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
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus brought her Bangerz tour to London's O2 Arena last night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter

film
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
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.

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis