The use of common commercial trademarks in movies and TV seems very random. Sometimes a character is drinking a Coke, sometimes it's a "Dr. Cola" (fake). Sometimes a MacBook is clearly a MacBook, sometimes it's a MacBook with a sticker placed just so, to cover the emblem.

And as a subquestion, when movies/TV do use a real product, who is paying who? Is the soda company paying for that movie to feature their product, or is it the other way around? (The movie is paying to use that soda company's product) Or is no one paying at all, and there is a fair use exception for common products?

  • 3
    Related if not Dupe - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/1665/…
    – Paulie_D
    Feb 15, 2018 at 18:18
  • The answers to that question conflict each other as to whether there is a legal requirement at play or not. And also focus on explaining brand x products Feb 15, 2018 at 18:29
  • 1
    This might be closer... movies.stackexchange.com/questions/23540/… but there are a lot of similar questions on product placement
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:05
  • Note that this is a very different question when asked about television supported by advertisements versus feature films and premium television that is not ad-supported. Feb 16, 2018 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


In general, they are all paid advertising.

Product placement - Wikipedia has a lot to say on this topic, dating back to product placement in famous paintings in the 19th century.

Sylvester Stallone's Rocky films featured heavy product placement. The most obvious example appeared in Rocky III: when Rocky spends time with his young son, he asks him what he wants for breakfast. The boy responds, "Wheaties!" and, at Rocky's prompting, adds that it's "the breakfast of champions!"

But the most blatant example is almost certainly: Wayne's World - Product Placement - YouTube.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .