check out our full series of articles recapping product placement in 2021 movies
This article will take a closer look at the top 10 brands in 2021 movies based on their product placement value.
Concave Brand Tracking recorded over 1,200 brands across the 50 most-watched movies of 2021 (factoring in both theatrical and non-theatrical views). Then, using an in-house model that factors mentions, screen time, product discernibility, logo/name visibility, and global viewership, we calculated the advertising value of all brands. In this way, we ranked the top 100 brands in 2021 films. But in this article, we will see how the top 10 brands were so successful!
Sony’s two biggest movies were SPIDER-MAN NO WAY HOME and VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. It was the most visible brand in the former and the second-most visible in the latter.
It also appeared in a further 16 different movies, including THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, and CRUELLA. Many of the films Sony appeared in were very successful, and, as such, it had the second-highest average audience of any brand on this list.
Sony’s brand presence in film is driven by the company placing a high importance on product placement in the form of a dedicated team that manages the program. However, it is also aided by two big factors: Sony’s breadth of products and having its own studio.
While most brands on this list appear in the form of a single product (like cars), Sony appeared in 2021 movies in the form of 16 different types of products. They ranged from mobiles phones and TVs to alarm clocks and boomboxes.
Finally, of the 16 films Sony appeared in, six were produced by Sony Pictures. This included its two biggest ones from a product placement point of view: SPIDER-MAN NO WAY HOME and VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. And while it is more complicated than Sony just placing its own products in any film it is linked with, it definitely helps. But on the other hand, this also shows that Sony also has no problem getting its consumer products into productions outside of its own studios.
Sony’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
Few brands have a stronger connection with a franchise than Dodge with FAST & FURIOUS. While the Stellantis subsidiary is one of the top brands in movies every year, it does significantly better when there’s a new entry to the Vin Diesel-powered series. And 2021 was no exception. After being the 22nd most visible brand in 2020 movies, 18th in 2019, and 16th in 2018, Dodge jumped back to #8 in 2021. This was the exact position it had in 2017 when THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS was released. And much like in the eighth film, Dodge was the #1 brand in FAST & FURIOUS 9, getting nearly 24 million dollars in product placement value. This was the 7th best brand integration of 2021.
While F9 made up over half of Dodge’s 2021 value, it would not be on this list if not for its 26 other movies. These included NOBODY, ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, WRATH OF MAN, and LOVE HARD.
Dodge’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
Unlike Dodge, which relied on F9 for most of its value, Toyota did not get more than 18% from any one movie. OUTSIDE THE WIRE, DON’T LOOK UP, F9, and NO TIME TO DIE all contributed between 10% and 18% of Toyota’s total 2021 product placement value.
Toyota is consistently one of the top brands in entertainment year in and year out. It has always been in the upper third of our top 100 list since we started publishing it in 2016. Toyota was in the top 10 brands in 2018 and 2020.
Toyota’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
In recent years, some of Toyota’s best placements have included EXTRACTION (2021), BLACK PANTHER (2018), and THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017).
#7 Tom Davies
While cars are always the most significant product category in terms of product placement value, the second-biggest often surprises people. It is, in fact, eyewear. Since 2016, it has been the #2 product every year, except in 2020 when mobile phones just edged it out. But unlike most of the product categories that a small group of brands consistently dominates, the top eyewear brands can vary wildly. All it takes is one or two movies where some of the main cast wear a particular brand of eyewear for it to get tens of millions of dollars in value.
In 2019 it was Dita due to Tom Holland wearing them in SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. In 2020 this was Ray-Ban, thanks to Hugh Grant wearing a pair of their Wayfarers in THE GENTLEMEN. And in 2021 movies, Tom Davies was the top eyewear brand and the 7th most prominent brand overall, thanks to considerable roles in CRUELLA and THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS.
Tom Davies got almost fifteen minutes of screen time on both films, and its integration in CRUELLA was the 4th most valuable of 2021 across all product categories. It was worth 31 million dollars in advertising value.
Cruella was worth much more than MATRIX 4 for Tom Davies due to the Disney film having a far bigger audience. However, Tom Davies had the highest average audience per movie of any brand on this list with those two films.
In the past, Tom Davies has been worn by Angelina Jolie in THE TOURIST (2010) and Henry Cavill in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016).
Chevrolet appeared in 35 of the 50 most-watched films of 2021, the second-most of any brand. Like Toyota, this presence was quite spread out, with no film accounting for more than 19% of its total value. And like Dodge, its most successful placement of the year was in FAST & FURIOUS 9. It was the 3rd most prominent brand in the film, and seven different Chevrolet vehicles were in F9. This gave it almost six minutes of screen time.
