Concave Brand Tracking screened the newly released SOUTHPAW (2015) and recorded all the Brands that featured in the movie.
This article looks at how much exposure the movie offered Brands as a whole and how this compared with other movies, as well as which Brands got the most exposure.
This report contains moderate spoilers about sequences that occur, but not about the actual story. All screenshots from SOUTHPAW (2015) come from trailers or other promotional materials and are the property of The Weinstein Company.
While promoting SOUTHPAW (2015), Jake Gyllenhaal, Antoine Fuqua, Eminem and anyone affiliated with the project have spoken a lot about the “feel” of the boxing scenes. In their words, they wanted it to look like an HBO or Showtime production. While this mostly related to camera work, lighting and other such technical aspects, something that will definitely remind viewers of real life boxing showdowns – like the recent Mayweather/Pacquiao fight – is the omnipresence of Brands in and around the ring.
The non-boxing parts of the movie also feature Brands of cars, watches, mobile phones and other products, but most Brand exposure occurs in boxing contexts and is associated with the sport.
However, despite the homogeneity of the context in which they are seen, the types of products and Brands shown in relation to boxing vary quite widely.
total Brand exposure
Before we look at which Brands received the most visibility in SOUTHPAW (2015), let us first take a look at how much total Brand exposure it contained relative to other movies.
As the chart above shows, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (2014) – part of the notoriously Brand-heavy TRANSFORMERS franchise – contained only 9% more Brand exposure than SOUTHPAW (2015). ENTOURAGE (2015) provided Brands with 32% more Brand exposure than SOUTHPAW. However, Concave Brand Tracking recently found the HBO movie to be one of the most Brand filled movies of all time. So SOUTHPAW (2015) definitely provides Brands with a lot of exposure relative to other movies.
If we look at football related movies, such as JUMP STREET (2014) and THE BLIND SIDE (2009), we find that they had marginally less Brand exposure in them than SOUTHPAW (2015).
2015 movies such as FURIOUS 7, PITCH PERFECT 2, JURASSIC WORLD and most recently ANT-MAN all contained significantly less Brand exposure than SOUTHPAW (2015).
most visible Brands
Concave Brand Tracking recorded every single Brand that appeared in the movie along with how visible they were, how long they were on screen for and whether their logos/names were visible.
While we found well over 60 Brands ranging from Minute Maid juice boxes to Tom Ford sunglasses, we have ranked the top 8 most visible Brand in the chart below.
When factoring screen time, product discernibility and logo/name visibility, Caesars Palace emerges as the most visible Brand in SOUTHPAW (2015). Miller Lite follows with only 12% less visibility than Caesars Palace. We then find Adidas and Under Armour tied as 3rd most visible Brands, followed by HBO, Monster, Everlast and Nike.
The charts below show a more detailed breakdown of how each of these 8 Brands achieved their exposure in SOUTHPAW (2015).
We find that while Caesars Palace and Miller Lite top this list due to extended screen time and strong logo/name visibility, they were mostly seen discreetly or in the background.
Under Armour had much less screen time than most of the other top 8 Brands but combined strong logo/name visibility with much more discernible products.
HBO had the least screen time of the top 8 Brands but still ranked 4th due to having its logo on display in all its screen time as well as multiple close-up shots of its TV broadcasts.
#1 Caesars Palace
Although Caesars Palace does not appear until the last act, the Brand is then almost consistently on screen for the rest of the movie. The final fight takes place in Caesars Palace’s arena where the boxing ring is plastered with its logo. Adding to this an aerial shot of the resort and the round cards featuring the Caesars Palace name, gives the Brand a total of over 7 ¾ minutes of screen time.
While the Caesars Palace Brand receives substantial screen time and has its logo visible almost throughout, it is mostly seen in the background or discreetly.
Despite its appearance in SOUTHPAW (2015), Caesars Palace is depicted as a professional boxing capital on par with Madison Square Garden, where the opening fight of the movie takes place.
This appearance will bolster Caesars Palace’s image as a sport venue and specifically a boxing one following the MGM Grand getting much boxing-related attention with its numerous Mayweather fights.
While Caesar’s Palace is one of the most common Las Vegas resorts to appear in movies, it is usually portrayed as a luxurious holiday or party destination, rather than a sports venue.
Caesars Palace has appeared in past box office hits IRON MAN (2008) and THE HANGOVER (2009) as well as, most recently GODZILLA (2014) and THINK LIKE MAN TOO (2014). However, SOUTHPAW (2015) marks Caesars Palace’s biggest appearance compared with all of the above.
#2 Miller Lite
Along with the Caesars Palace name, the boxing ring in the final fight is also covered in the Miller Lite logo.While the Caesars Palace name is present as the host of the bout, Miller Lite is one of the many sponsors. With its name omnipresent during the final fight, the Brand gets almost 7 minutes of screen time.
The Brand is hence associated with advertising and sponsorship, but more importantly with sports and boxing. Budweiser was portrayed in a similar manner by being the sponsor of the main fight in in GRUDGE MATCH (2013).
While the various Miller Brands are not as common in entertainment as the Budweiser ones, they are frequently found across movies and TV series.
#3 (tied) Adidas
As a boxing movie, SOUTHPAW (2015) is filled with various sports Brands, but Adidas emerges as the most visible of them all. It is also the Brand most associated with the star of the movie, Jake Gyllenhaal. He sports Adidas footwear for all of his fights while often wearing their shorts in his spare time. He is also seen wearing a pair of Adidas by Monster headphones in the opening scene. Beyond Gyllenhaal, his team are seen in Adidas tracksuits and some of his opponents also wear footwear bearing the iconic three stripes.
