Superman is already a $170m brand superhero as Man of Steel tops the product placement charts

Even before it opens this week, the latest Superman has already brought in millions of dollars through product placement

His Achilles heel was always the green glow of Kryptonite, but now Superman has found another green symbol he actually enjoys – the dollar.

The latest reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel, opens in cinemas this week and promises to be one of the summer’s blockbusters.

But, unknown to the fans who will flock to auditoriums across Britain, the film also promises to covertly showcase dozens of products as it cashes in on the long-running franchise.

From a Clark Kent-inspired glasses collection by Warby Parker to a new Nokia mobile phone, which presumably will have super-signal, the film will be littered with placed products from commercial partners.

While promotional tie-ins and product placement are nothing new in Hollywood – James Bond has been requesting vodka martinis, driving an Aston Martin and consulting an Omega watch for 50 years – the sheer number of partners for Man of Steel is.

The clamour to reference products has been so strong that Warner Bros has almost 100 promotional partners lined up, which has earned it $170m (£109m) already.

Brands including the US car manufacture Chrysler are now thought to have given Man of Steel the dubious accolade of having accrued the most advertising brands ever associated with a film.

Before doing any business at the box office, the film has recouped three-quarters of the $225m it cost to make.

“More and more companies are looking to the film industry to promote their brands, as films are a great source of integrated advertising. And they provide aspirational characters, which companies are keen to associate their products with,” said Ryan Newey of the advertising agency Fold7.

He added: “Brands are a part of our routine. We receive 5,000 messages every day – if a film were brand-less, it would not be real life.”

Some fans have questioned whether the clean-living hero should be associated with junk food, including pizza and a “super bacon cheeseburger”, as he is in the new film. “What’s this? Superman promoting fast food, aspartame-laced, toxic, genetically zombified food?” wrote one fan on the film’s Facebook page.

Last year’s children’s film The Lorax, which had a strong environmental and anti-materialist message, had more than 70 partners, including a gas-guzzling SUV, which many deemed inappropriate.

Danny Rogers, editor of America’s advertising bible, Campaign magazine, said: “It depends on the brand and the film: it works in the Bond films because, even in the original books, Fleming used to quote brands himself.

“It also works in a TV series like Mad Men, where it’s all about brands and advertising. But sometimes it doesn’t work so well and people won’t even notice – particularly when there are 100 product tie-ins.”

He said that Hollywood was becoming “pushed for cash”, while brands were trying to “get closer to content” rather than relying on advertising.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on