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JJ Abrams Talks Star Trek Product Placement In New Documentary April 21, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Marketing/Promotion,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The 2009 Star Trek movie broke some ground with the inclusion of product placement. In Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary opening this weekend, director JJ Abrams defends his use of product placement. 


JJ Abrams Talks Star Trek Product Placement in new Documentary

Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) has turned his focus to Hollywood for his latest documentary, taking on the subject of product placement. The documentary goes so far as to actually be completely financed by product placement, which is why it is called  POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

The documentary (which opens this weekend) also features interviews about product placement with some prominent Hollywood directors including Peter Berg, Brett Ratner, Quentin Tarantino, and JJ Abrams. The segment with JJ Abrams specifically shows the product placement in Star Trek (the scene with the Nokia carphone). For his part Abrams says while he doesn’t love it, product placement has become a necessary evil in Hollywood blockbusters. This is in contrast to Ratner who expresses a lot of support for the use of product placement. Abrams emphasized that even though he may adopt some product placement, he tries to "create a world" in his films and refuses to let them become "a marketplace for brands."

JJ Abrams talks “Star Trek” product placement in new “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” documentary (Image: Sony Classics)

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold opens Friday April 22nd. Here is the trailer.

POLL: Star Trek product placement

Product placement has become more and more prevalent in Hollywood movies, and it even worked its way into the 2009 Star Trek feature with both Nokia (in Kirk’s Corvette) and mention of Budweiser at the Iowa Bar where Kirk met Uhura. Of course in addition to the in-movie product placement, Paramount also had a number of Star Trek marketing tie-ins, including Lenova, Burger King and Esurance.

Product placement in Star Trek 2009

POLL: So what did you think of the in movie product placement in Star Trek?

Product Placement in Star Trek 2009

View Results

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Thanks to Jordan Hofman of UGO who contributed to this report


1. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - April 21, 2011

Yes. Product placement is going to happen but in Star Trek make it where we really don’t notice it to much. I know it is a way for the Movie to get money and that is fine. But for Trek. Not to much of that. Unless of course it is for the new Portable Agoniser made by the Empire.

2. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - April 21, 2011

Of course Budwiser Product placement was big time in Trek 09. Just look at the Engine Room. It must have been a Bud Brewery. Scotty loved the Big E because he could have all the Beer he wanted. I think the Big was powered by Bud. Instead of calling for Warp Drive they should have called it Bud Drive.

3. jas_montreal - April 21, 2011

I do agree with JJ, that its a “necessary evil”. They gotta fund these movies and if product placements help, then i guess do it.

4. Thorn - April 21, 2011

Its hard to get absorbed into a fantasy about tomorrow’s progress, a society devoid of the Capitalist taint that plagues our world, when you keep getting slapped in the face with ads.

5. Adam M - April 21, 2011

As it helps with cost I agree, but also it helps me feel more connected to the Trek world and more like it is a real outcome of our world and possible. I really liked the fact I could see companies I recognized and connected with.

6. jas_montreal - April 21, 2011


Good point.

7. Moe - April 21, 2011

@1 – of course the Agonizer would be made by apple. :) perhaps the iPain?

Honestly, I didn’t think the product placement in Trek was that big of a deal. I barely noticed. And in compared to other movies it was a dream. I mean it would make sense for a phone to have a brand or to order a certain beer at a bar. In a way I think or makes the Trek world a little more real and relatable. Of course that’s just my 0.02 cents. :)

8. Moe - April 21, 2011

@5 – I totally agree. I mean, why wouldn’t Budwiser still be around?

9. denny cranium - April 21, 2011

Don’t really care about product placement. Its not like Kirk and Spock were like “Dude- check out my latest tricorder from Apple- its got the latest-”
It would be cool to see some of the cool 23rd century gadgets have a Rim (BlackBerry) or Apple logo on them. Subtle stuff

10. dep1701 - April 21, 2011

Didn’t mind the Budweiser placement. Kind of expect name brand products in a bar. However, the nokia one kind of bugged me a bit. I just don’t see a lot of these current phone/data device companies making it all the way to the 23rd century ( look how many have barely made it out of the 20th to the 21st ). It struck me as a little anachronistic and I think it will really date the movie ( not unlike the “Pan Am” space clipper and “Bell Telephone” videophone in 2001: A Space Odyssey ). I especially disliked the use of the current nokia ringtone. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t have updated that tinny ringtone in two hundred years.

Although, I guess it makes as much sense as a 23rd century teen grooving to the Beastie Boys. I know that when I went joyriding in the ’80s, I was definitely rocking out to Aram Khachaturian and Tommaso Albinoni…( well, okay, at times I was, but that’s because I’m a SF nerd, and those tracks were used in soundtracks to shows and films I loved ).

Usually product placement doesn’t bother me, but I guess because it was so new to Star Trek, it kinda stuck out to me. But I didn’t let it ruin the experience of the movie for me.

11. VZX - April 21, 2011

Hey Anthony, you should of has a choice in the poll as “I really don’t care about product placement.” Because, I, uh, really don’t care either way.

Like Abrams, I feel it’s a necessary evil. So, deal with it. I’m surprised Spurlock would care enough to make a documentary about it.

12. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 21, 2011

Prior to JJ Trek, I think the movie with the most product placement was Trek V. It was subtle, but it was there, and all in the Yosemite scenes. Kirk’s rock climbing shoes were specially made Reeboks. Kirk and McCoy were wearing clothing made by Levis. And in the ending credits, even Jack Daniels was thanked, because the guys were drinking “Tennessee Whiskey!”

I think it was Shat himself who commented at the time that Levis would still be around in the 23rd century. I agree, I thought it was kinda cool.

13. Red Dead Ryan - April 21, 2011

I didn’t mind the product placement in the last movie because it was mainly in the background, or had a legitimate use, such as the Nokia phone during the scene where Kirk steals his uncle’s car. As long as its done subtly and as a nod to the real world, then no problems. But if they go “American Idol” on us, then the movie will be ruined.

14. Dave - April 21, 2011

Actually, the biggest use of product placement so far probably was in ST IV The Voyage Home. Ordering Michelob in the restaurant, Scotty working the iMac, and the great scene in front of the Yellow Pages wall ad. Easier to fit in in a time travel story, but one wonders if in the new time line Kirk might have been fist pumping to the music on the bus instead of complaining…

15. Daoud - April 21, 2011

The Nokia phone, like the automobile were Uncle Frank’s antiques. That was the only way the phone made sense.
Brewing in Budweis goes back to the 13th century, with the Budweiser brands dating to the 1870’s. If the idea of a Budweiser beer in general has lasted 900 years, and the trademraked beers for 140 years, it’s not unreasonable to suppose another 243 years and there still will be something like it.
How about the product placement in TOS… the IDIC pendant that Roddenberry intended to sell through his Lincoln Enterprises? It goes back a long way!

16. Reign1701A - April 21, 2011

Hahahaha Nader…”to sleep”

17. nony - April 21, 2011

I actually thought the product placement in ST was amusing on a certain wink-wink level because I’ve always associated the standard Nokia ringtone, which we heard, with the show “Alias” – also a J.J. creation. Sydney Bristow got a lot of phone calls. *g*

18. TParadox - April 21, 2011

I think the product placement in ST2k9 had a lot more room for subtlety, but as a concept, I’m fine with it. Nokia car phone no, Uhura’s order fine.

