Critical Analysis Paper Assignment – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) (MMC2000 Introduction to the Mass Media)


Critical Analysis Paper Assignment – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) (MMC2000 Introduction to the Mass Media)

Name of the film: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

BrandPlacementObvious Scale 1=not at all obvious 5=very obvious
ChevroletA car5
Surf crazyA t-shirt5
CNNNews Bulletin banner4
CBS NewsNews Bulletin banner4
Indian MotorcycleA cap2
Lamar real estateA car door sticker2
BentleyCar – Mini Cooper 3
SparcoCar seats3
Hole N The RockLocation5
Product placement

Critical Analysis Questions:

  1. Product placement

Product placement in this movie is generally effective and it is majorly geared to appeal to the target audience of the Transformer series of movies. This is well demonstrated in all the ten advert placements identified particularly Chevrolet, Sparco, and Bentley.

The Chevrolet advert placement is done in an opening scene where the main character is driving a Chevrolet truck. In one of the camera angles, the logo of the truck at the back is zoomed in and it is clearly visible which brand the truck belongs to.  The lead character has a rugged look and the context of the scene is an upcountry town with dirt roads and rough terrain. Since Transformers is primarily a movie about cars that turn into robots, its audience consists of men and individuals interested in cars and their performance. Therefore, the Chevrolet placement directly appeals to the audience.

Similarly, Sparco has a placement in a scene where the lead character is escaping capture. There is a chase that ensues and the camera clearly captures Sparco car seats in the rally-type car where eventually the lead character manages to get away. Since the placement is around performance of the race car, it would appeal to its target audience of men and car enthusiasts. Notably also, the characters seem comfortable in the car even as it races at high speeds which is a good context for insinuating what Sparco seats offer in terms of performance. The placement is also made easy to spot since the seats are bright blue and the logo is prominently sewn into the seats.

The placement of Bentley is done via a Bentley Mini Cooper car that is driven by a supporting character. At first, the car’s logo is not shown but the characters drives it in a performance-like way with high speeds, sharp corners, drifting, and in rugged roads. In a different scene the camera captures the logo of the car from the front. This placement is particularly interesting since it arouses interest via the performance of the car and so the audience is likely to keep trying to make out what make the car is at every scene where it appears. Just as in the case of Chevrolet, the Bentley placement is very likely to appeal to the target audience of the movie.

Overall therefore, all placements within the movie have been done in a subtle yet noticeable way. Sparco, Chevrolet, and Bentley are all car and car accessories companies and they are likely to reach their target customers (audiences) via the movie hence the good fit for placement within the movie.

  • Product placement and Hollywood

Hollywood should stop using product placement in general rated (G-rated) movies. The primary reason is that children and teenagers are generally impressionable and hence vulnerable to specific advertising messages. As such, if the movies they are supposed to watch consistently push brands to them, the outcome could be harmful consumption behavior or alternation of consumption patterns for a lifetime. Brown et. al., (2017) for instance argues that the critical skills of children are not fully developed in comparison to adults and hence they would not examine advertising messages in the same perspectives as adults. This thus leaves them at the mercy of advertisers – movie directors.


Brown, C. L., Matherne, C. E., Bulik, C. M., Howard, J. B., Ravanbakht, S. N., Skinner, A. C., … & Levine, C. (2017). Influence of product placement in children’s movies on children’s snack choices. Appetite, 114, 118-124.

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