Christopher Cashen 55455863

Watch film, review and annotate script to catalogue and categorise all brands. Evaluate: Identified brands for revival, revitalisation or defictionalisation. Evaluate: The film for product retro-placement. Justify your answer with reference to relevant literature and supporting data. Provide supporting materials including annotated scripts as appendices.

Vanilla Sky (2001)

Next Generation Branding Workshop Word Count: 3,706 5/7/2010

Vanilla Sky - Introduction
Vanilla Sky is a film released in late 2001 which stars Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz. The film itself is a remake (1997) of Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil “Abre Los Ojos.” The film takes us through the story of a wealthy and handsome publishing tycoon who’s lifestyle exposes us to many brands which has been annotated in the script (Appendix A) and categorised (Appendix B). I will now discuss the various cohorts of brands whilst referring to the relevant literature. The first part of this essay will introduce the Brand Precession, followed by placement, retro-placement, revival and revitalisation to conclude the essay.

Brand Precession
First Order – These are brands which initially exist in the virtual world but are applied to products that can exist in the real, physical world. Examples of this in Vanilla Sky include: Philips TV

The Philips T.V is seen in the opening scene and according to Cameron Crowe’s audio commentary, Tom Cruise designed the T.V set himself and applied a motor to ground to enable it to be lowered into the ground. Given that this capability was designed at the time of the film and the brands presence in the real world already, this product could exist in the real physical world. Spinout Magazine

Spinout Magazine existed in the physical world as the form seen in the film, however has now changed to Modified. This is a car modification magazine (Modified, 2010) Second Order – Brands which initially exist in the virtual but due to it virtual product characteristics cannot exist entirely in the real world. Examples of this in Vanilla Sky include: Hologram Machine

As seen in the film through the party scene guests are congregated around a hologram machine which is playing John Coltrane “My favourite things.” At one point the character Sofia Serrano visably moves her hand through the hologram. The basic laws of physics are prohibiting this representation of the “hologram” and according to Pizzanelli (2010) “real holography will never deliver on these expectations.” There have been advances in the mythical hologram created by Hollywood films such as Vanilla Sky, but it is believed this cannot exist entirely in the real world. Third Order – Brands which initially exist in the virtual world but can relate to a range of products, both physical and virtual. The level of flexibility differs with regards to productisation, as it is not predetermined. Examples of this in vanilla Sky include: Rise Magazine

Rise magazine falls under Aames publishing in Vanilla Sky, and whilst it does not exist in the real physical world, it possesses a resemblance to popular male lifestyle magazines which include females, references to beer etc. This can again be altered given that we are unaware of the actual nature and content of the magazine, which gives the magazine a definite flexibility with regards to productisation.

Prosthetic Mask

The prosthetic mask worn by the central character at various throughout the entire film is built to restore the vanity of central character David Aames. While similar masks are available as novelty or fancy dress accessories, relating to a range of products, there is no mask available as worn by Tom Cruise (i.e. David Aames). Therefore the productization of the mask is flexible, strictly speaking. A variation is worn (purple disposable), therefore there is a degree of flexibility with regards to the prosthetic mask. Forth Order – Brands which exist only in the virtual world with no relationship at all. Their existence is independent of the real world. Examples of this in Vanilla Sky include: REV Magazine

The existence of “Rev” magazine is prominent throughout the film with regards to posters and memo headers. However this magazine does not exist in the real world. Its existence is completely independent of any physical world magazine. This is, in part, given the limited knowledge we are given with regards to the magazine.

“Defending the Kingdom” David Aames This book again is independent of any representation of the physical world. The author does not exist nor the title of the book. While, in the film, the book is written by David Aames senior (Tom Cruise’s characters father) it and the author exist in the realm of Vanilla Sky and not externally.

Aames Publications Many publications are roofed under the fictional “Aames Publishing” it again is independent of the physical world and exists purely in the motion picture.