19. Harry Ballz - April 21, 2011

What, just like how Stanley Kubrick included Pan Am in 2001: A Space Odyssey, only to have the real life Pan Am airlines go out of business in 1991?

Talk about yanking you out of that movie when watching it now!!!

20. Chain of Command - April 21, 2011

Bud-gineering was the biggest example of product placement! LOL.

21. gingerly - April 21, 2011

I found the NOKIA product placement obnoxious, but I know it can work and even be iconic even when obvious, Reese’ Pieces in ET, anyone?

I don’t know, it has to strike a balance between authentic usage and not being so obvious a push.

22. cd - April 21, 2011

The product placement was mildly annoying, but it definitely wasn’t the worst thing about the movie.

23. Tribbler - April 21, 2011

It’s not like product placement was new to the Star Trek universe with the Abrams film. It goes back at least as far as Deep Space Nine and its endless promotion of self-sealing stembolts.

24. Charla - April 21, 2011

Didn’t bother me, I found it curious they still served “Jack” in the future! Thought it was funny.

The advertising kept it a little grounded for me, making the experience seem more realistic.

25. Will_H - April 21, 2011

It didn’t really bring the movie down but it’s kind of lame. Doesn’t really fit with Star Trek’s vision of the future. Capitalism doesn’t exist with humanity in the future after all. Still, considering all of the other small things I can pick at with the movie, this is low on my list of concerns.

26. Phobos - April 21, 2011

I’m ok with product placement if its passive i.e., I dont want Spock saying: “mmm I love Budweiser beer!”. It the product is in the background, quiet, then its ok.

Our entire society is surrounded with advertising, it is part of our way of life. There is no shame in producing & promoting, it is what drives our wealth.

27. cd - April 21, 2011

25 – The movie itself didn’t really fit Star Trek’s vision of the future, so it doesn’t really matter if the product placement did or not.

28. Keachick - April 21, 2011

It is officially Easter now, Good Friday in fact, in NZ right now. This is one of three and a half days in an entire year where there is no advertising allowed on television or radio by law, although subtle sponsorship seems to be deemed OK as in eg a bank’s logo shown in a corner of the screen of a programme just as it is starting. A station may advertise its own upcoming programmes (limited amount) but that is all. It is bliss!

This means that programmes are not interrrupted every 8 minutes or so with up to 4 minutes of ads where they are screaming at you about products that they say you’ve just got to have.,. My senses are severely assaulted and insulted.

Perhaps this more subtle method of advertising via product placement, which is just a part of the script’s scenery, may be better, in that you are not constantly taken right out of the programme by some quite insane, nauseating and very irritating advertising, which interrupts the flow of the programme’s story.

I didn’t mind the Nokia in Star Trek 09. All they had to do was replace the ringtone with the Dr Who theme music (our Nokia answers with Dr Who music) or better still, have its ringtone play the Alexander Courage original theme music to TOS. Oh well, maybe next time…:)

29. Buzz Cagney - April 21, 2011

Didn’t like it. Not in Trek. No.
Next question?

30. Dr. Cheis - April 21, 2011

I liked the product placement because it centered entirely around civilian lifestyle, which is something we haven’t seen much of in Star Trek. Once the guys got off into space there wasn’t a single product seen, which matched what we’ve seen in Star Trek and are familiar with. They did a good job of transitioning into the world of Trek that way.

I wouldn’t expect to see any similar placement in the sequel unless there are any scenes taking place in the “civilian realm,” which seems unlikely given how hard they worked to put everybody in space. Maybe if there was something with Carol Marcus? Who knows? (actually, I think boborci knows…)

31. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - April 21, 2011

@4 –

The “taint” of capitalism existed in the TOS universe, though…just watch some of the episodes, notably “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

32. Bearded Riker - April 22, 2011

I didn’t even notice there was product placement in the new Star Trek movie so…if it’s done where I don’t notice it then I’m fine! Ha! But really, what product placement is the sequel going to have? It’s set in the future in another timeline and there was a Third World War…so I doubt any of the current companies would exist after, you know, a NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE. :P

33. Lukas Ketner - April 22, 2011

@4, If not for the ‘taint’ of capitalism, many classic television shows, including Star Trek would never have been made for us to enjoy in the first place.

Hating on capitalism has become very fashionable lately, but Capitalism has made the U.S. entertainment industry the giant that it is today. It’s one in which a big-budget version of Trek can not only be made, but made sustainable via the larger paying audience.

That said, I’m looking forward to Morgan’s smug look at the brands behind the curtain. Supersized was hard to argue with, and that’s one of the biggest compliments a documentary can get IMHO.

34. Lukas Ketner - April 22, 2011

I should add that if anyone hates the advertising that pays largely for their entertainment, they are welcome to pay the balance out of their own pocket. I’d consider it a kindness since I don’t like watching commercials any more than others do.

35. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - April 22, 2011

I don’t hate product placement when it is subtle and makes sense, but the Nokia example in ST2009 exhibits neither quality. The appearance of the brand name in the close up made the film seem momentarily like a commercial, and right now it’s not even clear Nokia will be in the phone business in 2 years let alone 200.

Good examples: Pan Am, ATT, and Hilton in 2001, every example in Minority Report, Coca Cola in Blade Runner, Cisco in 24.

What would make sense in Star Trek at all? It’s hard to believe almost any company would continue to exist, especially tech companies, after all that time and all the terrible happenings in between. The only companies that come to mind are the ones that, as of now, have been around that long. Ironically, these would be like beer companies, only not Budweiser, but Guinness. There should have been a few stouts being chucked about in the bar scene!

36. Eff It - April 22, 2011

Commercials & product placement ARE lame, but it’s Star Trek.

Not Citizen Kane.

Not Ulysses.

Not 2001: A Space Odyssey

Not art.

Star Trek is, has been, and always shall be….consumer product.

Despite any pretensions of Star Trek being serious science fiction…ummm….no. Never was, isn’t now.

That’s what a TV-show IS – they exist solely so we’ll watch the commercials, so we’ll buy advertised products. Putting ads in a movie remake of a TV show isn’t really that big a deal.

And that’s ok. I like Star Trek, & I LOVED the new film. It was fantastic, but is is somehow “above” product-placement?


37. Cyberghost - April 22, 2011

Hey 2. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire –

The engine room was filmed in a brewery. I think for the next movie, maybe they should build a REAL engine room. It could be fairly easily done with some props, CGI and a green screen. But I don’t think that’s going to happen, because JJ is so proud of coming in under budget, plus he really liked the way it turned out, and he said he would use it again. And I think it was the budweiser brewery.
If this was mentioned further up in the comments section by someone else, my apologies.

38. Captain Rickover - April 22, 2011

Star Wars didn’t need any product placement
Nor did Avatar
Nor did any of the older Star Trek movies or TV shows.

And Star Trek-fact is: There is no more capitalismn on EARTH (not the entire federation) in the 23rd century.

I thing product placement is OK for a movie set in our timeframe, but not in a movie set in the future.

39. trekker 5 - April 22, 2011

hey J.J,we can’t wait 4 u 2 tell us ur gonna take a lead role in Trek12!!! (just thought u should know,we’re waiting!)

