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Ask The Expert: Which In-Movie Ad Would Make It In The Real World?
A top creative analyses the best (and worst) of in-movie marketing

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Movie: RoboCop (1987)

Paul Verhoeven is the past master of the in-movie ad. The Dutchman's arch jabs at the corporatised, amoral worlds found in his movies have satirised big business (Rekall in Total Recall), big auto (6000 SUX in RoboCop and MagnaVolt in RoboCop II) and big, erm, army (the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers). As Yorke points out, this commercial for the frankly terrifying board game Nukem riffs on those fun Saturday morning TV spots of our childhood. It's as good a reason as any not to cross anyone's Line of Death.

"This is a direct parody of the Battleship ad – 'You sunk my battleship!' – only elevated to a comical level. Verhoeven is very intelligent and by putting a magnifying glass on what already exists and blowing up the scale, excuse the pun, he raises big questions. We used to play Battleship without thinking about it, but the only difference between that and Nukem is the holographic nuclear explosion at the end. You're still blowing people up to entertain children. It's questioning where the line is for entertainment in society, and just stepping over it. As an ad, it's very true to the world of New Detroit. In fact, it's as good as that Battleship ad in the '80s – and that sold a lot of games."

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Your Comments

I've had the "Pizza Guy" jingle that Billy Crystal wrote in City Slickers stuck in my head for decades now... for all that it nearly got him fired, it was awesomely effective! More

Posted by kevtiggersmith on Friday April 11, 2014, 22:58

I'd buy that for a dollar. More

Posted by Himself on Thursday April 10, 2014, 23:51

3 What, no "Total Recall"?
"For the memory of a lifetime, Rekall, Rekall, Rekall..." More

Posted by Pssyche on Monday April 7, 2014, 07:33

You forgot Fruity Oaty Bars! :-) More

Posted by opera_jedi on Thursday April 3, 2014, 14:02

Or The Mattress Man... More

Posted by rjgraham on Friday March 28, 2014, 21:52

I was hoping to see 'Maury's Wigs' from Goodfellas. More

Posted by DancingClown on Friday March 28, 2014, 16:08

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