Look at the picture above. Does it look like a shot from a movie trailer? Does it look like a shot from the next Resident Evil movie? Since the shot is of a guy holding a Sony smartphone of some sort while staring and smiling directly into the camera, I’m going to go out on a limb and say your answer is “No.” Is it important that the smartphone is Sony? Of course. That’s because the first 30 seconds of this trailer reveals a fascinating truth to viewers. Corporations aren’t even trying to be subtle anymore. The future of product placement is here, and it’s probably more terrifying than any Resident Evil movie has managed to be.
The ad-within-a-trailer for Sony products/Resident Evil Retribution features a Sony smartphone, the PS Vita, the Sony Tablet S, and what appears to be one of Sony’s Walkman mp3 players. The large Sony branded television screen in Times Square at the beginning of the trailer is also a nice touch. The ad segues very awkwardly into the trailer proper, using a “This is my world” theme to lead into the nightmarish world that the characters of the movie live in. The trailer itself is mostly what you would expect from a Resident Evil trailer, though the inclusion of characters from the video game series, such as Ada Wong, managed to muster up a fair amount of excitement among the movie and game series’ fan base.
Granted, the film is being produced by Sony Pictures, which gives Sony free reign to do whatever they want the trailer and film. Still, I can’t imagine anyone who would actually want a movie trailer to be integrated with a direct advertisement for any product. Maybe the people who run Sony think otherwise.