Lights! Camera! Igintion! Why Do Carmakers Pay $600 to Place Their Autos in Movies?Written by Jack Smith
Lights! Camera! Igintion! Why Do Carmakers Pay $600 to Place Their Autos in Movies? Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com To read this entire feature FREE with photos cut and paste this link: http://www.jetsettersmagazine.com/archive/jetezine/automobile/roadshow/test/ignition/ignition.html
You’re sitting there watching TV when a commercial comes on for new 2005 Pizzazzmobile V8. As narrator extols its styling, its power, and its luxurious interior you yawn and flip channel. A few days later, however, you’re at movies when Tom Cruise comes racing along a mountain road overlooking Monte Carlo in that very same Pizzazzmobile. Will you take this opportunity to get up and go buy a bag of popcorn? Not hardly! Somewhere deep within your cerebrum something is being planted. “Wow! I’d look great, too, at wheel of a Pizzazzmobile.” There, in a nutshell, lies appeal of increasingly popular — and controversial — practice known as product placement.
In concept there is nothing mysterious or sinister about product placement. Basically it involves featuring a commercial product within an entertainment or artistic work, most often a movie or TV show. It’s nothing new, especially where cars are concerned. There was, for instance, James Bond’s Aston Martin in “Dr. No”; “Smokey and Bandit” with Burt Reynold’s gleaming black Pontiac Trans Am; “Herbie, Love Bug” and eponymous VW Beetle; and 1971 classic “Le Mans”, which featured Steve McQueen and a bevy of Porsches on race track and on road.
In recent years, however, produce placement has become big business. About $1.5 billion will be spent this year to place products — cars, candies, dishwashing liquid, and even some countries — in 500 feature films released in United States . Of that total, carmakers account for some $600 million. According to Autoweek, Ford spent $35 million to feature Jaguars and Thunderbirds in one movie alone, 2002 James Bond shiller-thriller "Die Another Day." Other carmakers routinely spend up to $10 million per movie for privilege of seeing their models roll across big screen.
The competition among carmakers for a prime movie spot can be heated. In John Grisham book “The Firm”, for instance, Tom Cruise’s employer gives him a BMW 318 as a perk of employment with his new law firm. But in movie, this becomes a Mercedes convertible. Mercedes denies having had to pay for such prime exposure; rather, they appealed to producer, Sydney Pollack’s sense of zeitgeist. “He became convinced BMW was car of 1980s, while Mercedes was car of 1990s,” says a Mercedes spokesperson.
Renting a Car--How to Survive Financially!Written by Larry Denton
Car rental agencies, along with other factors, have played a vital role in increasing ease of traveling whether for business or pleasure. The ability to rent a vehicle of nearly any style, size and model at reasonable rates has been a boon to travelers, world-wide. The process of renting a car, however, can be about as daunting as buying a used car. You should proceed very carefully, armed with knowledge about rental industry and information about your specific needs.
In short, there are four different kinds of basic rates charged by car rental companies: daily rates with all mileage billed extra; daily rates with a limited number of free miles per day; daily rates with unlimited mileage; and a rate that has free mileage over an extended period of time. Naturally, all rental car agencies charge different rates based on size and style of vehicle, with most firms renting economy, compact, intermediate and deluxe cars. Tip--renting a car for a full week is often cheaper than renting for five days.
An important consideration when renting a car is length of time you will be needing vehicle. If it's less than a week, you'll probably find lower rates with a major, national company like Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz or Thrifty. For rentals of a week or more, you may get better prices from local companies, especially auto dealers. Be wary of local companies if you plan to drive quite a few miles; if you have a break down or an accident, they usually lack services and support of major companies.
The basic rate you see advertised in big print in magazine, newspaper and television ads, are only tip of iceberg when it comes to car rental costs. Surcharges (usually in form of taxes) are sometimes result of greedy cities, states, airports or rental car company itself. Whoever is at fault, these nasty little add-ons can boost your total rate by as much as 50%. Sales taxes, airport taxes, concession fees, vehicle leasing fees, and drop-off fees often don't show up when you're quoted a base rate for renting a car. Renters sometimes find themselves charged other miscellaneous fees, such as a bill for shuttle that brings them from airport to car rental parking lot, or an expensive fee for additional drivers.
The best remedy to reduce "contract shock" is to use travel agents, booking services and Web sites that disclose all fees in advance. Some companies are taking away mystery surrounding car rental rates by offering "total pricing" for their cars. Your total rental cost will be calculated prior to making reservation, guaranteed to be within one percent of actual rate.