“L.E” Life Extension Character David Aames signs a contract with a company called “Life Extension" or "L.E.", who place clinically-dead patients into cryonic suspension, to resurrect at their wish. Upon death, the body of David Aames is placed in low-temperature preservation of humans utilising Cryonics (body can no longer be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future). Cryopreservation of people is not reversible with current technology and therefore L.E or the Oasis Project as it is referred at the end of the film, is not a viable concept and therefore exists in its form exclusively in the motion picture.

Lucid Dream (LE) In return for an additional fee, L.E can place their patients into a "Lucid Dream" state while in cryogenic suspension. This combines the suspension with entertainment based on the desires of your sub-conscious. Again this combination of cryogenics and entertainment (“Cryno-tainment”) is completely unfeasible in the physical world and exists only within Vanilla Sky, despite future hopes of its potential.

Product Placement
The volume and sophistication of product (or brand) placement have grown impressively and rapidly (Balasubramanian et al, 2006). Product placements in prime time television rose 8% in 2008, says ratings tracker Nielsen. Fox's American Idol alone had 580 product placements (Lowry & Helm, 2009). As a devise, product placement can be very effective on innumerable levels whether setting a time period or portraying a character’s personality and/or traits. It has been considered an effective means of promotion for an organisation’s branded good/service. Product Placement presents attractive cost-benefit ratios and can be considered an avoidance of consumer resistance to traditional mass media (Balasubramanian et al, 2006). However, as outlined by Lynn and Muzellec (2009), traditional Product Placement has its own limitations. The success of each placement could be inherently linked to the media vehicle in which the placement is embedded. Given the nature of Vanilla Sky (2001), marketers who utilised product placement bore the risk of poor box office or ratings performance of the film. While Balasubramanian et al (2006) outlined a seemingly inviting cost-benefit ratio; there are no established, accurate or dependable measurements. The control of the placement message by the marketer may become subsidiary to the objectives of the motion picture. It is also difficult for marketers to assess the quality or volume of placement opportunities available in the future, thus effectively precluding advanced planning for placement options (Lynn & Muzellec, 2009). Vanilla Sky is an extremely brand intensive motion picture and even from the opening scene the repetition of the morning ritual shows two different cars (see Figure One). In this instance the cars are used as devices to communicate central character David Aames’s lifestyle and wealth. This is done early in order to give the audience early indication of David Aames make-up (similar to the car). There are more identifiable examples of product placement including Erikson, IWC watches, Apple, Heinz Ketchup, Budweiser, Gibson guitars and Steinway & Sons pianos. This is based on the frequency they appear and the products clarity on screen. There are seven appearances made by

Gibson guitars, including the infamous smashed guitar, four appearances of Erickson phones, four by IWC watches, two by Apple computers and two by Steinway & Sons pianos. While there is no actual record of contract or transaction with regards to placement in the motion picture, one must conclude that any brand/product which appears more than once could be deliberate and thus perhaps the result of a contractual relationship between the brand and the motion picture. Figure One: Two Cars Used (Opening 6 Minutes)

Car One: Ferrari 250 GTO Replica

Car Two: Ford Mustang 1967

Product Retro-Placement
Product retro-placement is the retro-fitting of existing digital video programming containing preexisting people, products, places and brands with clickable anchors that allow viewers discover and interact with those placements both opt-in and on-demand (Lynn & Muzellec, 2009). This involves the utilisation of tracking software and once integrated, will introduce interactive qualities to any filmed object. When these “anchors” are implanted with the information that marketers wish to display, they can be tracked by a mouse on a computer provided the user is online. This allows the products/ services in the media to be purchased or similar imitations identified. The relative success of availing of product retro placement is determined by 3 main factors. The first being the extent to which the creation of the film has been influenced by marketers or sponsors. Given that I have identified 216 “brand” appearances within Vanilla Sky (running time 130minutes i.e. approximately 2 brands per minute viewing); this would deem the influence by marketers to be formidable. The second factor is the level of pre-existing people, products, places and brands in the film (Lynn & Muzellec, 2009). Again Vanilla Sky has utilised famous actors and actresses in Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz; the use of products is evident from the beginning moments of the film when central character David Aames turns off his JVC alarm clock and Philips T.V (satisfying both products and brands); and the film is set in New York. Therefore this determination can be declared satisfied. The final factor affecting success regarding retro-placement is considered to be the success of the base media (i.e. the film). Vanilla Sky opened at #1 at the box office in the United States (December 14, 2001). The opening weekend took in a gross income of $25,015,518 (24.9%). The final domestic gross income was $100.61 million while foreign gross income was higher at $102.76m. This amounted to a worldwide gross income of $203,388,341 (Box Office Mojo, 2010). However, despite

its undoubted financial success, the receptiveness of critics has been lukewarm. Rotten Tomatoes said the consensus of Vanilla Sky was that it was “An ambitious mix of genres, Vanilla Sky collapses into an incoherent jumble. Cruise's performance lacks depth, and it's hard to feel sympathy for his narcissistic character,” (Flixster, 2010). Mixed reviews were emulated through all American media and press including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. There is a cult following for Vanilla Sky and its media performance is encouraging, and given the aforementioned intensity of brand appearances, one could assume that Vanilla Sky would find the retro-placement exercise gainful.

Brands for Revival/ Revitalisation
Retro branding is the revival or re-launch of a product or service brand from a prior historical period, which can (but may not be) but updated to contemporary standards of performance, functioning or taste (Brown et al, 2003). This film was released in 2001 and therefore, given it is merely nine years old; this certainly disqualifies it from retro-branding. The main opportunity presented is that of revenue potential from the release of Blu-Ray. This should bring sales as supersede to the DVD format. However there are many brands within Vanilla Sky which could have the opportunity for revival/ revitalisation. These are: NYC Brand – It is interesting to note that this film was shot before the 9/11 attacks and released post. While this is not an intention from the producers, obviously, it does present an interesting revitalisation opportunity. The film is shot through many of the iconic New York locations, and touch points such as the taxis, police cars are never far from the screen. In the final shot, the aerial view of a futuristic New York still contains the Twin Towers. This film represents New York in how things used to be and also with an interesting insight into how things could have been.

spark interest in the original Spanish motion picture. Abre Los Ojos – This is the original to Vanilla Sky, made by Alejandro Amenábar and Mateo Gil in 1997. It is a Spanish film, which also stars Penelope Cruz, which again presents resonance with the same audience of Vanilla Sky. When the title “Abre Los Ojos” is directly translated in English means “Open your eyes.” In the American remake of Abre Los Ojos, Penelope Cruz can be heard in the first scene of the film whispering “Abre Los Ojos” and “Open your eyes.” This is again repeated by Cameron Diaz’s character and in the final scene of Vanilla Sky; a doctor is heard saying to a defrosted David Aames “Open your eyes.” It is clear that both films are tightly aligned and thus success of Vanilla Sky will

“Sabrina”& “Love in the Afternoon” - Audrey Hepburn-The film “Sabrina” was released in 1954 and “Love in the Afternoon” in 1957. In the first scene as the central character wakes, a ballroom scene from Sabrina can be seen on the T.V screen. As David and Sofia move towards the “day-office” Cameron Crowe reveals in his commentary that this is a clear reference to “Love in the Afternoon” and in particular the “Cello scene.” The Audrey Hepburn brand is in essence from a prior historical period, which could be updated to modern standards through DVD or Blu-ray. An example of this would be the Audrey Hepburn Collection which is on sale in retail outlets.

Bob Dylan “Freewheelin”- The Bob Dylan “Freewheelin” (1963) artwork is one that is deployed throughout the film. This again begins in the first scene as the famous picture can be seen framed over character David Aames as he wakes. It appears again, as Crowe tries to mirror the shot used for “Freewheelin” (below) with the two central characters. It is then seen again at the end of the picture in the final slideshow. Given that is again from a prior historical period, the opportunity for revitalisation again exists.

