Transformers: Age of Extinction’s been out only a weekend, and it’s already making bank in China. There’s no getting around the fact that a movie based on a line of toys is anything more than a major vehicle for product placement — including Chinese product placement, especially with the movie partly set in China.
Now, I’m going to reserve judgement on the movie. Michael Bay’s Transformers polarises people. We’re here to talk about the Chinese product placement in the movie, something the Chinese themselves are talking about. Even China’s communist party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, is getting in on the action, calling the movie more of a commercial than a film.
In their review, People’s Daily complains that the movie’s Chinese elements are just for show; something China’s complained about multiple times before. But yes, I need to stop complaining about the movie. Let’s get back on topic.
Through a cursory viewing of the movie I saw at least 10 instances of Chinese product placement in the movie.
So to avoid spoilers, I’m just going to list the Chinese products found in Transformers 4 and the explain what the products are.
C’est bon Water
Bottled water (It’s not even the most popular bottled water brand in China)
Zhou Hei Ya
Duck necks and duck products
China Construction Bank
Banking (What’s a Chinese bank doing in Texas?)
Chinese liquor (Do not drink this)
Milk and milk products
Online video streaming
Health products such as vitamins and protein (Where does one get this in the States with Chinese labelling? Wouldn’t it be in English with FDA approval seals?)
While these products are most likely geared towards the Chinese consumer in China, it will be interesting to see what kind of effect it will have for these companies in the West. Maybe someone will be looking for some Shuhua milk?