40. MrPhil - April 22, 2011

Bit of a necessary evil, I’m not keen on it, but if it gets the movie made, fair do.
That said, worse offenders are now the Bond films. Casino Royale had me squirming in my seat, every car was a Ford or Ford owned brand, the Sony logo appeared squarely on screen on mobiles and laptops and lingered way too long. And the worst one…
Vesper Lynd:…”former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches.”
[Glances at his wrist]
Vesper Lynd: “Rolex?”
James Bond: “Omega.”
Vesper Lynd: “Beautiful.”


41. MrPhil - April 22, 2011

@38 – no product placement in Avatar? Shares in Unobtainium went through the roof ;-)

42. Christopher Roberts - April 22, 2011

Ratner? LOL. 24th carot support indeed.

43. Jeyl - April 22, 2011

Product placement is distracting. I don’t watch Star Trek to see what’s real.

44. Weerd1 - April 22, 2011

@38 Captain Rickover has a point. With the possible exception of Guinness how many products from 300 years ago is anyone still hawking? Three-hundred years from now, after another world war and two centuries of galactic expansion, I would like to think there are things better than Nokia and Bud.

I mean, there’s Slusho.

45. chrisfawkes.com - April 22, 2011

^ yeah but people are buying those things now.

46. Bird of Prey - April 22, 2011

While we know that humanity in the Trekverse has abolished our current capitalist economical system and replaced it with something better, we are never told exactly how the economy in Kirk’s era works instead. The absence of capitalism as we know it may not necessarily mean that there is no place for brand names anymore.

47. CmdrR - April 22, 2011

35 – Don’t forget the big honkin’ space plane.

Pan Am, the Wings of Man. Well, until the company went tits up.

48. Charla - April 22, 2011

# 46- Yeah, what you said… :) Looks like we need something better now!

49. captain_neill - April 22, 2011

I cringed at the Nokia plug in sequence of Star Trek XI.

A freind and i joked about the Nokia ring tone being on the Starfleet communications. We were joking not thinking that the ring tone would be heard. Imagine our surprise when it popped up in the film, Fortunately it was not on the Enterprise.

Oh it really adds to the realism doesn’t it that Budweiser is still around in the 23rd Century. Sorry for the sarcasm but I am not a fan of product placement in films. It does NOT ruin a film but hell I do roll my eyes at it.

50. captain_neill - April 22, 2011

Its one thing to make Trek a bit more contemporary for the mainstream audience but the original Star Trek is 2266-2269, 300 years away. Almost 300 years in the future, why must we have Budweiser to ground it?

51. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - April 22, 2011

The way I see it. A Little is ok. But not to much and not interfere in the movie. No mattr what there will be some product placement. Just kept to a min on Star Trek.

52. svenden - April 22, 2011

I don’t mind product placement, but it shouldn’t distract me from the movie. The Nokia placement totally pulled me out of the film and sent my mind on a mini rampage about distracting product placement. When I refocused on the film, I’d missed several scenes. I think the Nokia ringtone had a lot to do with this.

53. Phil - April 22, 2011

50. My guess is because beer is timeless.

54. Blake Powers - April 22, 2011

I guess the true question is.. Would you accept more product placement if it meant that the engine room could NOT look like a brewery?

55. Daoud - April 22, 2011

Amen Phil. Budweiser beers go back to the 1200’s as I noted. And the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser and Budvar Budweisers go back to the 1870’s.
One can always consider the Demolition Man approach. “In the future, all restaurants are called Taco Bell.” Budweiser means a particular kind of beer (from Budweis/Budowijce): their methods have been around 900 years. I’m sure Pilseners and Ports and Draughts will still be around in 243 more. (Taking the bar scene as being in 2254.)

56. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - April 22, 2011

Its inevetable just make it not that noticible

57. Simon - April 22, 2011

#33 – SUpersize hard to argue with?

McDonald’s does NOT advertise or ask customers to eat there *every meal, every day*.
Also, not everybody has the same metabolism.

Spurlock’s basically a communist.

58. tman - April 22, 2011

The whole damn film was an add for Apple.
Spurlock thinks he’s an investigative journalist?! Did a shoddy job if you ask me.
There’s got to be some money trail from Jobs to JJ out there to be found…
Maybe a 23% discount on a high end Macbook or maybe a FREE iPad2 HELD at the store for him.

59. davidfuchs - April 22, 2011


Congrats, you win the hyperbole award!

Perhaps you also want to call Spurlock a fascist too? :P

In regards to the thread: In the future, where humanity was obliterated by a world war and now no longer functions based on a modern capitalist structure… adding brands makes no sense in any fictional way. In 30 years Nokia will probably be gone and the movie will seem dated, a la 2001 as others above have mentioned.

How much do you really think that Nokia paid for that… $2 million? $5? Okay, so have ten seconds less space jump footage to make up the cost difference.

I would prefer far less product placement in general, but its overt existence in most of Star Trek is laughable.

60. Dee - lvs moon' surface - April 22, 2011

Well … there was a time that ” TOS “suggested new inventions to market …

I actually filter all such advertising or “product placement “… do not ask me how … I think my subconscious does not like it … but of course I’m not naive and it’s part of the deal … the only thing I ask is that producers do not go overdo the thing!

:-) :-)

61. OneBuckFilms - April 22, 2011

I’m not a fan of product placement by any means, but as a Star Trek fan, I though I’d offer some in-universe explanations of sorts:

– Nokia Music/Comm system in the car

Kirk’s Uncle (the guy who owns the car) is a retro-nut, and wanted an authentic 20th/21st Century brand for his car stereo/comm system.

Unfortunately, his tastes are not great, and he really knows nothing about the period his “antique” was built in, and chose a brand from the wrong period.

– Budweiser “Classic” and other Budweiser items at the Starfleet Bar

Although the original Budweiser company had disappeared in the post atomic horror etc., a history buff and beer entrepeneur resurrected the brand, among others, in the late 22nd Century, and the company has thrived since then.

Since Synthehol has not been discovered yet (23rd Century), alcoholic beverages are still capable of inducing intoxication.

62. Phil - April 22, 2011

No issues with product placement. It’s just silly to assume that corporate and cultural icons will be completely purged from humanitys collective consciousness in a couple of hundred years.

63. HARRISON!!! - April 22, 2011

@14. Dave – April 21, 2011
“the biggest use of product placement so far probably was in ST IV…Scotty working the iMac” To quote Mr Sulu from the same film “I’m afraid you’re a number of years too early for that.”

This film was set (largely) when it was released, 1986; the first iMac (the bulbous G3 version with a CRT monitor) didn’t come out until 1998, twelve years later!

The computer that Scotty uses at Plexicorp was a Macintosh Plus.

64. Robman007 - April 22, 2011

Product placement does not bother me….unless it sinks to Casino Royale levels. That was just annoying at times..

What I would rather see in the new Trek flick is building on the relationship between Kirk, Spock AND MCCOY! Not just Kirk and Spock. McCoy was an important piece of the puzzle, especially in his relationship with Spock, which was just as deep as Kirk and Spocks. Build on the Trio and not just the duo and I’ll be happy as can be.

I know it would not have been possible based on the script, but I would have loved to see Nimoy Spock interact with Urban’s McCoy. Whatta hoot that would have been.

65. The Optimist - April 22, 2011

I don’t know about everyone else but Im very happy to see that beer is still around by the 23 century! Further proof of Gene Roddenberry’s vision that the future is going to be a pretty cool place to live!

And if you don’t like beer there is scotch, wine, Romulan Ale, and that sissy drink Synthihal(spelling?)

