As Tom Cruise returns in the latest installment of his MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise, Concave Brand Tracking took a close look at which Brands appeared in the latest action blockbuster in contrast with its predecessors. We recorded what Brands and products appeared in all 5 movies as well as how much exposure they received, who they were associated with and how they were portrayed.
Concave’s analysis found that MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) is the most Brand-filled movie of the franchise, with the original 1996 movie having offered Brands the 2nd most exposure.
As for the actual Brands that appear in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) it is a story of the old, the new and the absent.
total Brand exposure
With over 40 minutes of aggregated Brand screen time, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) provides Brands with more overall exposure than any other movie in the franchise.
As well as the most total Brand screen time, the latest movie also had the most close-ups on Branded products, contributing to high total Brand exposure.
Concave Brand Tracking’s exposure algorithm also takes into account the visibility of Brands’ logos and names, which was quite low in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015), relatively to the previous movies.
top 5 Brands by movie
Before we look at each of the five individually, let’s take a quick look at the top 5 Brands for each movie across the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise.
The clear trend across the franchise is a lack of consistency in the Brands featured.
Apple has been the most visible Brand in 2 of the movies and appeared in a total 3. However, only Apple, Oakley and Dell have ranked in the top 5 for more than a single movie.
Furthermore, of the 17 different Brands to rank in the top 5 of all previous movies, only 3 appear in MISSION: IMPOSSBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) at all. These are BMW, Land Rover and Dell.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996)
Though entertainment marketing has become much more widespread since the 90s, the franchise’s original movie provided Brands with more exposure than the next 3 sequels would. The most visible Brand in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996) was Apple, in what was one its first major instances of product placement, before it became the entertainment juggernaut it is today.
Other prominent Brands included Jean Paul Gaultier, whose glasses were worn repeatedly by Tom Cruise. SNCF got plenty of screen time as the final act took place on one of its TGV trains. Verbatim disks were a central prop for the story and Sky News was shown in a number of close-ups to deliver news bulletins.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)
Apple returned in the 2nd MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie, but in a less prominent manner and was overshadowed by Audi, Oakley and Triumph.
Audi was highly associated with Thandie Newton as she drove a TT Roadster early on in the movie. Oakley sunglasses were worn very visibly by Cruise at the beginning of the movie and then again later during the final motorcycle chase. Triumph was however, the most visible, with Tom Cruise and Dougray Scott riding the Brand’s motorcycles in their final showdown.
Kodak also appeared quite visibly. Their cameras and SD cards were repeatedly used by the main cast.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006)
For the first time, Apple did not appear at all in a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie. It was largely replaced by Getac laptops, though this Brand did not crack the top 5 in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006).
Nokia was the most visible Brand with many scenes showing Cruise and co-star Billy Crudup using their handsets. However, despite over 5 minutes of screen time, the Nokia logo was never clearly seen.
Belstaff was the 2nd most visible Brand. Tom Cruise wore their jackets during most of his actions scenes. Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover replaced Audi as the main car Brands and Philips appeared in the form of computer monitors and TVs.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011)
The 4th movie saw the roaring return of Apple as it received over 6 minutes of screen time and was by far the most visible Brand. It had more than twice the exposure of #2 Oakley. The eyewear Brand returned to the top 5 Brands as Tom Cruise wore a pair of their goggles in one of the movie’s main stunt sequences when he climbed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Dos Equis beer had close to 2 ½ minutes of aggregated screen time in the closing scene, making it the 3rd most visible Brand. At #4 BMW made its first entry into a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE top 5. It was followed by Dell at #5 which appeared in the movie despite Apple’s strong showing.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015)
As we saw earlier, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) offered Brands more overall exposure than any of its predecessors.
However, if we look at the most prominent Brands, we find an interesting mix of Brands that appeared in previous movies, Brands that are new to the franchise and a couple of noticeable absentees.
Following appearances in the form of cars in all the previous movies except MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000), BMW is the most visible Brand in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015). It combines almost 2 minutes of screen time for its various car models with over 4 minutes of aggregated screen time for its S 1000 RR motorcycles. In most appearances BMW vehicles are associated with speed, action and used in chases. They are also associated with many of the main cast including Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg.
