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Product Placement Newsletter – February 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Upcoming feature film Air looks to be an outstanding example of the endless possibilities available to allow brands to be part of the entertainment instead of around it.​
  • The AI entertainment movement continues. Spotify’s new AI-powered DJ offers a look at yet another predictive technological tool used to connect audiences with content they love. ​
  • Despite the decade-long hiatus, Audiences across the globe flocked to theaters to see Avatar: The Way of Water. The sci-fi epic shattered international box office records. Yet another example of franchise film’s ability to attract large audiences in multiple territories. ​
  • Trailblazer, Kim Petras, becomes the first transgender woman to win a Grammy in the pop duo/group performance category. A big win for the LGBTQ+ community and a sign that the Grammy’s is becoming more inclusive for artists.​
  • Hong Kong sales outlet Golden Network leaned on the global star power of Jackie Chan to secure multiple international distribution deals.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in front of the Nike swoosh

'Air’ Trailer: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Reunite and Recreate Nike’s Mission to Land Michael Jordan

“There’s nothing cool about Nike,” Marlon Wayans says as George Raveling in the trailer for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s new movie Air. And while that might have been the case in 1984, everything changed once Sonny Vaccaro courted rookie Michael Jordan for an exclusive shoe line. Before the Affleck-directed film’s $7 million Super Bowl spot, Amazon dropped the first official trailer for the drama, which premieres April 5. The highly anticipated feature focuses on the game-changing partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike’s basketball division. This unique and real-life story creates an opportunity for a brand to be front and center in the creative while building brand salience amongst established and new consumers. READ MORE

Spotify Launches AI-Powered ‘DJ’ Feature Using OpenAI Technology

Spotify has added a robot DJ into its app — a computerized song-spinner with a “stunningly realistic” voice that queues up music based on your musical tastes and listening history. The beta version of DJ is rolling out in English starting Wednesday for Spotify Premium users in the U.S. and Canada. As technological advances aim to customize more personal entertainment experiences, brands can tap into these innovations to reach their audiences in a more personalized way.  READ MORE

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ Passes ‘Titanic’ Overseas, Becoming No. 3 Biggest International Release in​ History

James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water has overtaken James Cameron’s other blockbuster Titanic as the third-highest-grossing movie in history at the international box office. The sci-fi sequel has now generated $1.538 million overseas, trailing only James Cameron’s other blockbuster Avatar ($2.1 billion) and Avengers: Endgame ($1.9 billion) in terms of international ticket sales. U.S. franchises and content continue to have a global presence and resonant with audiences around the world.  READ MORE

Kim Petras Wins Grammy for ‘Unholy,’ First Transgender Woman to Win for Pop Duo/Group Performance​

Kim Petras and Sam Smith’s chart-topping collaboration “Unholy” won the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance. Smith sat back while Petras accepted the award, giving her the spotlight as the first transgender woman to win in the category. Petras announced, “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award.” Her proclamation was met with an uproar of applause and a standing ovation from stars including Anitta and Taylor Swift. As audiences and consumers demand more representation and equality across the entertainment landscape, brands who support these artists and their efforts upfront and early on can amplify change within the entertainment community and be a part of history. READ MORE

​Jackie Chan’s ‘Ride On’ Lands Global Distribution Deals

Hong Kong’s Golden Network Asia has closed sales of the upcoming Jackie Chan action feature Ride On in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The film was recently given a mainland China release date of April 7, coinciding with the action star’s 69th birthday. Larry Yang directs the Chinese feature, which stars Chan as an old stuntman who becomes a media sensation after a video of him fighting debt collectors alongside his trusty horse goes viral. The cast also includes Liu Haocun of Zhang Yimou’s Cliff Walkers and Kevin Guo, who starred in Yang’s previous feature Adoring. Content continues to transcend borders and established talent is being leveraged to create global appeal for audiences around the world, reminding brands that all content is global. READ MORE

Special thanks to Ani Mayo for her contribution to the Product Placement Newsletter – February 2023.

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