Monday, September 27th, 2010

Product Placement: 'Wall Street 2': Money Actually Sleeps Quite Well

wall street coffees 2"The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do."

Wall Street 2, better known as Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, was the top-grossing film in the nation this past weekend.

The hero of the original Wall Street, Bud Fox, was torn between siding with the unionized "working man" or the corporate-raiding embodiment of capitalism. The sequel no longer even bothers with the question, its hero a trader fully invested in working within the system of finance as our savior. The ostentatiousness of the first Wall Street film was found in the characters' ideals. The ostentatiousness of the sequel is all about the products, many of them placed. One of those products is itself.

One hopes Stone had a camera running during the studio marketing process because that will be the next Wall Street. A cutthroat campaign straight from Gordon Gekko's mind itself, the slam, bam, thank-you-ma'am publicity train started with Michael Douglas' cancer announcement and rolled right on through sponsoring a Sunday Football Night in America game, including special segments featuring former NFL players breaking down the New York Giants defense in slow motion. Meanwhile, an onslaught of television ads competed with midterm election spots for frequency.

A website for Gekko's fictional book "Is Greed Good?" was set up to drive to the film site. Some studio marketer even got the pleasure of populating Gordon Gekko's official Twitter feed. (234 followers currently.) On September 20, in an act that would have had Bud Fox choking on his tie in 1987, Oliver Stone rang the NASDAQ opening bell.

wall street tweet

Maybe more telling than anything about the marketing of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is that it is rated PG-13. (The original is R.)

"Want a Heineken," asks Gordon Gekko moments before the beer's label slides in to fill the screen. The scene takes place at New York's Shun Lee restaurant, where staff confirmed to us that they do in fact serve Heineken. In the closing credits, the IWC logo floats over the screen like a reflection in a pool. Everything in between is branded. In fact, one difference between the first Wall Street and its sequel is that Money Never Sleeps has a credited crewmember (Allison Robin) responsible solely for "product placement."

Stone has gone on record to talk about how he involved Wall Street insiders to assure authenticity. But when it came to putting products in those authentic character' hands, it appears money ruled the day. Millionaire bankers drinking Moët? Sure. The suicidal choose Lay's chips as a last meal? Why not. Goldman Sachs-like titans of finance race Ducati bikes? Absolutely. That Bulgari is the ring of choice for bankers' fiancées may be true but there are other news sources than CNBC. Where the original Wall Street featured the iconic Leslie Buck-designed New York coffee cup, now everyone sips on Dunkin' Donuts.

What's more, these products are taking credit for their roles. Belstaff's website boasts of its Wall Street 2 role. Meanwhile, a press release for luxury watch brand IWC reads, "To show who's boss, standing out-in an understated way-is paramount in the cut-throat world of finance. Jacob Moore couldn't show his understanding of this philosophy any more-by sporting the IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar (Ref. IW502303), he is the true representation of the IWC guy, an educated, driven and talented man 'in the know' who has a passion for the finer things in life."


Below, a list of the brands we spotted that made a showing in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Shun Lee
Barton Perreira Halston
Vacheron Constantin
Bed Bath and Beyond
NY Daily News
Jack Daniels
Dunkin' Donuts
Dow Jones
The New York Post
Johnnie Walker
Cracker Jacks
Red Bull
The Bowery Hotel


Ellen Mirojnick, Wall Street 2's costume designer, was also on the blitz, speaking with everyone from Bloomberg to the Chicago Tribune to The Wall Street Journal to make sure all of those brands in the film that could not be identified by label got their due credit, including Barton Perreira Halston sunglasses, Vacheron Constantin watches, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang gowns and Jaeger-LeCoultre, whatever it is that brand makes.

In Entertainment Weekly, Josh Brolin says he hopes audiences will see the film and wonder "How much is enough?" Meanwhile, in People, Brolin was grabbing Mirojnick and whispering that "he loved the maroon jacket that he wears in the film."

To listen to Stone, the sequel is a commentary on the way Wall Street has changed and become more greedy in the time since its 1987 predecessor. But the real commentary of Wall Street 2 is on the business of filmmaking itself. For lack of a better way to put it, product placement is now good. It appears, Oliver Stone loves Andacott Steel, as long as it's going to help pay for production.

Abe Sauer writes the annual Product Placement Awards and weekly product placement updates for

25 Comments / Post A Comment

All the more reason to become a LOTR fanboi.

14 hours of New Zealand Tourism Board propaganda.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Jaeger-LeCoultre makes watches, too. I was once allowed to try one on after I forged a financial statement.

