Maserati Tours Film-TV Screens

By Robert Marich
   March 14, 2011- Maserati cars are getting screen time in films and TV shows by being quick to say yes when Hollywood calls. The high-end Italian car maker—which is known for sports car but also makes a nifty sedan—handles Hollywood contacts directly after dropping a product placement agency as a middleman in 2008, says a Hollywood Reporter article by Daniel Miller.
   Maserati have or will appear in feature films Limitless, Love, Wedding, and Marriage, and TV series Entourage, Desperate Housewives and Californication.Two Limitless advertisements prominently featuring the car ran during February's Super Bowl, an early payoff that even Maserati didn't expect, says Jeffrey Ehoodin, public relations manager at Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Maserati North America,” says the article.
   The do-it-yourself approach results in cars getting on screens but no other formal ties to films and TV shows. So the payoff is unpredictable and there’s no assurance the car won’t end up on the cutting room floor, edited out of the final movie or TV show.
   In more formalized Hollywood-auto pacts, carmakers pay for placement and/or agree to provide some promotional support and use Hollywood agencies as middlemen. Putting a TV show or film in a mass marketers’ ads costs money but the promotional partner gets a ruboff of Hollywood glitter.
  “Automobiles and liquor are the big categories for movie tie-ins for the adult demographic,” notes the book Marketing to Moviegoers: Second Edition. “They can be promotional gushers. Ford reportedly provided $30 million in promotion support for MGM’s James Bond spy film Die Another Day, Mitsubishi laid out $25 million in advertising to link to 2 Fast 2 Furious from Universal Pictures, Jeep spent an estimated $10 million…”
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