The various Adidas products seen throughout the movie total up to 6 minutes of screen time. However, this translates to much less visibility as Caesars Palace and Miller Lite due to Adidas’ logo only being clearly seen in 23% of its screen time.
Adidas’ portrayal in SOUTHPAW (2015) shows it primarily as a sports Brand and a professional boxing Brand. While it is also worn casually, in most of its screen time it is used during actual fights or while training for them.
This is an interesting move for Adidas, given that not a single of The Ring’s pound for pound 10 best fighters (for the week ending July 24th 2015) wore Adidas footwear in their last fight; The majority wore Nike. One can assume that this strong showing in SOUTHPAW (2015) is a sign that Adidas aims to increase its market share in the boxing sector.
In SOUTHPAW (2015), Adidas is associated with both boxing and sports in general, much as it was in GRUDGE MATCH (2013) where it was worn by LL Cool J and Robert De Niro. Overall though, the Brand’s entertainment strategy seems to be one of omnipresence across many sports. It was recently associated with soccer in PALO ALTO (2013), dancing in STEP UP: ALL IN (2013) and fitness in PAIN & GAIN (2013) to name a few movies. SOUTHPAW (2015) is, however, one of Adidas’ most visible movie appearances.
Adidas was also strongly associated with football in the music video I DON’T FUCK WITH YOU by Big Sean. That particular collaboration helped make Adidas the most visible Brand in music for 2014.
#3 (tied) Under Armour
With the exact same amount of exposure as Adidas in SOUTHPAW (2015) and also in the category of general sportswear Brands, we find Under Armour. Just as Adidas is strongly associated with Gyllenhaal, Under Armour is mostly worn by Forrest Whitaker. He wears their tracksuits while training Jake Gyllenhaal, before trading them in for an Adidas tracksuit for the final fight.
In recent years, Under Armour has expanded its Brands from its football roots to an array of other sports, and SOUTHPAW (2015) follows this trend. In 2014, Under Armour was associated with baseball in MILLION DOLLAR ARM (2014), running in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014) and basketball in THE GAMBLER while maintaining its image of a football Brand in 22 JUMP STREET (2014).
As we mentioned earlier, one of the objectives in SOUTHPAW (2015) was to make the fight look exactly like the real ones on HBO or Showtime. To do so, actual HBO camera operators were brought in to help film SOUTHPAW (2015).
As such, it is no surprise that HBO is the broadcaster for the three fights in the movie and hence has its logo visible in the arena, on an array of signage, on the commentators microphones and on the broadcasts when the fights are shown on TVs.
HBO is not a regular Brand in movies, but it did appear in 2013’s boxing movie, GRUDGE MATCH.
Following Beats by Dre’s string of appearances in this summer’s box office hits, we find their old manufacturing partner Monster making an entrance into the area of movie product placement.
The Monster headphones Brand appears mostly in the form of a sponsor for the first two fights in the movie, before being replaced by Miller Lite in the final bout. Furthermore, Monster’s Adidas headphones are worn both by Jake Gyllenhaal and rival Miguel Gomez as they get motivated before fights or training.
This portrayal associates Monster with sports, much as Beats by Dre was in its 2014 World Cup campaign.
Monster’s first major appearance in a movie follows its growing presence in music videos. The Brand recently featured in Hilary Duff’s SPARKS (2014) and regularly appears in Meek Mill’s videos.
While Adidas and Under Armour are the most visible sports Brands, SOUTHPAW (2015) does contain boxing-specific Brands. Everlast is the most visible of these and the 7th most visible Brand overall.
Though overshadowed by the more general sports Brands and all the sponsors, Everlast gets over 3 minute of screen time in SOUTHPAW (2015), mostly in the form of boxing rings and other boxing equipment.
Unlike Adidas and Under Armour, Everlast is a much more niche Brand. It has appeared in a number of movies and TV series but always in the context of boxing or martial arts. Examples of such movies include MR. & MRS. SMITH (2005), 21 (2008) and GRUDGE MATCH (2013). Everlast also appeared in the 1st season of BLACK-ISH (2014) and made quite a prominent appearance in the 2nd season of HOUSE OF CARDS (2014).
At #8 we find Nike with less than a third of the exposure of Caesars Palace and half that of Under Armour and Adidas. Nike has over 3 ½ minutes of screen time in SOUTHPAW (2015) though its products only appear discreetly in most of it.
The main antagonist in the movie wears Nike footwear in the final fight, however the Brand is mostly portrayed as a casual Brand. Most of its presence is due to Jake Gyllenhaal wearing Nike sneakers or flip flops outside of the ring.
This is nothing new for Nike who, despite often being associated with sports, is also regularly worn in movies in purely casual contexts. Recent examples of this include Nike’s presence in 2014 movies LET’S BE COPS, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, THE INTERNSHIP and the 2015 movie THE DUFF.
– While cars only appear sporadically in SOUTHPAW (2015), Bentley, Cadillac, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz are all seen at least once in the context of Jake Gyllenhaal’s initial life of luxury. Honda also appears in a couple of scenes and is portrayed as a more humble Brand.
– Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams wear Tom Ford and Alpina sunglasses, respectively.
– Though Everlast is the only boxing-specific Brand to crack the top 8 Brands, SOUTHPAW (2015) also features boxing equipment from Ringside, Grant, Cleto Reyes, Jaab and Title.
– Cartier makes a small but visible appearance in an early scene and is then referenced again later on.
– As well as Monster and Miller Lite, Rockstar and Coca-Cola also get exposure as fight sponsors.
– Voss, Dasani and Vitaminwater bottles appear in a couple of scenes.
– Jake Gyllenhaal is seen using an Apple iPhone on two occasions.
– Sennheiser headsets and Dell monitors are used by ringside commentators during the fight scenes.
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