Another returning Brand is Dell, which once again features in the form of laptops and monitors and is the 4th most visible Brand in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015). The Brand is associated with spying, hacking, technology and used professionally by Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Jinchu Zhang. Dell is also associated with crime in its use by the main antagonist, Sean Harris.
Dell received 76% more exposure in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) than it did in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011).
Within the top 5 we find 3 Brands that have never featured in a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie before. These are Airbus, Microsoft and Chinese electronics Brand TCL.
TCL makes its entry into the franchise in the form of TVs and monitors. This follows similar appearances by TCL TVs and mobile phones in MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012), IRON MAN 3 (2013) and the last 2 TRANSFORMERS movies (2011 and 2014). In most of these previous placements and in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015), TCL is portrayed as a high-tech professional Brand.
Microsoft completely edges out Apple iPads and iPhones in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015). It is omnipresent throughout the movie thanks to the many close-ups of Surface tablets and Nokia mobile phones. This is one of Microsoft’s first big push of its portable device range in a major movie. It follows the Brand’s growing presence in TV as HOUSE OF CARDS, DAREDEVIL, THE FLASH, RAY DONOVAN and many other shows have featured Microsoft hardware in their latest seasons.
Airbus’ A400M aircraft gets almost a minute of screen time at the beginning of the movie with its logo clearly visible. The Brand is associated with criminal, para-military and cargo transport use.
While many Brands have entered and exited the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE universe, the absence of Apple in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) is hard to miss. Apple was also absent in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006) but at that point only its laptops had ever appeared in the franchise. Seeing Apple laptops being switched for the relatively unknown Getac ones was not a huge shock. However, after MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011) was filled with Apple laptops, tablets and phones, it is quite a change not to see any of these in the latest movie. This is even more noticeable due to clear shift from Apple to Microsoft products.
Another big absentee is Triumph motorcycles. While the Brand did not appear in the last movie, this could be explained by the lack of any significant motorcycle scenes. In MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) however, BMW has clearly replaced Triumph as the franchise’s go-to motorcycle Brand.
After its iconic appearance in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000), Oakley appeared in the 3rd and 4th movies. However, there was no sign of the eyewear specialist in the latest one. The most noticeable sunglasses Brand was L.G.R., whose Tangeri and Comoros models were worn by Tom Cruise in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015).
While the Brands appearing in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies have varied a lot, their portrayal and use has been quite constant.
Most electronics Brands have been associated with professional use, spying, hacking, technology and sometimes action. The cars, motorcycles, planes and other vehicles have mostly been used for action packed chases and stunts. Accessories such as glasses, sunglasses or watches have been somewhat associated with action and technology while being worn both formally and casually.
Brand demographics – associated individuals
In terms of who is associated with the Brands, there are some interesting trends. If we look at actual actors, we see that Tom Cruise is much less associated with Brands in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) than in any other of the franchise’s movies. In MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011) Tom Cruise was associated with 47% of the overall Brand exposure and together with Simon Pegg they accounted for over 80%. However in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015) the top 4 actors most associated with Brands only account for 54% of the total Brand exposure.
What this means is that Brands are not only being less associated with Tom Cruise, but less associated with main actors and more spread out amongst the wider cast.
Another interesting insight is that Rebecca Ferguson was associated with 10% of the total Brand exposure, more than any other female lead in the franchise.
Brand demographics – age
Finally, a very clear trend is the increased average age of individuals associated with Brands. Tom Cruise was by far the individual most associated with Brands in the first 3 movies and he aged 10 years between the 1st and 3rd. Despite these factors, the average age of individuals associated with Brand remained around 39 in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996) through to MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006).
This can be explained by the casting of younger actors such as Thandie Newton (28), Dougary Scott (35) and John Polson (35) in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000) as well as Maggie Q (27) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (29) in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006).
However, in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011) the average age of individuals associated with Brands jumped from just under 40 to almost 45. It is now over 47 in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015). While Rebecca Ferguson will only turn 32 this year, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Sean Harris are all in their mid to late 40s. Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin and Simon McBurney are in their 50s.
The age of individuals associated with Brands in only one of many factors for Brands in entertainment. However, it is conceivable that more youth-oriented Brands such as Apple or Oakley might have turned away from the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise to focus their entertainment marketing efforts and dollars on movies with younger casts.
top 10 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE product placements
Now, to finish off, here are the top 10 product placements across all 5 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies.