S: Hey, how was the movie?

A: You mean the giant advertisement with robots and a few fights thrown in? Pretty damn great.

S: That bad? I heard there was a lot of product placement, but that is becoming the norm these days. Maybe you were looking for product placement and that is why you focused on that. The movie still had a story and a plot, no?

A: Sadiq, you have no idea. This was not some elegant, subtle hint of a product. A robot crashes into a bright blue Oreo stand, the hero hijacks a Bud Light truck and then pops open a beer with his teeth in the end. It was too much, too blatant. It felt like the movie was an excuse to get to as many audiences as possible and sell them things. There should be a limit to this kind of thing, a ban or a restriction of some sort.

S: Why fix something that is not a problem. Without the sponsorship from these companies these movies would still be using cardboard boxes to film cities. It is this deluge of money that has allowed you to see such fantastic and grand movies, can you imagine going back to a period where a blockbuster didn’t have over the top explosions and everything? Plus the company sells its product. Win win.

A: For the studios and companies, I am sitting here out 1000 rupees so that I could see an ad fest. There is nothing wrong with regulation; we regulate TV ads don’t we?

S: Yes, but how do you define this? If New York gives access to filmmaker to state buildings in a bid to increase future tourism generated by the release of the movie, would that count? Would an iconic bottle with a recognisable shape, but without a name be considered product placement? What if the product was an integral and irreplaceable part of the plot? This is a swamp my friend, don’t wade in. Next time read reviews before going to shows.