The Top 7 Holiday Product Placements


Table Of Contents

”Listen to audio version”

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

The holiday season is a time for family, gift-giving, and cuddling up next to the fire to watch your favorite holiday movie. Because we watch these movies year after year, the brands we see in them become an iconic reminder of the movie - and work as well to keep the brand in the front of our minds as we Christmas shop.

Product placements have actually been a crucial part of some of your favorite holiday classics, whether you noticed or not. In fact, with the best ones, you probably didn't catch it at first. In this blog, Hollywood Branded looks at the Top 7 Holiday Product Placements from our favorite seasonal movies and how they keep consumers coming back to the featured brands year after year.

The Top 7 Holiday Product Placements

#7: Office Christmas Party (2016)

Office Christmas Party is by no means a family Christmas movie. The dark comedy follows a tech company that throws a massive holiday party in order to impress a prospective client and circumvent the imminent closure of its branch. 

As with any movie revolving around a massive party, there was no shortage of product placement in Office Christmas Party. From Red Bull to Audi, the movie managed to make the placements feel natural and not forced, as though viewers were simply at the party with the likes of Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn. 

Olivia Munn Office Christmas Party Pioneer product placement

#6: Happiest Season (2020)

Brands: Moët & Chandon, iRobot Roomba, Hyundai Elantra

In this modern holiday movie, a myriad of brands come across our screens. Happiest Season may be a bit controversial, but the fact that it follows a (partially) openly gay couple is huge for a holiday movie. Because of this (and because of the star-studded cast), people could barely contain their excitement for the film! 

The film broke records upon its release, and because of this, the brands featured in Happiest Season reaped the rewards of a high viewer count.

The movie, starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Daniel Levy, and Aubrey Plaza, was no stranger to product placement. Products like iRobot's Roomba, Moët & Chandon champagne, and Hyundai Elantra got significant screen time, which no doubt helped viewers think of Christmas gift ideas! 

Kristen Stewart, Aubrey Plaza - The Happiest Season Moët & Chandoon


#5: Big (1988)

Brand: The Walking Piano by Remo Saraceni and FAO Schwartz

Okay, so Big may not technically be a holiday movie, but it does take place in New York City during Christmas time, and the plot does revolve around toys, so it came in at number 5 on our list. Who could possibly forget the piano scene where Tom Hanks's and Robert Loggia's characters play chopsticks on The Walking Piano in FAO Schwartz?

In fact, the scene is so famous that it has been duplicated by celebrities (Nick Jonas took a turn to play his song hit song "Jealous" on the piano) and included in movies, most recently in The Night Before. In the new holiday movie, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon Levitt play a Kanye West tune on the iconic ivory.

The Walking Piano- BIG

And not only is the piano iconic but so is the fact that it is being played in FAO Schwartz. Many tourists make sure to add FAO Schwartz to their travel plans in New York City to experience the holiday magic of the place - and it has become a staple of the NYC experience.  A tourist destination until at least the summer of 2015 when it closed due to high commercial real estate.  But rumors are that Toys R Us might reopen a smaller location...

product placement guide

#4: It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Brand: National Geographic

Perhaps one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time, It's A Wonderful Life has been cherished by many generations. Its heartwarming story is a family favorite and a tradition for many people during this season.

In one of his early memories, George is working at Mr. Gower's drug store when he talks to a young Mary. This is where National Geographic makes its cameo role as George tells Mary about the magazine when she explains she's never heard of it:

"Of course you never! Only us explorers can get it! I've been nominated for a membership in the National Geographic Society!"

Its_A_Wonderful_Life, National Geographic

Not only does the magazine receive some fantastic screen time, but George calls it out by name as well and it becomes a true brand integration into the storyline. And with the significant amount of airtime this movie gets around the holiday season, it's certainly impossible to miss.

how your product placement program works

#3: Elf

Brands: Hershey's Syrup, Kellogg's PopTarts, Coca Cola

Buddy The Elf just wants to eat sweets and hang out with his dad. But the shenanigans he gets into cause trouble for everyone involved. Brands are abundant in this movie as Will Ferrell runs around New York City taking in all the sounds and sights of the holiday season.

However, some of the most memorable placement of the movie is the sweet foods Buddy loves (oftentimes mixed together in strange combinations.) From chugging a bottle of Coca-Cola to eating PopTarts and pouring Hershey's chocolate into his mouth, Buddy has an insatiable sweet tooth - and even makes the audience hungry for treats.


#2: Home Alone

Brands: Budget, Pepsi

The budget was losing out to other big truck-rental companies when it agreed to be a part of Home Alone, and one of their branded trucks plays an essential role in the film. When Kevin's mother realizes she's left him home alone, she must rush back to make sure he's okay (and as we know, he's handled himself quite well in her absence). When she can't get a ride out of the Scranton Airport, she hitches a ride with a Polka band and their lively leader. And what do they make the trek back to Chicago in? A Budget truck of course! Reportedly, after the movie came out, Budget saw a 16% rise in sales.


Another brand that shared the spotlight with Macaulay Culkin was Pepsi. Kevin's younger cousin Fuller has an affinity for the sugary beverage and is often seen sipping it. In fact, his love of the drink spurs his mother to say a line that has lived on beyond the film in everything from T-shirts to internet pictures:

"Fuller, go easy on the Pepsi!"


#1: A Christmas Story

Brand: an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle

How would this list be complete without A Christmas Story? The entire plot revolves around the fact that Ralphie wants this very particular air gun for Christmas - and everyone keeps telling him that if he gets one, he'll shoot his own eye out.

The funny thing is - when Ralphie finally gets the shotgun he wants, he actually does misfire his gun which ricochets into his glasses. Thankfully, the bullet only shatters the lens in his glasses and he turns out A-okay. At the end of the film, we are left with an image of Ralphie lying in bed with his beloved Red Ryder shotgun at the end of Christmas day. In our opinion, it doesn't get much better than that product placement.


Watch the Video

Product Placement Works Year-Round

And of course, Four Christmases, Love Actually and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation are go-to's for this next year's list! So what movies did we miss that we should add next year?   

Entertainment content has lasting value - and when you are in a seasonal production that becomes a hit, you have a guaranteed chance and unique opportunity of appearing year after year for the decade to come.  

Take a read below on some of the blogs our team has written on Product Placement that will answer many of your questions - and reach out with any questions! 

Have you ever wondered how a comprehensive product placement program works?  Or do you want to know how to create a promotional partnership strategy with a movie partner?  This video will answer all of your questions as it shows the steps and processes taken by Hollywood Branded that lead to your brand increasing both consumer engagement and sales! 

Click below to watch the video!

How Product Placement Works Video