66. Jack - April 22, 2011

Is it really needed to pay for these movies? I get that argument for TV shows, which rely on advertising anyway. I wonder how much money product placement brings in.

In 2009, it helped anchor Star Trek to our world, and, yeah, the phone could have been an antique. But, I’m hoping for little to none in the next movie, because, yeah, it really takes you out of the future.

67. Kev -1 - April 22, 2011

Star Trek made a point that society had developed into some form which is less money-obsessed than at present. TNG developed this when several humans were found in space; one man wanted to check his stock portfolio. Of course he found this meaningless. The inclusion of 21st century products contradicts the series (TOS) basic premise. Why should Star Trek be promoting beer, anyway ?(I don’t mind one once in a while, and I’m old enough). In TOS history, for all we know, these corporations may not even exist anymore. And, to end my rant, didn’t the producers take record (for Trek) salaries? I’m not saying they didn’t deserve it, but if they had that kind of money, why the need for (obvious) product plugs?

68. OneBuckFilms - April 22, 2011

67 – There is nothing in TOS timeframe that says that some corporations did NOT exist.

We’ve seen Scotty drunk, Oreilly drunk, we certainly have bars, so why not drinks manufacturers?

They may not have physical money, but they do have trade, and they do have alcohol.

In the TOS timeframe, we know of freighters, allusions to trade routes and the like.

The federation DOES have some kind of currency: The Credit. Possibly completely electronic in nature. Cyrano Jones SELLS those Tribbles, and the bartender does some business dealings to resell them at a profit. :)

69. OneBuckFilms - April 22, 2011

RE: the reason for Product Plugs:

They needed far more money for the film than cutting their salaries could provide, perhaps?

70. Robman007 - April 22, 2011

68: The idea of Star Trek not having currency or making money was introduced in Star Trek IV. The Original Series was rife with the idea that they got paid and used money to buy things. I know it was meant as a joke of sorts, but Kirk often times told Scotty that he earned his pay for the week.

So, as far as things are concerned, the Federation (or United Earth..lol) used money and the starfleet members earned pay at least up until Star Trek IV.

71. Robman007 - April 22, 2011

Oh and in Star Trek VI, Scotty bought a boat…..

72. Thomas Jensen - April 22, 2011

Roddenberry rejected cigarettes, but heck, it’s an alternate universe, so have the crew smoke ’em.

73. Phil - April 22, 2011

All right, some really weird stuff if floating into this thread..:

Producers salaries: What, these guys should work for minimum wage? Producers, performers, athletes put in tens of thousands of uncompensated hours to hone their craft, and typically their peak earning years are a fraction of the average working guy, so why shouldn’t they make their money?
ST economy: I’m okay with the ST economy being “different”, but the idea that a medium of exchange is not necessary, or that replicators will magically make stuff appear from nothing is just stupid. Like explainations for warp drive, it’s not a bad idea to not waste a lot of time trying to figure this out, too.
Capitalism in general: Ironic that the folks complaining about it all seem to have all the woderful gadgets capitalism has produced, and the people currently fighting for their freedom can’t wait to get their hands on it.

74. Gary Evans - April 22, 2011

I am unsure if the product placement is a great idea for the business being placed. We all saw the Nokia phone. But in since the 2009 movie! Nokia slipped to 26% market share, versus 41% a year or so ago. Not implying Nokia is losing money, they had a profitable quarter BUT as share shrinks so do profits.

The placement that was poorly advised, and poorly executed was the Budweiser Brewery as an engine room. Looked like a brewery and a factory structure, plain and simple. A space engine room would likely NEVER be built or equipped like that brewery room! Worse yet, the cleaning/service bolted on covers looked out of place.

This jarring sequence (and the Willie Wonka rip) ruined the story for me; the other unflattering and annoying feature was the use of too much l;ens flare and too bright a bridge. Look at ships, subs and air traffic controller setups today. These are structured, staffed,organized and lighted to do a job – not glare into the crew’s eyes or cause headaches to the viewers.

I would ask that JJ and his staff revise the engine room. I think a micro-brew room might work better. Just the Bud plant is obviously a high productivity factory and totally unbelievable. None of this means I won’t see the 2nd movie, but past that, it depends upon how the story matures and the “sets” improve. No, I do NOT expect the TOS nor TNG, nor VOY, nor NX-01 engine rooms. Even a nuclear ship engine room would be more evocative for the viewer, IMO.

Must remember, warp drive is NOT about brute force, but creating enough energy to warp of fold the fabric of space. Make it look sci-fi NOT 21st century brewery.

Possibly cover he brewery vats with green cloth, and add a consistent engine room CGI, saving the overall largeness effect for chase or multi-person scenes.

Or not, as Paramount chooses.

75. Trek Nerd Central - April 22, 2011

What I dislike about product placement is the way it “takes us out” of the world created by the movie — especially in a sci-fi or fantasy flick. It’s so jarring.

76. Shannon Nutt - April 22, 2011

Product placement is fine as long as it’s not “obvious”. What IS obvious, you ask? The most infamous use is Bill Cosby in LEONARD PART VI carefully placing a coke bottle so that the label is in perfect alignment with the viewer. I agree those SONY plugs in CASINO ROYALE are pretty annoying too.

As for the Budweiser nod in STAR TREK…that seemed more like a fun “joke” – Hey, they still have Bud in the 23rd century!

77. Kirk, James T. - April 22, 2011

It made the world more real and more familiar – there’s no reason to believe that in the 23rd century, companies we take for granted today wouldn’t be around – even after nuclear war.

and I agree, product placement is fine as long as its not obvious, lets take time out from destroying the Klingons to talk about the iPad, we use them in Starfleet!… that would be wrong but Nokia and Budweiser in Trek 09 was fine, superbly done – as was the Slusho-mix!

78. Anthony L. - April 22, 2011

@ 36 “That’s what a TV-show IS – they exist solely so we’ll watch the commercials, so we’ll buy advertised products. Putting ads in a movie remake of a TV show isn’t really that big a deal.”

I know that is how is use to be. This is why there are product placements more and more though.

I can’t remember the last time I willing sat through or paid attention to TV ads. I change the channel, watch it on demand, or Tivo and skip through, or I check my email or texts ect ect. People are doing everything they can to avoid the ads. That’s why they now seek to put them in the shows so you can’t look away.

79. Vultan - April 22, 2011

Yeah, there’s no reason to believe Nokia or Budweiser wouldn’t be around a few hundred years from now. Just look at the 2019 world of “Blade Runner” and the product placement of Pan-Am and Bell System and Atari and RCA as companies dominant in their respective fields…

oh… yeah… right.

80. Vultan - April 22, 2011

But there’s the movie “2010: The Year We Make Contact” having the Soviet Union product placement…

oh… yeah… that didn’t work either.

I guess we’ll have to see if “Back to the Future Part 2″ was right about Mattel, Pepsi and Texaco being here in 2015. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for flying cars and hoverboards.

81. Simon - April 22, 2011

#76 – At least the Sony gadgets worked in respect to what was happening on screen.

The worst for me is the scene in TOP GUN where Maverick & Goose are standing outside Viper’s office, just after the tower flyby. The officer comes storming out and hits a crewman carrying several drinks which naturally spill onto the officer’s shirt. HOWEVER when the crewman hits him, he turns the tray to make sure the Pepsi logo on the tray is visible to the camera as he falls. Arrrgh!

/Coke drinker. “Leonard Part 6″ was just plain BAD and I paid money to see it. No internet back then to warn us of the horrid nature of that film.

82. Keachick - April 22, 2011

#36 – “That’s what a TV-show IS – they exist solely so we’ll watch the commercials, so we’ll buy advertised products. Putting ads in a movie remake of a TV show isn’t really that big a deal.”

That is maybe what it has been in the US, but not necessarily elsewhere. One of the best producers of television shows of all genres, including an even older franchise than Star Trek, namely DR WHO, is Britain’s BBC. That was/is a commercial free broadcaster, state-owned, and taxpayer funded. It makes any money from the sale of its films. Many of its programmes, past and present, are very, very good. I think the “mission statement” (if you will) of these broadcasters, including our own (NZ), is different from most in the States. It has been about informing, educating, entertaining. The shows were/are made for different reasons, and not just to allow advertisers to get seen. On BBC1 and 2, still, as far as I know, advertisers don’t get a look in.

#72 – “Roddenberry rejected cigarettes, but heck, it’s an alternate universe, so have the crew smoke ‘em.”

Bad, bad idea. Roddenberry rejected cigarette smoking because in space, basics like fresh, clean air are at a premium and the least amount of preventable contamination is a must. No doubt the air is cleansed and recycled, and the less contaminants put out, the less work/strain on these vital functions. It is a no-brainer! I doubt any of the present astronauts smoke and if they do, they would not be doing it while in space!

83. Jack - April 22, 2011

73. Who says producers, crew and talent shouldn’t make money?

Like Simon just said, it needs to work with what’s happening on screen.

I wonder if Pan Am paid to get used in 2001? Or provided flights or something. It totally made sense in the film, because, heck, it was just a routine flight into space. I just wonder how much money product placement actually adds or how much it helps to trim the budget. The ads in Blade Runner probably added money, but they were also a huge part of the film, visually. It made sense in those movies and fit the stories, but not so much in all movies set in the past or future. Or heck, even in movies set in the present. Sometimes it works.

Are they relying on the money from these? Good question. I doubt it. Does it help? I’m sure.

I worked in television and writers were asked to shape entire stories around products, beyond just having the characters use a particular brand of something that they’re already using in the story — Dell computers, or Nokia cell phones or x appliances or a bottle of booze or whatever. But this was like, “Hey, can we get a story around neutrogena skin cream, or maybe have more scenes in every episode where the characters are moisturizing?” It was terrible. And television budgets are nothing like movie budgets, so it was heavily pushed by the network.

If it’s a case of character x needs to talk on his phone, yeah, it makes sense, in films and movies, to see if you can make a deal with a company. Same with cars etc. Or if you already need ads in teh background, you might as well sell them. But when it’s clunkily done, and it really feels like, “hang on, let me call the kidnapper on my (raises voice) Samsung Smart Phone,” it’s potentially awful. I think Smallville had plots that depended heavily on OnStar and Stride gum. Lame. Fringe sometimes gets a little, “Hey look, a Ford lets you hear your text messages while you’re driving!” (which is cool, the Ford part, by the way) but it’s passable.

Star Trek movies have had a bunch of tie ins, I think — I still have the iron-on Ilia decal from my The Motion Picture Happy Meal. And I remember those Kraft marshmallow dispensers. I have no problem with all that. But do I want to see the food dispenser in the next movie pumping out Quarter Pounders? Would Spock’s drink order at Starbucks give me great insight into the character?

In real life, if we met alien civilizations and visited their worlds, it wouldn’t be long before there were 7-11s on every corner of their floating cities.

PS. I hope they got money from Dom Perignon for Generations (and that was also fine in the movie).

84. Brett Campbell - April 22, 2011

I liked the product placement in the original “Repo Man”: “Food.” “Drink.”

85. AdamTrek - April 22, 2011

As long as JJ doesn’t put an OTIS tag inside the turbolifts, I’ll be fine with a little PP every once in a while.


86. Keachick - April 22, 2011

A lot of the time, advertisements and product placements just tell me what products I should try to avoid!

87. Thorny - April 22, 2011

As long as it is natural, I don’t really mind product placements. The placements I really despise are the blatant commercials that the TV series “Bones” has been shoehorning into its scripts the last couple of years, showing off Toyota car functions and Microsoft phone and cloud features. The Nokia carphone and Bud at the bar in Trek 2009 didn’t bother me. Now if they can just make Engineering not look like the place that Bud came from, I’ll be happy.

88. Thorny - April 22, 2011

80… Back to the Future 2 will probably be right about at least one thing: Miami baseball. When the Florida Marlins’ new stadium is finished next year in Miami (on the old Orange Bowl site), the team will be renamed Miami Marlins.

89. dmduncan - April 22, 2011

78: “I can’t remember the last time I willing sat through or paid attention to TV ads.”

I can’t remember the last time I willingly sat through or paid attention to TV.

90. Magic_Al - April 22, 2011

Doesn’t Star Trek take place after at least one future world war and the elimination of nation states? Then society became a meritocracy. I don’t see corporate brands surviving except as historical curiosities and possibly some would be used in tribute to truly historic innovators in their fields.

91. Phil - April 22, 2011

90. There is a unified goverance, I guess something like the UN, except that it actually works, but there isn’t any suggestion in Trek that nations are no more. Several characters have been identified by their country of origion, so I’m guessing they still exist. Speaking of product placement, I think it was either Stalingran or Leningrad that was referenced by Chekov a couple of times in TOS….oh, well..

92. Simon - April 22, 2011

#89 – Yeah. I watched TV until it was mainstream.

93. HARRISON!!! - April 22, 2011

@90. Magic_Al – April 22, 2011 – Nationalism & cultural conflict have been eliminated by Star Trek’s future – with all humans seeing each other as their equals & all “from Earth” the same as them – but concepts of national & cultural *identity* still exist.

For instance; if one takes the Star Trek expanded universe as seen in the novels as true, both the positions of British monarch & US president still exist in the future, just as purely ceremonial positions with no major political power.

The United Earth organisation is run by a parliament of ministers & the leader is the Prime Minister of Earth, an executive office within the administration of the President of the Federation, hierarchically related to, but separate from it.

94. virgin vulcan basement nerd - April 22, 2011

The product placement in Trek 2009 was one truly awful and gaudy imo. Budweiser classic? *rolls eyes* Just being reminded of it pisses me off.

95. Devon - April 22, 2011

I was fine with the product placement. It was done and out of the way in the first 20 minutes of the film. Star Trek: The Voyage Home really threw it out there.

96. Basement Blogger - April 22, 2011

Product placement doesn’t bother me as long as it makes sense. So I get the NOKIA placement in Trek 09. It made sense. He was answering a phone device in the car. Now if the companies start to dictate artistic decisions then I have a problem. That’s where the commerce end now dominates the artistic side and the film becomes a commercial. I hear they’re doing it on soap operas. (Check out Colbert’s funny piece on product placement in soap operas.)

Hey remember the scene in Wayne’s World 2? Where Wayne turns to the camera and starts doing product placement commercials. It was a riot. (Montage of product placement with clip from movie below.)

1. Montage demonstrating product placement through the years in many media (Has Wayne’s World 2 clip.)

2. Hilararious piece by Trekker Stephen Colbert making fun of soap operas that do product placement badly.

97. cd - April 22, 2011

The Nokia product placement and its potential for dating the movie reminds me of the ‘Lost in Space’ remake and the jarring Silicon Graphics product placement.
Star Trek 2009 reminds me very much of the Lost in Space remake, unfortunately.