Other movies that generated millions of dollars for Chevrolet included THE UNFORGIVABLE, ARMY OF THE DEAD, THE LITTLE THINGS, and THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES.
Chevrolet is part of an elite club of brands that have not only appeared on Concave’s top 100 list every year since its inception but have always been in the top 10 brands. In fact, this is the lowest it has ever been. Chevrolet was 4th in 2020, 5th in both 2019 and 2018, and peaked at #2 in 2017.
Chevrolet’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
Ford is another member of the product placement royalty that is always in the top 10 brands. Ford even took the top spot in 2019. However, at #5 in 2021, it ties 2017 for its lowest position.
Ford’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
In 2021, Ford appeared in 78% of movies, more than any other brand. Its presence was by far the most spread out, with no one film accounting for more than 6% of its total value. Along with Toyota, it is also the only brand not to have a placement worth at least 9 million dollars. However, it did have 18 worth over a million, more than any other brand.
Its best placements were in YES DAY, F9, VENOM LET THERE BE CARNAGE, and THE LITTLE THINGS to name just a few.
Although Sennheiser appeared in three of the top 50 2021 films, THE GUILTY accounted for 97% of its value. With Jake Gyllenhaal wearing one of their headsets for over 40 minutes of screen time, Sennheiser got 90 million dollars in exposure. This was the second-best movie product placement of 2021.
Over the years, Sennheiser has appeared in PITCH PERFECT 3 (2017), EUROVISION SONG CONTEST (2020), and HE’S ALL THAT (2021), to name just a few. But it has never had an integration like in THE GUILTY.
It was the 24th most visible brand in 2020 and the 65th in 2018. However, it did not make the top 100 brand list in 2019 and 2017.
Apple has never been outside the top four brands on our list and is the only brand to top it twice. This was in 2018 and 2020.
Apple’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
We find it at #3 in 2021. Apple benefitted from being in the fourth most film, having the third most total screen time but suffered from having the second-lowest average audience. Indeed, a recurring problem with Apple is that despite being one of the most common brands to see on screen, it struggles to get significant value from the biggest movies of the year. For example, its three most valuable films were THE GUILTY, HE’S ALL THAT, and LOVE HARD and were the 22nd, 29th, and 31st most watched films of the year. In contrast, the brand that tops this list was among the most visible brands in the three most-watched films of 2021.
Much like Sony, Apple benefits from having a range of products that can be used on-screen. So while iPhones were its most common ones, Macbooks, iPad, Apple Watches, AirPods, iMacs, and even some apps (like Siri and Facetime) could be seen and were mentioned in the dialogue.
Apple was also the 3rd most mentioned brand in 2021 films.
Although it appeared in 18 other movies, the headline for Nike has to be its placement in SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY. Overall, the brand had over an hour and thirteen minutes of combined screen time in the sequel to the 90s cult classic. This was worth 94 million dollars and was not only the #1 placement of 2021 but also arguably the most extensive product placements of all time.
Nike also had million-dollar appearances in FATHERHOOD, LOVE HARD, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME* and THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.
* We record Air Jordan separately from Nike except for Air Jordan 1s, which we count as both brands due to the presence of the swoosh.
While SPACE JAM 2 blasted Nike to the next level, it has been consistently on this list every year since 2017 and has been steadily climbing upwards.
Nike’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
And the #1 most prominent brand in 2021 movies is Dell. The Dell Technologies brand (we count other subbrands like Alienware – which was 18th – separately) got more product placement value than any other brand with a comfortable margin. It got 23% more than the runner-up.
Dell is another brand that has always been in the top 10 since we began this list. It even topped the list the first year we published it in 2016.
Dell’s historical ranking in Concave’s top 100 brands in film list:
While Dell appeared in 52% of 2021 films, five brands on this top 10 brands list were in more. So it owes its #1 spot to having more screen time than any other brand. In fact, in 2021, Dell got more screen time in the top 50 most-watched movies than any other brand since 2017, except for Lego in 2017, when both THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE and THE LEGO NINJAGO movies came out.
Dell’s best movie was THE GUILTY, worth 47.5 million dollars. Its second-biggest was DON’T LOOK UP, which was worth 22.2 million dollars. These were the third and ninth most valuable placements in 2021 movies.
Dell was also among the most visible brands in NO TIME TO DIE, FREE GUY, F9, RED NOTICE, THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, and SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY. With many of these films being among the most-watched of the year, Dell’s average viewership was third-best among the brands on this list. Only Tom Davies and Sony were higher, and they both appeared in far fewer films.