Friday, April 8, 2016

God and Prius

While I generally eschew commenting on spiritual matters here, this is supposed about Prius and related issues, here comes a story that has both. So...

According to Uproxx, Toyota did product placement in the film "God Is Not Dead 2".
UPDATE Thursday PM: Turns out, initial comment from Toyota was mistaken, and there was indeed a product placement deal with God’s Not Dead 2. The plot thickens! Wait, no, thins. I mean thins.
Ok, why not? I mean, companies place their products in a wide range of movies all the time. The idea of course is to grab as wide a market as possible for said product and Toyota is definitely trying very hard to broaden the Prius market.
There’s a long tradition of “faith-based” filmmakers pandering to the American South, to “the heartland,” to “flyover states,” to anyone Republican politicians like to refer to as “the real America.”
In a movie that’s otherwise full of the kind of predictable pandering we’re used to (Christian rock rules! The ACLU guy hates Marines!), there are at least three scenes that felt like Prius product placement. In one of the first scenes, a cancer-surviving blogger played by Trisha LaFache (I wouldn’t even know where to start trying to explain this character) drives around in her Prius, dictating blog posts into her phone (which is definitely a realistic thing for a person to do). I assumed this character would become an antagonist, some smug, big-city librul who’d show up to get taught a lesson, or find Jesus and learn one. At which point maybe she’d trade her Prius in for a Dodge and join These assumptions proved incorrect, one of the movie’s few surprises.
So before I end up copying and pasting the whole article, just go read it at Uproxx if you're interested.

To summarize, yes, it does appear, according to this article, that Toyota did place Prius in the film for promotional purposes. I wonder how that worked for them?

And the parting shot?
Paid for or not, it’s easily the strangest product placement partnership I’ve seen this year.
I lied. I'm sorry. I have to post a few comments from this thread on Uproxx here for your entertainment and amusement.

UPDATE: the following day, Uproxx posted this...