98. Jason - April 22, 2011

The thing with the ST09 product placement is that it was done in a right way. My argument FOR product placement is it needs to be done in a subtle way, for example, Young Kirk uses an MP3 player that happens to be Nokia, and Uhura orders a Budweiser at the bar. Neither time did they turn to the camera and start talking to the audience about how great said product was. That’s how product placement should be done, in a real world sort of way. But please, no Pepsi signs on an alien planet or Starbucks Coffee in space.

99. Dom - April 23, 2011

I was actually delighted to see product placement in ST09. After years of seeing the 24th Century Federation portrayed as a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ that swung wildly between communism and fascism, banning its citizens from making money and banning free enterprise (pun inevitable) it’s great to see a future where people can work for a living and companies can flourish.

ST09 gave us a glimpse at something we hadn’t seen in Trek in a long time: ordinary civilians. And by that, I don’t mean a bloke from Z-Cars hanging out in a Californian vineyard pretending to be in France, but the sort of guys and girls who drive motorbikes, communicate on Nokia carphones and hang out in bars, drinking Bud in the evening, making a living in local industry. I come from a dockyard/naval port city and can appreciate the sort of life people would live in the future Riverside, building starships and working in all the ancillary industries. And the presence of Slusho is just plain cool!

For me, all this grounds Kirk and his colleagues in reality before they head off into deep space, which is true fantasy. I hope we get plenty more product placement, both real and imaginary next time. Perhaps Phaser is a brand name. Maybe Tricorder is a corporation that builds scanners for different requirements. To me, that’s cool and stays away from dodgy ‘utopias!’

It shows that product placement, if handled correctly, can actually benefit a film.

As for the Engineering issue, I reckon most people wouldn’t have complained if they hadn’t known it was the Budweiser plant. I liked engineering being covered in pipes. It was like a giant industrial boiler room. Let’s face it, there have to water pipes, because how else are they going to flush the toilets? ;)

100. Dom - April 23, 2011

38. Captain Rickover

‘Star Wars didn’t need any product placement’

Star Wars is ancient heroic fantasy using space ships. It’s not science fiction.

‘Nor did Avatar’

Avatar is a fantasy cartoon made by an egomaniac bend on destroying the film industry.

‘Nor did any of the older Star Trek movies or TV shows.’

STIV had loads. TOS had the IDIC medal to promote Lincoln Enterprises.

‘And Star Trek-fact is: There is no more capitalismn on EARTH (not the entire federation) in the 23rd century.’

Simply not true. TOS is loaded with references to crew members getting paid for their jobs. TNG promoted an idealised ‘Soviet Federation of Planets’, but taking one joke from STIV as evidence that the Federation has banned money is silly.

‘I thing product placement is OK for a movie set in our timeframe, but not in a movie set in the future.’

If we’re going to get into space properly, it’ll be private enterprise (Virgin being an example) that’ll get us there, not limited setups such as NASA, ESA and their descendants! If anything, capitalism is likely to flourish on the final frontier as the likes of Exxon-Shell, BP and so on build on the wealth of materials in the solar system and the likes of Nokia (already 166 years old) will deal with the electronics required.

101. Anthony Thompson - April 23, 2011

Product Placement is really old news. I remember it first being used blatantly in the original superman movie (though it was probably done well before that).

As for Trek, it takes you out of the movie. Because it doesn’t ring true. How many current – day brands/ companies do you know of which existed in 1811? Anyone?

102. Phil - April 23, 2011

According to Wiki, over 21,000 companies have been around over 100 years, most in banking, manufacturing and hospitality. It’s a straw man arguement for retail brands, because it’s only in the last 60 years or so where the middle class started to earn the cash that has let the retail industry thrive.

103. Rocket Scientist - April 23, 2011

I’d prefer this not be done, but the way they did it was relatively painless. It was there one moment then it was gone. Now, the Beastie Boys?

104. Red Dead Ryan - April 23, 2011

The James Bond films have been using product placement in their movies from day one (Dr. No). The Aston Martin DB-5 is the prime example. Also, those movies have featured various kinds of watches, cigarettes, phones, pistols, computers etc.

105. Dom - April 23, 2011

101. Anthony Thompson

Actually many consumer ‘brands’ began in and around the industrial revolution. Others developed to serve a function, such as Levi’s (founded 1853), whose clothes looked great in TFF. Many brands are no longer independent and are part of larger conglomerates. Just because we see a Nokia (founded 1865) phone in ST09 or someone drinking Budweiser (founded 1785) doesn’t mean they aren’t a subsidiary of Slusho or something else: the Winchester brand is an example of that.

I think there’s maybe a left-wing, utopian section of Trek fandom who believe in the perfectabilty of the human race (an ideal espoused by the Soviet Union and the Third Reich) and believe that capitalism is a threat, rather than, in an unperverted form, the greatest example of freedom developed by the human race. I can understand how the original Star Trek and ST09 must upset these people after years of Berman’s Trek, though.

Thing is, the TOS/ST09 era is one I’d like to live in. The TNG era, where everything is pumped out by state-sponsored machines and you aren’t allowed to make money, is actually one that scares me!

106. Phil - April 23, 2011

105. Dom – April 23, 2011
Oh, yeah, there is definately a utopian flavor to a few of the posts here. Replicators will be the miracle machine, creating all we want from nothing, so we can all be free to pursue the betterment of humainity. Funny thing is, once you get done reading one of these rants about how wonderful things will be once Capitalism is gone, when you ask “who decides” how you get to better humanity, the conversation goes strangely quiet. There are way to many holes in the proposal for it to be taken seriously, but then, I suppose there will always be proponents of the “nanny state” around who feel the need to protect us from ourselves.

107. Vultan - April 23, 2011

Frankly, I find a race of cyborg space zombies from the far side of the galaxy or a pointed-ear, time-traveling baddie with a doomsday drilling rig more believable than Trek’s “economics of the future.”

Roddenberry was right in his belief that the different races and nations of Earth could unite (I still think this is a possibility within my lifetime), but when it comes to an economic utopia where everything can be created from a slot in a wall or ships built and jobs carried out without anyone demanding something extra for their labor, that aspect of Trek is pure nonsense—a silly love letter to a man named Karl.

108. John - April 23, 2011

From my point of view to have to put product placement in movies means you are a corporate sellout! That’s just me! Me and my damn integrity!

109. Phil - April 23, 2011

108. Which corporation might that be? Paramount? CBS? Bad Robot? Does it really bother you that much that Uhura ordered “two Buds” instead of “two beers” and the bartender handed her a bottle that said “Budweiser” instead of “beer”?

110. BCSWowbagger - April 23, 2011

I’m a conservative capitalist Republican. I think we will always have money, we will always have advertisements, and everything Jean-Luc Picard ever said about his post-capitalist future was a load of dingo’s kidneys.

But too bad for me. That’s what Star Trek *is*. It’s a utopian dream of a crazy, impossible world where no one is greedy or tyrannical or poor and everyone is free to better themselves without the motivation of the almighty dollar. It is — to borrow a Firefly phrase — a world without sin. If you’re going to make a Star Trek movie, your first duty is to depict that world.

