Sales soar when cars star in movies
20 February 2012, 12:40
United States - Since the days when John Wayne got off his
horse for the last time, cars have played an important part in films
from spectacular stunts to wild chases with an entire industry catering
to these "co-stars."
Every manufacturer knows that if it can place a car model in a box office hit, it is sure to boost sales.
Schultz, BMW product placement: "This is really big business. For
automakers the presence in a film is the perfect addition to the classic
Schultz was responsible for placing the BMW Z4 and Z8 in the James Bond movies.
said: "You can reach an entirely different public and in the best case
reveal a car in the company of famous stars before sales start. The more
popular a film and the more famous the main actor, the bigger the
The James Bond movies, portraying the adventures of a
British secret agent since the 1960's, have always been an important
stage for high-powered cars. Since the third James Bond film
'Goldfinger', the Aston Martin DB5 has traditionally been the Bond car.
However, depending on the production company and the contract situation,
he has also driven a Toyota 2000 GT, a Lotus and a BMW.
not the only action hero driving a famous car. Hawaiian private
detective Thomas Magnum drove a Ferrari 308 GTS and Steve McQueen raced a
1968 Ford Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in the role of
Lieutenant Frank 'Bullitt'.
Walker and Vin Diesel in 'The Fast and the Furious' movies stuck to US
muscle cars and tuned-up Japanese sports cars while Sonny Crockett of
'Miami Vice' drove a Ferrari Testarossa.
Sometimes the hero
chooses to divert from the sports car to something quite different.
James Bond has been seen escaping in a Citroen 2CV or a Ford Ka while
the snob 'Johnny English', played by Rowan Atkinson, likes to take a
seat in a Rolls-Royce.
ICONIC BEETLE: Herbie not only did wonders for the movie industry but sales of Volkswagen's Beetle were considerably boosted due to the films.
The Volkswagen Beetle has always taken on a special role in the movies.
In the 1968 movie 'Herbie' (number 53) outpaced all the other cars. The
main actors in the film, Dean Jones and Michele Lee, have almost been
forgotten but the film car made it again on stage when VW unveiled the
New Beetle in Shanghai recently.
For BMW's Schultz, however, the
best advertising remains the German cop show 'Derrick'. The series ran
for 25 years in 70 languages and in more than 100 countries with
Inspector Derrick always driving a BMW.
However, before the
advertising has any effect, automakers often have to invest a small
fortune and rebuild the cars destined for the film. In the Bond movie
'Tomorrow Never Dies' a BMW 7 Series had to be steered from the rear
seat. Rolls-Royce rebuilt two vehicles for Johnny English's car .
knows better than George Barris how big the studios' demands can be.
He's the Hollywood legend who built the first Batmobile and converted a
Pontiac Trans Am into K.I.T.T for the TV series 'Knight Rider'.
says: "We had the good ideas and the ability to implement them. What
you saw on the screen could also be done by the cars on the road. Today
they use computers..."
Get the latest news by following us on Twitter