KarenUhOh (#19)

That's a heckuva poem you wrote up there, btw.

dado (#102)

It was a two hour advertisement for a defective product named Shia LeBeouf.

Crantastical (#4,127)

You can't say product placement doesn't work – people are still talking about the Gordon Gekko/Motorola brick phone from the original Wall Street (although it was Zack Morris who really made me want one).

I don't know anything about motorcycles but Ducati is the brand that was always used on the Pam Anderson TV show V.I.P. Not sure what kind of synergy the sparks.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

From Gordon Gekko's official Twitter feed:
"Money is what this country is about. Want proof?"

Exactly how old is Shia's character supposed to be? 8?

saythatscool (#101)

I have to go, Darryl Hannah's hand cranking some Nigiri for me and we're jamming out to the Naive Melody.

And Sean Young is not 100% crazy yet.

Squidman (#1,188)

"You came out from the city? Oooh…long drive."

KarenUhOh (#19)

Someone ought to be canned for failing to get sponsorship from Geico.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

"Qdoba" is still around?! Every single franchise location that opened in this area went bust within a year of opening. The Burrito Bubble of 200_!

scrooge (#2,697)

I don't care about product placement. Does anybody, really? I'd much rather have those sliding by (un-noticed by me, anyway) than have to stop and watch a bunch of inane commercials. Maybe the TV guys should take a leaf out of their book.

As for:

Stone has gone on record to talk about how he involved Wall Street insiders to assure authenticity.


dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

You have prompted me to find several ceramic We Are Happy To Serve You cups to give to coworkers at xmas. Thank you for that.

Oh Awl damn you and your moderation… east coast

Keren Or Shalom (#7,651)


Tract on Monetary Reform
Credit is Like Nostalgia:

It can lead to procrastination and prevent us to go forward!

Our economy is slowly dying, your job, lifestyle are dominated by anxiety.

The economy is kept alive artificially.

No one is proposing a solution because no one has the slightest idea of why it is happening and many have vested interest in the present system.

However an objective observation of the phenomenon can help us understand it and provide us with an innovative solution.

Of course we can't solve the problem with the tools that brought us there in the first place and we need a new ideology.


- Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?

- Well, remember that what an ideology is, is a conceptual framework with the way people deal with reality. Everyone has one. You have to — to exist, you need an ideology. The question is whether it is accurate or not. And what I'm saying to you is, yes, I found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is, but I've been very distressed by that fact.

- You found a flaw in the reality…(!!!???)

- Flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.

- In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

- That is — precisely. No, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.


In order to alleviate those economic woes wee need to create, as fast as possible, a new credit free currency that will solve the credit crunch and bring incremental jobs, consumption and investments to the present system.

An Innovative Credit Free, Free Market, Post Crash Economy
Tract on Monetary Reform

It is urgent if we want to limit social, political and military chaos.

Is the fulfilment of these ideas a visionary hope? Have they insufficient roots in the motives which govern the evolution of political society? Are the interests which they will thwart stronger and more obvious than those which they will serve?

I do not attempt an answer in this place. It would need a volume of a different character from this one to indicate even in outline the practical measures in which they might be gradually clothed. But if the ideas are correct – an hypothesis on which the author himself must necessarily base what he writes – it would be a mistake, I predict, to dispute their potency over a period of time. At the present moment people are unusually expectant of a more fundamental diagnosis; more particularly ready to receive it; eager to try it out, if it should be even plausible.

But apart from this contemporary mood, the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.

Not, indeed, immediately, but after a certain interval; for in the field of economic and political philosophy there are not many who are influenced by new theories after they are twenty-five or thirty years of age, so that the ideas which civil servants and politicians and even agitators apply to current events are not likely to be the newest. But, soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.


Credit Free Economy
More Jobs, No Debt, No Fear.
Prosperous, Fair and Stable.


shostakobitch (#1,692)

What is this world coming to when I can no longer see an iconic "New York" coffee cup in a movie? O the humanity!

putch (#7,674)

I watched the original the other weekend (haven't seen the sequel yet) and I noticed a pretty substantial amount of product placement. Asides from the actual shopping spree montage I remember a pretty scene involving both Sheens and a bottle of light beer.

David (#7,681)

No chance this is itself intended as meta-commentary? Some sort of rock n' roll swindle?

IPC_Systems (#7,805)

IPC's turrets are also featured in the film!

InfinetFS (#241,051)

Haah.. "The twitter comment was awesome instead of reading article the book is going to be set as a film"
Well Infinet Financial Systems are the new in Industry of trading and find out more IP Voice Recording Services here

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