I really thought the product placement hurt Trek 2009. Not because I hate corporations or product placement or any of that — but because the idea of product placement is *antithetical* to the vision of Star Trek.

I know there are a million versions of “Gene Roddenberry’s vision”, and that talking about it has become nearly useless because there are so many interpretations of it, but I don’t know a version of “Gene’s vision” that’s compatible with an in-movie Nokia ad. If avoiding that means we lose a few million bucks of budget for the next movie, I say so be it.

111. captain_neill - April 24, 2011

Oh yea a Nokia phone plug in rally makes Star Trel seem more “REAL”

The time spent during Kirk’s youth could have been more poignant if it included the other scene that was deleted but as such Kirk as a kid only played as a corny Nokia plug in sequence but at least they put the Nokia phone in the right place.

If Starfleet communications were Nokia then I would have really rolled my eyes. Could you picture a a commuinque from an Admiral coming through on the screen with the Nokia ring tone at the start? To borrow a phrase from Max Shrek. “Frankly I cringe Mr Mayor”

I don’t think the product placement ruined the film but I feel it is not right in Star Trek. And to say Product placement makes a film seem more real then thats nonsense. If anything it will probably date the film if that company changes its logo or goes out of business.

How many films from the 80s and 90s had futures with product placement with their logos at the time.

As I said it doesn’t ruin a film but as I said changes in that item could probably date the film sooner.

112. Dom - April 24, 2011

110. BCSWowbagger

I don’t believe in ‘Gene’s Vision.’ TOS (and by extension ST09) is the result of numerous contributors such as Robert Justman, Herb Solow, John Meredyth Lucas, Gene Coon, Dorothy Fontana . . . the list goes on. The myth of ‘Gene’s Vision’ was perpetuated later on, notably in the TNG era and beyond.

111. captain_neill

‘Oh yea a Nokia phone plug in rally makes Star Trel seem more “REAL”’

I didn’t see a plug; maybe it was attached to the cigarette lighter! ;) The Nokia phone grounds characters in a reality extrapolated from ours, rather than Berman’s fantasy universe and is a gateway to newbies.

‘The time spent during Kirk’s youth could have been more poignant if it included the other scene that was deleted but as such Kirk as a kid only played as a corny Nokia plug in sequence but at least they put the Nokia phone in the right place.’

It wasn’t corny: it showed a child lacking a father figure cutting loose and beginning a life of petty crime.

‘If Starfleet communications were Nokia then I would have really rolled my eyes.’

So you’d favour communicators being made by unpaid workers in a state-run factory?

‘Could you picture a a commuinque from an Admiral coming through on the screen with the Nokia ring tone at the start? To borrow a phrase from Max Shrek. “Frankly I cringe Mr Mayor”’

You’re being characteristically OTT. If our military equipment doesn’t do that now, why should it in the future?

‘I don’t think the product placement ruined the film but I feel it is not right in Star Trek.’

It depends on what your view of Star Trek is. The ‘Church of Roddenberry’ crowd who see Gene Roddenberry as some sort of prophet and Trek as a bible for a ‘glorious’ fascist/communist ‘utopia’ will have an issue with it. Those of us who like Trek as an exciting sci-fi adventure series won’t be fussed by it. The majority of the audience will accept it as a regular asp t of the film.

‘And to say Product placement makes a film seem more real then thats nonsense. If anything it will probably date the film if that company changes its logo or goes out of business.’

Nokia’s been around a long time. They might go bust, they might not. Does the presence of defunct company logos ruin Blade Runner or 2001? Not in the slightest. To quote from The Terminator: ‘In a hundred years, who’ll care?’

‘How many films from the 80s and 90s had futures with product placement with their logos at the time.’

Star Trek IV, Star Trek V, Blade Runner, Superman II, 2010, Ghostbusters, The Last Starfighter, Back to the Future, Weird Science, The Hidden, Contact . . .

. . . so many, in fact that you’ll have to look it up for yourself. Suffice to say, if it’s got any connection to planet Earth, it’ll likely have product placement somewhere in it!

‘As I said it doesn’t ruin a film but as I said changes in that item could probably date the film sooner.’

As I said, it’s a piece of entertainment made for mass audiences in 2009; ‘In a hundred years, who’ll care?’

113. captain_neill - April 24, 2011


To be perfectly honest the Product Placement doesn’t bother me.

I was just wanting to make a bit of a debate, as I said it did not ruin the film for me.

You are right company logos do not ruin Blade Runner and 2001, in fact both are films I would rate higher than films out today but that is another story.

114. Dom - April 24, 2011

113. captain_neill:

‘To be perfectly honest the Product Placement doesn’t bother me.’

Yeah, I mean it’s always been there. Even great composers were commissioned to write their works by noblemen down the centuries, which would help promote that person’s name in political struggles and so on. It’s just a freaky bunch of utopians are getting overly silly about it.

‘I was just wanting to make a bit of a debate, as I said it did not ruin the film for me.’

That’s cool! :)

‘You are right company logos do not ruin Blade Runner and 2001, in fact both are films I would rate higher than films out today but that is another story.’

Yep! I reckon I was lucky to be growing up through the tail end of the 1970s, hitting my 20s in the mid-1990s. Great times to go to the cinema! Great times to discover movies on late-night TV and VHS! :)

115. captain_neill - April 24, 2011


It doesn’t ruin a film for me but sometimes it can cheapen a film when it is shoved in there to sell something.

116. captain_neill - April 24, 2011

Just because Star Trek XI is not my fav Trek doesn’t mean I should talk about my gripes with things. I should embrace the fact that it is getting Star Trek out there again.

117. MJ - April 24, 2011

Wow, it is finally the case that I am on the winning side of one of these polls — Good/OK has 2/3 of the votes.

118. Khan was Framed! - April 24, 2011

I know product placement is the reality of modern film making, however the Nokia phone was offensive.

That type of visible branding is too tacky for Star Trek.

I think showing some clothing & stuff that’s available through retailers is fine, without pushing a sign with the brand name into the shot.

You see James Bond’s watch all the time, without him having to hold up an Omega sign.

This has to be done with some greater respect for what the Earth of StarTrek truly is; a socialist utopia.

I mean, very clearly from Rodenberry’s original concept to statements in the movies & TNG, capitalism is finally dead by the 22nd century.
So logically, with it would die the need for brand names & competitive corporations.

Having some cultural icons like Budweiser survive makes some sense; it can be referenced as a beverage recipe, not just a brand.
When it comes to Nokia however, I can’t see them surviving much beyond the third world war, there’s nothing significant about there technology beyond that of any other phone company.

Just be more careful about how the products are placed for the sequel please!


“I’m a conservative capitalist Republican. I think we will always have money, we will always have advertisements, and everything Jean-Luc Picard ever said about his post-capitalist future was a load of dingo’s kidneys.”

Just curious, how you can believe that with your nation collapsing around you due to capitalist greed?

You have a first hand, visible example of why a capitalist society cannot function for the long term; over time the money ends up in the hands of the elite & your capitalism transforms into a new imperialism.

Do you honestly think society is incapable of learning from its own mistakes?

119. Keachick - April 24, 2011

#112 – “So you’d favour communicators being made by unpaid workers in a state-run factory?”

Who says that? People today get paid when they work for state-run enterprises. I think it is nonsense to believe that people would not, in some way or other, be compensated for their efforts in the Star Trek universe. It just would not be as it is now.

