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Shameless Movie Product Placements

One minute, we’re watching a movie and the next minute, it’s a commercial. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 shameless product placements in movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at products that snuck their way into films in less-than-subtle ways. We understand that companies just want to make a buck; but can we at least feel like we’re being led gently to their goods and services? Some of these are just insulting in their obviousness.

#10: Head & Shoulders
“Evolution” (2001)

If nothing else, we learned that this specific brand of dandruff shampoo is both good for a flaky scalp AND the extermination of aliens. When extra-terrestrials land on earth and begin evolving into crazy creatures, a solution is needed to end their reign of terror – and napalm ain’t gonna cut it. Us simple folk probably wouldn’t have thought that pumping brand-name shampoo up an alien monster’s rectum would be the key to Earth’s salvation. But that’s why they pay the fellas over at Head & Shoulders the big bucks.

#9: Taco Bell
“Demolition Man” (1993)

What really stands to us out as strange about Taco Bell’s obvious name dropping throughout this film is the idea that, should a “franchise war” actually break out at some point in the future, this is the restaurant chain that would reign supreme. Nacho supreme, if you will. According to the film, ALL restaurants are Taco Bells, except these aren’t your standard Taco Bells; this is swanky dining with waiters, piano playing and dancing. Because nothing says dystopia better than a monopolized, poorly executed American interpretation of Mexican food.

#8: McDonald’s
“Big Daddy” (1999)

Apparently, screaming at the top of your lungs inside a McDonald’s wasn’t much cause for concern in the late-‘90s. But, let’s be honest: who among us hasn’t been beefed when they arrived too late for Mickey D’s breakfast, amirite? As the stand-in dad to an abandoned kid, Adam Sandler manages to loudly mention the phrase “Happy Meal” about five-times in five-seconds, while panicking in front of a crying child. Maybe he should’ve taken a page from his other movies and shouted about Subway or Popeye’s chicken while he was at it.

#7: Pepsi / Nike
“Back to the Future” franchise (1985-90)

It’s easy to find evidence of these two mega-brands throughout this film series. And, Pepsi and Nike aren’t alone, with the likes of Mattel and – of course – the DeLorean Motor Company also earning top billing in the product department. Whether Marty’s attempting to order a soda or watching his super-cool sneaks lace themselves, these brands earned themselves a place in pop-culture history – shameless as it may be.

#6: Converse / Audi
“I, Robot” (2004)

There’s almost no reason for us to care what shoes Will Smith is wearing in this movie, and yet, it’s almost unavoidable. Clearly, Converse is the footwear of choice for the put-upon cop with a robotic chip on his shoulder – especially if he’s into the vintage, retro style of the ‘90s. Oh, did we not mention it’s 2035? If that wasn’t enough, we’re treated to another scene that features him pulling up in a swank new Audi, bold as day. Concept cars and Converse? On a police offer’s salary?

#5: AOL
“You’ve Got Mail” (1998)

For those of you too young to remember, there was a time in the early days of the Internet when AOL was the popular kid on campus. Of course, this was before Google eclipsed the sun. AOL was such a hotshot company, their login greeting became the title of a rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and their product became a central plot device of the film. But that’s not all: no soft-shelled romantic comedy would be complete without a coffee shop scene. In a Starbucks, no less!

#4: Mountain Dew / General Motors
“Transformers” (2007)

We’d seen hints that Michael Bay may not be subtle with his product placements. But “Transformers” takes it to new levels of shameless: Mountain Dew and GM weren’t the only two brands to make an appearance in this Bay smash-a-thon, but theirs were certainly the least graceful. GM is all up in this movie, so much so it seems like one giant sales pitch. But the true “genius” comes when the AllSpark manages to transform a Mountain Dew vending machine into a rootin’, tootin’ robot in disguise called Dispensor.

#3: Nintendo
“The Wizard” (1989)

In case you didn’t know, Nintendo was big in the ‘80s. Like, super big. As in “hey, let’s basically make a movie about Nintendo games and game-related accessories that just plays like a 96-minute-long commercial” big. Nothing says low-key and nuanced product placement like three mega-screens with three preteens competing in a game of Super Mario Brothers 3. There’s a plot in there somewhere – actually it’s kind of a rip-off of The Who’s “Tommy” – and it’s supposed to be moving and poignant, maybe. But all we remember is NINTENDO.

#2: IHOP
“Man of Steel” (2013)

You know what happens to your childhood bully-turned-friend-after-you-save-them-from-drowning? They grow up to manage an IHOP. And it just so happens that in all your superpower glory, you swoop through and manage to cause considerable damage to said IHOP. There’s really no reason for the audience to even see an IHOP in this movie, let alone more than once. But alas, we keep getting reminded about IHOP. We get it already, and now we want pancakes.

Before we shamelessly plug our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Sega “Surf Ninjas” (1993)
- Mac PowerBook “Independence Day” (1996)
- Twinkies “Zombieland” (2009)
- Google “The Internship” (2013)
- TiVo “Tropic Thunder” (2008)

#1: McDonald’s
“Mac and Me” (1988)

Let’s be real here, the “Mac” in this movie’s title isn’t referring to the “Mysterious Alien Creature.” It’s all about MAC-Donald’s. Also Sears, Skittles and Coke. In the late-‘80s, this mega-fast-food-franchise succeeded in having a craptastic “E.T.” rip-off created around a commercial for its restaurants. Why else would there need to be an impromptu dance sequence in the parking lot of a McDonald’s? Are kids even having birthday parties at McDonald’s anymore? Who did this fool, anyway? Ronald McDonald is literally a character! But, we’re still lovin’ it.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most shameless product placement in movies? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to
1985 "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" (movie) Shannen Doherty in a tree holding a Pepsi can.