Concave Brand Tracking combed through ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, recording all the brands that appeared. We then compared this to the same data we collected back in 2017 for JUSTICE LEAGUE. On the one hand we found that the new version had a similar amount of brand integrations when accounting for the run time. However, the brands that stuck out the most did vary quite interestingly.
Firstly, it is important to consider that the Snyder Cut was 242 minutes vs. JUSTICE LEAGUE’s 120 minutes. In other words, the newer version is almost exactly twice as long.
Now, the 2017 version was not particularly brand heavy. 21 or the 50 highest grossing movies of 2017 had more brand visibility than JUSTICE LEAGUE. Brand visibility accounts for screen time and product discernibility but not the audience of a film. It quantifies how much exposure to brands any given viewer has.
JUSTICE LEAGUE featured 23 different brands. They shared a total of 22 minutes of screen time with an average quality of exposure (how discernible the product are) of 20%.
In comparison, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE featured 40 brands for a total of 43 minutes and the same average quality of exposure. Overall, it had 193% the amount of brand visibility of the original version. This means that while the Snyder Cut has a lot more product placement than 2017’s JUSTICE LEAGUE, it actually has less if we account for the duration.
So which brands benefitted the most from this extra exposure and which, if any, lost out?
It is hard to call any brand a loser when a product placement partnership leads to appearances in two separate movies that millions of viewers see. However, the closest we can find to losers in the Justice League saga from a product placement point of view are brands that appeared in the original but did not make the second version, despite it being twice as long. This was the case for Honda and GM, although these appeared to be merely organic appearances. AT&T and Maybach, however, were clearly brand tie-ins that did not make the Snyder Cut.
THE NEW FACES
- Ezra Miller‘s The Flash wears a Casio calculator watch in scenes that did not make the 2017 cut.
- In one of these new Flash scenes, he can also be seen saving Iris West (played by Kiersey Clemons) as she crashes her red Oldsmobile Cutlass.
- Another new car brand that appeared included Aston Martin which also appeared in 2016’s BATMAN V SUPERMAN.
- Budweiser and Coors neon signs appeared briefly in a new shot, as did a Leica storefront.
- A Eurocopter helicopter and de Havilland / Norlandair plane appear in a new Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) scene early on.
- During the final showdown, Alfred (Jeremy Irons) drinks Talisker whisky.
- A Forbes magazine is seen on Bruce Wayne’s plane in a scene that appeared in both versions. The exact shot in which it was visible did not make the 2017 cut.
- The biggest brand that did not appear in the older version but starred in 2021 one was Sony. Indeed, Sony had almost 1 ½ minutes of screen time in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE with a quality of exposure of 42%. It was the fifth most visible brand in the newer version of the movie. This high visibility was due to the multiple obvious and close-up shots of a Sony voice recorder being listened to by Cyborg (played by Ray Fisher). The reason for this omission in the original is that most of Cyborg’s backstory was cut from the Whedon version. The Sony tape recorder was a central narration device for this part of the movie.
- Another brand that had significant visibility in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE thanks to Cyborg’s bigger role was Schutt. The sporting company appeared as helmets in the football sequence of the movie. With over a minute of screen time and a high quality of exposure, it was the seventh most visible brand in the 2021 cut.
THE REDUCED ROLES
Some brands appeared prominently in both versions but for slightly less screen time in the newer JUSTICE LEAGUE:
- Breitling was worn by Alfred and had over 20 seconds of screen time in the 2017 version but under 15 in the Snyder Cut.
- Panasonic appeared both as a TV and laptop in JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) but only the TV made ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE.
- Samsung was by far the most visible brand in the 2017 cut, making up nearly 50% of all the brand visibility in the movie. This placement was also the ninth best of 2017. While it had over a minute of extra screen time in the Snyder Cut, its quality of exposure fell quite significantly from 26% to 16%. This resulted in it getting less overall visibility in the new version of JUSTICE LEAGUE. This shift can be explained by certain close-up shots of its phone being cut. Its logo was also less visible due to the 2021 cut being much darker. Despite this setback, Samsung was still the second most visible brand in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE. This is still an outstanding achievement when you consider this placement can be counted as a “freebie” given it was not originally planned to have two versions of the film.
THE NEW STARS
Finally, some brands appeared in both versions of JUSTICE LEAGUE but had far more visibility in Zack Snyder’s cut:
- Vauxhall, Dodge, Chevrolet and Ford were all secondary car brands in both versions but had between 48% and 440% more visibility in the Snyder version.
- Moscot was the brand of glasses worn by Alfred. With the extended run time, it saw its screen time and the quality of its exposure (less background and discreet shots) increase. All in all, Moscot’s visibility in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE was 62% more visible than in JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017).
- U-Haul saw its screen time more than double. As such, its product placement visibility increase by 214%.
- Ben Affleck‘s watch in both versions was a Breguet. A Ref 7047PT Tradition Fusee Tourbillon, which retails for about $189,700, to be specific. It had almost ten times more screen time in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE.
- Mercedes-Benz was the leading product placement car brand in both versions of JUSTICE LEAGUE. However, its screen time nearly tripled in the newer cut, although its quality of exposure decreased from 32% to 25%. All in all, Mercedes-Benz got a 126% increase in its brand visibility in the Snyder Cut vs. the original one.
And by far, the biggest brand winner of the Snyder Cut was…UNDER ARMOUR!
Under Armour appeared briefly in 2017’s JUSTICE LEAGUE in just two scenes. First as a football in Cyborg’s home and then later as a pair his shoes. This amounted to under 30 second of screen time.
Much like Schutt and Sony, Under Armour benefited greatly from the Snyder Cut. Its screen time increased to over six minutes, the second-most behind only Samsung. This considerable increase was mostly due to Under Armour appearing in the form of football jerseys, gloves, shoes and bandanas in Cyborg’s football flashback. It was also the brand of the letterman jacket he is seen wearing at various points in the movie. The Flash also wears a pair of Under Armour shoes in one of his new scenes.
None of the above scenes were included in the 2017 version. However, there is something strange in the part where Cyborg first meets Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot). A scene that features in both versions. In the new cut he wears an Under Armour bag. Whereas in the 2017 cut there is no sign of a bag and Cyborg is wearing a tracksuit. This means that either Under Armour was removed in JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) or digitally added in ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (2021).
This unique episode in cinema history has shown how different movies can turn out depending on who’s at the helm. A small part of that, as we’ve explored in this article, is how these differences can affect product placement!