Twilight Zone – The popular T.V series (1958 -Episode “Shadow Play”) can be seen in the Times Square scene where it is being played on the monitor above character David Aames head as he exists his car. This again has revival opportunities. Ford Mustang 1967 (Dark Green) – While we can classify this as Product Placement (see first section), given the age of the model and how it fits into the central characters life, we can see that this could well be categorised as a product brand which could be used for revitalisation. Monet Paintings (La Seine at Argenteuil, 1873) – Again these paintings are core to the movie itself. Each scene after the “splice” has occurred have Monet type skies. This would juxtapose with the original painting “La Seine at Argenteuil.” The painting itself is seen on a tour that David gives to Sofia in the party scene. This again suggests potential for this painting (or prints as it may be more appropriate) to be revived.

Jules et Jim Film- The poster for this film can be seen in David Aames apartment at various points throughout the film. There is also an inclusion of a short clip in the final scene. This film again gives context to the storyline we are being told by Ventura that it gives David Aames an idea of “what happiness could be like.” Again this film is from a similar period as much of the iconography used in the film (1962) and therefore its potential is associated similarly.

À bout de souffle (1960) - An Loc Godard PosterThis poster makes a number of appearances in the film and is featured in David Aames bedroom alongside the “Jules et Jim” poster. However there are no identifiable references apart from the poster. Therefore the revival potential, with regards to Vanilla Sky, is limited to the poster print of the film. However it again plays into the lifestyle of a wealthy tycoon which would give it an element of prestige, which would obviously help with regards to it place in the viewers frame.

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) – This film is again a makeup of the iconography of David Aames and features predominately in the characters meetings with Dr. Mc Cabe and again at the end of the film. While this was originally a book, both it and the film have the potential to be revitalised. As Ventura states, the film gave the central character the interpretation of “what a farther could be like.”

Music: Various – Throughout the film we are presented with music spanning from 1955 (Frank Sinatra – the wee small hours) to 2000 (Radiohead – Kid A). These artists include the aforementioned, accompanied by Jeff Buckley, Vicky Carr, John Coltrane, REM, Underwood, Joan Osborne, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Todd Rundgren, Bjork, The Beach Boys, Sigur Ros, and Bruce Sprinsteen. Again the artists from older periods are more susceptible to be revived, all can be revitalised through the online download market, which they may not have been privy to in 2001.

Appendix B: Classification of Brands.
Brand NYC Brand Abre Los Ojos “Sabrina” JVC Alarm Clock + JVC brand Philips TV Bob Dylan “Freewheelin” IWC watch Smashed Gibson Guitar & other Gibson Guitars Ferrari 250 GTO Coca Cola Mc Donald’s Chevrolet Marriott Kodak Budweiser MTV CNBC Samsung Pepsi LG Pizza Hut Toys R’ Us Gap Twilight Zone Episode “Shadow Play” Rise Magazine Spinout Magazine Erikson Ford Mustang 1967 (Dark Green) REM (“all the right friends”, “Sweetness Follows”) Radiohead (Kid A) MACK Truck Aames Publications REV Magazine Converse Runners Prosthetic Mask Vans Footwear brand Place in Script XXXXXX (2,40,60,79,104,107) XX (2,12) X (2) XXX(2,3,74) X (3) XXX (2,3,53) XXXXX (2,72,74,99,108) XXXX (2,3,15) XXXXXX X(2,4,21,24,25,27, 102) Appearances 6 2 1 3 3 5 4 7 Category Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement First Order Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Third Order First Order Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation

X (2) XXXX (3,25,26,27) XX (3,12) X (3) X (3) XXX (3,47,69) XXX (3,57,58) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) X (3) XXXXX (3,5,8,9,51) XXX (3,8,51) XXXX (4,5,54,74) XXXX (5,38,70,102) XX (5,63)

1 4 2 1 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 3 4 4 2

XX (7,81) X (7) XXXXXX (8,9,12,51,100) XX (8,51) X (9) XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (9,32,44,49,54,58,63,65,66,70,82,87,97,100) X (10)