Did Picard pay for his captain’s “yacht”? I doubt it. It was something he had access to because he had earned it through years of hard work within Starfleet. The same would go for being able to take vacations on planets like Risa, staying in the best hotels, eating the best food, getting the grand tour of the planet etc. There were no doubt many other options available to him to take if he chose, that might not be available to others, like ensigns.

The point, I think, with Star Trek, is that they try to show that no one misses out on the basics of living – good food, clothing, shelter, time out to rest and gather energy and engage in hobbies that may have nothing to do with their regular work/activity or even, god forbid, spend time with a family. The kind of abject poverty, human, animal, environmental exploitation, and war that we see today will not exist or a stop quickly put to it if some of these behaviours/situations do arise. That does not mean that Quark’s bar could not exist. The poisonous extremes that we see today simply would not happen. People would see a way of doing things that results in the extremes of today as being anachronistic, even barbaric and just DUH!

120. Vultan - April 24, 2011

#118 & #119

I think you guys are forgetting one of the basic things that makes us all human, and something socialism and communism choose to ignore—people are greedy. Doesn’t matter what economic system is in use; there will always be those who want more and more and more, be it political power, material things, etc., etc…

It’s not “capitalist greed.”
It’s human greed.

121. Charla - April 24, 2011

#119 keachick ” The point, I think, with Star Trek, is that they try to show that no one misses out on the basics of living – good food, clothing, shelter, time out to rest and gather energy and engage in hobbies that may have nothing to do with their regular work/activity or even, god forbid, spend time with a family. The kind of abject poverty, human, animal, environmental exploitation, and war that we see today will not exist or a stop quickly put to it if some of these behaviours/situations do arise.”

This would be many people’s idea of utopia- I know it is mine. Who wouldn’t want to live in an era where everyone has what they need and they as humans matter!

Sadly, # 120 Vultan, your point is exactly what keeps this “utopia” from happening. It won’t ever happen as it is so easy for people to be bought. I am happy we can at least escape for 2 hrs to see what a near perfect world would be like….

122. Vultan - April 24, 2011


Yeah, don’t get me wrong—I would love to live in a Trek-like utopia. But if you want to rid the world of greed and misery, you pretty much have to get rid of humanity. Not that we shouldn’t try to make this a better world, though.

Actually, there was a time in history when there was a utopia with the dominant species on Earth living in harmony with their surroundings, all things in (mostly) perfect balance. Unfortunately, their walnut-sized brains, along with not being able to make change for a twenty or organize their labor force effectively against the upper class, couldn’t figure out how to keep a very large rock from killing all of them. So sad.


123. Red Dead Ryan - April 24, 2011


On the other hand, some of those dinosaurs did manage to evolve into the birds we see today……next time you see the graceful bald eagle, just remember, sixty-five million years ago, it’s distant relatives were either ferocious T-Rexes or deadly Velociraptors. So there is hope……


124. Vultan - April 24, 2011


Good point. Funny you brought up those particular dinos—just watched Jurassic Park on TNT a few hours ago. Been awhile since I saw it. Amazing how well it’s held up… since 1993! The CGI is nearly flawless. ILM really knocked it out of the park on that one (as they usually do).

125. Vultan - April 24, 2011

I think one of the reasons it’s held up so well is because the CGI was combined with old-fashioned special effects (animatronics and the like)… though it wasn’t so old-fashioned back in ’93.

Too many of today’s live-action films just seem like really expensive cartoons.

126. Red Dead Ryan - April 24, 2011

Yeah, “Jurassic Park” is a classic. Though the picture quality doesn’t hold up. I’ll bet the Blu Ray version will look pristine. The effects still look great though. A lot better than the ugly dinosaurs we saw in “Peter Jackson’s King Kong”. I also enjoyed the sequels, even though a lot of people don’t.
The Spinosaurus in number three was cool.

127. Vultan - April 24, 2011

Yeah, the second one was good, and I’m one of the few who generally enjoyed number 3. The story was so-so, but it was great to see Sam Neill running from dinos again. I just wish they had rearranged a few of the story elements, maybe move the showdown between the Spino and the T-rex to the end instead of near the beginning. That seemed to me a little more epic than a boat being trashed and (a few minutes later) chatting with raptors.

Still hoping for the rumored fourth movie.

128. Keachick - April 24, 2011

I know what you are saying about greed. Within *ancient* Buddhist philosophy/ teachings, three POISONS, yes, that is what they are called, which hold humanity back from fully realising itself are – Greed, Hatred and Delusion. Greed is also one of the seven Deadly Sins. The problem is that people will poo-poo these notions and philosophies that have been handed down to us, even though some are as relevant now as they were 2,500 years ago… There is a good reason that these notions have survived – because they speak the TRUTH.

Another thing that has affected how economics has played out is the often misquoted, as in quoted outside its proper context, is the one that says that, “Greed is good” made by a highly respected British economist John Maynard Keynes. Not good at all.

129. Vultan - April 24, 2011


That phrase was made even more popular by Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gecko in the movie “Wall Street.” That character wasn’t good at all, either.

No argument here about Buddhist philosophy. Those guys are all right. I spent an Easter a couple of years ago at the local Vietnamese Buddhist temple. No egg hunts, but they do know how to party.

130. Hugh Hoyland - April 25, 2011

For the record Im niether a capatalist or communist. In fact IMO they are simply two sides of the same coin, its just WHO owns the capital that makes the difference. I go for a FREE MARKET system as far as economics go.

And as far as PP, I think its been in film since the start so it doesnt bother me.

131. Red Dead Ryan - April 25, 2011


The scene featuring the Spinosaurus swimming and attacking the boat was based on a similar scene in the first “Jurassic Park” novel, where instead of the Spino, it was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The producers wanted to add the scene into the first movie, but it was too difficult to do.

132. Claystation - April 25, 2011

I HATED the Nokia thing.

Almost ruined the whole movie for me.

133. Crusade2267 - April 26, 2011

It didn’t make sense to me to have those current products in the movie. How many 21st century products will still be around in the 23rd? How many 19th century companies do you buy stuff from? And the ones that do exist have certainly changed their products over time. It was ridiculous to me that in 2 centuries, Nokia never changed its ringtone…

134. Keachick - April 26, 2011

The Nokia phone in the car was clearly an antique as was the car. They were both items that were around in the late 20th/early 21st centuries and so keeping that ringtone would have been appropriate. Not everyone finds that tone so annoying anyway.

135. John Adcox - April 26, 2011

I’d like to see them product place Dippin’ Dots, just so they can refer to it as “The Ice Cream of the Present.”

136. Z3R0B4NG - April 26, 2011


yeah HATED the nokia thing to… but i hated the whole Scene with the kid, so… better put it there where it doesnt matter.

imagine Spock using a Nokia on Vulcan… now THAT would have been freaky!

Also there was a Corvette (that car was a Corvette, right?) and a Beasty Boys song in the very same scene.

137. Phil - April 26, 2011

133. Crusade2267 – April 26, 2011

Personally, Coca Cola, Levis, Honda, Colgate, to name a few. Shop at Macy’s on occasion. Bud and Lowenbrau have been around for a while. Corporate and cultural icon’s are not going to go away, so I really don’t the the problem with 23rd century civilians interacting with 21st century antiques.

138. TrekkieSteve - April 29, 2011

I say don’t take it too far like have brands every 5 minutes popping up but do have some in like ST09 to make the world seem more realistic and relatable.

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