Marvel Product Placement Run Amok: Tony Stark Using a Vivo Phone

Dave Gonzales, writing for Geek:

Called a “Futurist” by Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye in the film, Stark is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s genius on the forefront of speculative technology. If Banner knows human mutation, Stark knows the machines. That’s why it’s so shocking to see Tony using a Vivo cell phone in Civil War, a cell phone that would absolutely be condemned by the US government if it were being used like it is in the film. It makes absolutely no thematic sense within the context of the film, but there’s a big reason why Marvel would endanger the theme of its most popular on-screen character.

Tony Stark using a Vivo phone is another of Marvel Studios’ ongoing attempts to make more money in the Chinese box office, which — for better or worse — has become noticeable to the American and English audiences.

Vivo doesn’t even sell phones in the U.S. They’re a mid-market Chinese brand. It’s not just gratuitous product placement — it’s simply incompatible with Tony Stark’s character. No phone would satisfy Tony Stark but his own, from Stark Industries. Stark’s phone in Iron Man 2 had subtle LG branding (bad enough), but also a prominent “Stark Industries” label on screen. But Vivo? If Marvel wants to sell out to the highest bidder for the other Avengers’ phones, that’s one thing. But not Stark.

See also: Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes’s ultimately futile resistance against James Bond using a Sony or Samsung phone, on the grounds that “Bond only uses the ‘best’, and in their minds, the Sony phone is not the ‘best’.”

(This post is proof that I’m concerned only with truly important matters in life.)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016