2 1 6 2 1 14 1

Product Placement Forth Order Forth Order Product Placement Third Order Product

To Kill a Mockingbird Film “Defending the Kingdom” David Aames TV Digest Maxell Black Angus Restaurant Sony Hologram Machine John Coltrane “My Favourite Things” Monet Paintings (La Seine a Argenteuil, 1873) Jules Et Jim Film À bout de souffle (1960) An Loc Godard Poster Martini “Love in the Afternoon” Audrey Hepburn Joni Mitchell “Edmonton” Painting Steinway & Sons Piano Apple Jack Daniels Frank Sinatra & “Wee small hours” Hotpoint Rolling Rock Beer Jeff Buckley Vicky Carr “L.E” Life Extension Benny The Dog Lucid Dream (LE) “Life the Sequel” by Raymond Tooley 1971 Buick Skylark (Light Blue) Julianna Gianni “I Fall Apart” CD Martin Luther King Poster “I Have a Dream” The Simpsons (Homer Simpson Blimp) Journey Magazine M&M’s Conan O Brien Show St. Rose (saint of vanity) t-shirt Bud Light Patron Tequila

XXXX (11,33,99,108) XX (12,108)

4 2

Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Forth Order

XX (12,51) X (12) X (12) XX (14,73) X (17) X (17) XXXXXXXXXX (18,23,44,64,70,97,104,107,108)

2 1 1 2 1 1 10

Revival/ Revitalisation

Product Placement Second Order

Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Product Placement Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Forth Order Forth Order Forth Order Forth Order Product Placement First Order Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Forth Order Product Placement Product Placement First Order Product Placement Product

XXXX (19,71,75,99) XXXX (19,52,74,76) XXXX (22,28,41,58) X (23)

4 4 4 1

X (24) XX (24,70) XX (25,46) XXXX (25,26,27,101) XX (26, 108) XX (30,84) X (30) XX (31,38) X (31) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (36,44,53,67,83,88,89,90,92,93,95,96,101) XXXXX (37,45,53,88,104) XXXX (92,94,103) XX (37,88) XXX (38,45,102) X (40) XX (45,108)

1 2 2 4 2 2 1 2 1 17 5 4 2 3 1 2

X (50) X (51) X (51) X (53) XX (55,58) X (57) XX (57,58)

1 1 1 1 2 1 2

Placement Underwood “Rez” Joan Osborne “What if God was one of us?” The Beatles Volkswagen Bus Rolling Stones “Heaven” – Tattoo you. Heinz Ketchup Todd Rundgren “Can we Still be friends?” Burberry James Bond “Dr. No” Bjork Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” Sigur Ros Bruce Sprinsteen – “The River” Betty Boop X (58) XX (68,86) 1 2 Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Product Placement Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation Revival/ Revitalisation

X (69) X (72) X (89)

1 1 1

XXXX (81,82) X (89) X (89) X (93) X (93) X (95) XX (106,108) X (108) X (108)

4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1

References: Balasubramanian, S. Karrh, J. Patwardhan, H. (2006). “Audience Response to Product Placements,” The Journal of Advertising, Volume: 35, Issue: 3. Pp. 115-141. Box Office Mojo. (2010). “Vanilla Sky- Gross Summary,” [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 9 April 2010] Flixster. (2010). “Rotten Tomatoes Movie Review: Vanilla Sky,” [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 9 April 2010] Lowry, T. & Helm, B. (2009). “Blasting Away at Product Placement,” *Online+. Available from: [Accessed 6 April 2010] Modified (2010) “Spinout – Modified Magazine,” *Online+. Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2010] Muzzellec, L. Lynn, T. (2010). “There is no spoon: Towards a Framework for the Classification of Virtual Brands and Management of the Brand Precession.” Management Online Review, Oxford Management Publishing, January 2010 issue. Pp. 1-6 Pizzanelli, D. (2010). “Hollywood’s Holograms,” [Online] Available from: [Accessed 27 April 2010]