5 Classic Halloween/Horror Films And The Brands They Feature


Table Of Contents


It's Not All Jump Scares And The Paranormal 

If you are a Halloween/Horror film superfan like me, you probably watch most of the classic movies on this list at least once every fall. But you may not have noticed that they are a gold mine for product placement. From alcohol to candy, product placement is a staple of the classics. 

Even though horror may seem like a genre that your brand wouldn't fit into, you'd be surprised how many unlikely brands are recognizable in the scary movie classics. In this blog, Hollywood Branded looks at 5 Halloween/Horror films, the brands they feature, and how effective product placement is in this niche genre.


5 Classic HalloweenHorror Films And The Brands They Feature

The Shining 

The Stanley Kubrick classic may be one of the most product and brand-packed films of all time (or at least that I've ever seen). The bar of The Overlook Hotel, where the movie takes place, is stocked with Jack Daniels - paying homage to the character named Jack, drinking from a bottle of Jack, played by an actor named Jack. However, the real product placement gold mine comes in the scenes that take place in the dry foods pantry. When Dick Halloran gives Wendy and Danny Torrance a tour of the hotel, we get a peek inside the pantry that is stocked with numerous Heinz products, Oreos, and Frosted Flakes.

But does increased product placement automatically equal brand recognition from audiences? According to a study done by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School Of Business, people experience a higher chance of noticing and creating a personal attachment to a brand when they are scared. The study states that people feel a need to affiliate when they are scared. Even if the product isn't right in front of them, they search for a sense of comfort and normalcy. So if Jack Torrance's terrifying "here's Johnny!" keeps you up at night, that may be why Oreos are your favorite late-night snack. 

The shining

Photo Credit: The Shining


Anyone who is familiar with E.T. knows that his favorite candy is the delicious peanut butter chocolatey Reese's Pieces. But how did that come to be? An alien enjoying a bag of Reese's Pieces? Well, according to legend, Amblin Entertainment was originally interested in working with M&M's to make it E.T.'s favorite candy, but M&M's declined and opened the door for Hershey's to jump in and offer up their candy featured in the film. They may not have known it at the time, but it was a wise decision as E.T. soared to popularity and subsequently aided the sale of the candies in the following years. Hershey's sales of Reese's Pieces rose by an estimated 65-85% in the two weeks following as a trade for promoting the movie. 


Photo Credit: E.T.

Get Out

A more recent horror film packed with big-name brands was Jordan Peele's 2017 film, Get Out. The most recognizable and often featured brands were Microsoft computers and phones, but a Canon camera and Lincoln MKC car were also thrown into the mix. The placement of Microsoft in the film is controversial though, as some critics saw it as being one of the few issues they saw with the film because they perceived it as painfully blatant, but some viewed it as being organic and subtle. No matter your opinion on the methods behind the brand's placement, Microsoft received great moments on screen in a movie that grossed $255.4 million at the box office and has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


Photo Credit: Get Out

Alien: Covenant

In Ridley Scott's sci-fi film, Alien: Covenant, the product placement was sleek with one of the most intriguing characters in the film, Michael Fassbender's David, pulling the audience's attention towards the featured Steinway grand piano as he describes it by name and proceeds to play a bit. However, the glossy Steinway wasn't the only recognizably gorgeous product on screen; the film also features Audi's moon rover to show off their AI advancements and technology. And if that wasn't enough, the film managed to even pack in product placement for JCB, a manufacturing company for machinery that deals with anything from construction, to agriculture, to demolition.


Photo Credit: Alien: Covenant

Jurassic Park

To round out the list of classic movies that feature great product placement moments, we have Jurassic Park with their iconic customized Jeep Wranglers. Not only are there fans of the movie franchise itself, but there are super fans who are specifically fixated on the sand and red Jeep Wranglers and have created communities of people that buy and replicate the park vehicles. And while I couldn't find any hard numbers that show how much of an effect the film had on Jeep Wrangler sales, it is clear from a quick google search that Jurassic Park converted a huge portion of a generation into avid Jeep lovers and drivers. 


Photo Credit: Jurassic Park


Still Don't Believe In The Power Of Product Placement?

If you're still a bit skeptical about the positive effects of product placement and branded content when it comes to television and film, we totally get it! Check out 5 of our other Hollywood Branded blogs below to get more insights on all of the different ways brands have succeeded after working with a TV show or movie.

Click below to read up on all of the hot new trends in Entertainment Marketing and how your brand can soar if you adopt them.

Download The 2015 Survey Results