Take a Pass on Product Placement in “Hall Pass”

Why is a car the star of this movie?

| Shana Mueller

I can’t remember why I decided to waste 1 hour and 46 minutes of my life watching the movie “Hall Pass.” It certainly wasn’t based on its reviews – Rotten Tomatoes only gives it a 34% on the tomato meter. Maybe I was just expecting more from the makers of such classic comedies as “There’s Something about Mary” or “Me, Myself & Irene. “

Why did this movie suck? Well, in addition to a talented cast including Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis and Christina Applegate, one of the main stars of the movie was the HONDA ODYSSEY.

Yep, you read that right. A minivan. Here’s just one example of the dialogue from a scene featuring Wilson, Sudeikis, and his beloved Odyssey:

I admit that working at Truth in Advertising has made me more aware of the different ways companies market to me. I now know that most of the time, if you see a branded product (meaning you can recognize a can of Coke versus a generic can of cola) featured in a movie or a TV show, there is some compensation involved.

However, I was astonished at the level of blatant and ridiculous product placement featured in Hall Pass. Was I watching a movie or a string of commercials for the popular minivan as well as a host of other brands, such as Applebee’s, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Gap, Heineken and more?

And no, Honda, at the end, I didn’t want to rush out and buy the Odyssey.

Shana Mueller

Shana handles strategic communications and advocacy efforts at She is passionate about consumer advocacy having personally observed how immigrant families are often the targets of many scams and schemes.…

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