Types of Films: Examples & Product Placement

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

The film industry is an interesting assortment of product placement, different types of films, and film adaptations. In this lesson, you'll learn more about these facets of the film industry.

Films and Product Placement

When the superhero film Man of Steel was released in 2013, it made $668 million worldwide. That means a lot of people headed to the theaters to see this new Superman movie. But, there's another interesting statistic about that film: it featured $160 million worth of product placement.

Product placement is the promotion of a company's products or services within the story of a movie or television show, as opposed to a more blatant form of advertising. It's a more subtle form of marketing that businesses use to reach their audiences. Man of Steel alone had more than 100 businesses that paid to be included in portions of the film, including Gillette, Walmart, Chrysler and even the Army National Guard.

Product placement uses viewer fandom and the popularity of films to influence their consumers. It's a very lucrative method. Media research company PQ Media estimated that product placement in 2015 enjoyed their fifth consecutive year of growth. By 2019, revenue from product placement is expected to reach $11.44 billion.

For example, Reese's Pieces product placement in the classic 1982 film E.T. is believed to have generated $15 to $20 million in promotions for the company.

Reeses Pieces was featured in the film E.T. and generated millions.
reeses pieces

Let's look a little more closely at some of the most common types of films as well as film adaptations.

Types of Films

While consumers most closely associate films with their box office names, there are actual categories these films represent. Here are a couple:

Concept Films

Concept films, or high-concept films are movies featuring an innovative or exciting idea that can quickly appeal to movie-goers simply on its premise. These types of movies usually appeal to a wide audience. The most important part of a concept film is the ''idea,'' rather than the execution.

For example, the dinosaur-chasing film, Jurassic Park, is a high-concept film with broad appeal. The movie, The Sixth Sense, works as a concept film because of it compelling hook and interesting storyline. Two others, Buried and Open Water, follow characters struggling with intense situations, that of being buried alive and fighting off sharks in the middle of the ocean, respectively.

Tentpole Films

A tentpole film is the summer's high-budget blockbuster with Hollywood's biggest names. The name ''tentpole'' comes from the idea that this particular film is used to ''prop up a tent''; that is, a blockbuster props up and supports a film studio, providing financial support that compensates for other films that don't do as well.

Popular tentpole movies include Titanic, Captain America, and Avatar.

Franchise Films

Everybody loves a good franchise film, the movies that exist in a series with similar characters and settings, and are released annually or sometimes further apart. Franchise films include popular series like Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.

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