Product Placement

Product Placement is a anime/manga concept
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Product Placement is a practice done in shows where a company will pay for a real world product to be displayed prominently, or have a character using.

Overview

The concept of Product Placement is a practice often used in the production of some shows that bolsters the income of a series. Some of the time, the company that owns the show also has interests in the product that is being advertised on-screen. These do not include commercials. What separates these from regular commercials is that it takes place during the actual story. The idea is that if a certain character is shown using an item or eating a certain food type. The fans of that character may be spurred to also purchase this item.

The practice of an on-screen ad is done through a prominent character often using a product and the name of the brand is always clearly shown. The most common is from food products and drinks that are actually being sold in the real world. A character may drink from a soda or bottled drink and the logo is clearly seen. These ads rarely ever make it to the US market, and the ads are removed when shown in America.

More often in manga and anime a product is parodied. A logo on a soda can, store front, or electronics device will be similar, but with a noticeable difference to the name or logo. That is what separates Product Placement and Product Parody.

Manga & Anime Appearances

Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)

Neon Genesis Evangelion - YEBISU beer
Neon Genesis Evangelion - YEBISU beer

In the Neon Genesis Evangelion, the character Misato Katsuragi is almost exclusively shown drinking YEBISU brand beer from the can. This is also seen in the manga adaptation of the series, but with a far more detailed label. Pages of the manga are on display in the YEBISU Beer Museum in Shibuya, Japan, along with pages of other series it's company products have appeared in.

Black Lagoon (2002)

Black Lagoon - Bacardi rum
Black Lagoon - Bacardi rum

In Black Lagoon from Rei Hiroe, the Bacardi rum brand is mentioned by name in the zero chapter as the characters Revy and Rock engage in a drinking contest. They call for the bartender Bao to bring all the Bacardi he has. The bottle isn't actually seen in this section, but the label is partially displayed in the anime edition of this scene. Later in Episode 2 of the anime, Dutch is using a can of Heineken as an ashtray, but in the manga the beer was labeled as "Lion Heart".

In the Vol. 1 Ch, 2, Rasta Blasta Pt. 1, Revy is hit in the face with a pint of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. The logo is shifted with the dimensions of the container but easily read. This wasn't shown in the anime.

Girl Bravo (2004)

Girls Bravo - Honda motorbike show
Girls Bravo - Honda motorbike show

In the Girls Bravo anime series, the Honda logo as well as many of their brands of motorcycles are shown in Episode 7. In the story, Koyomi has been commissioned to find a husband for Maharu. Kirie has the idea of attracting men to vet by taking over for the models displaying three Honda motorcycles. A picture of Kirie in the Honda dress she wears here is later seen as a poster of Kosame in the first episode of the second season.

Code Geass (2006)

Code Geass - Pizza Hut ads
Code Geass - Pizza Hut ads

The anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion had some of the most prominent on-screen adverting for an anime series. Through the entire first season, it was rather common to see the logo for the Pizza Hut company to be seen and every time a pizza was shown in the anime the box top is clearly visible to the audience clearly with the Pizza Hut logo. No other brand of pizza is ever seen. One of the stars of the Code Geass anime, C.C., is obsessed with pizza and is frequently eating it.

In the second season, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, a particular brand of pizza that was being seen in the series was also being sold to the real Japanese market at the same time. It had small pigs in a blanket ringing the crust.

Code Geass - Biglobe Search
Code Geass - Biglobe Search

Another major sponsor of the Code Geass anime was the Japanese internet search company Biglobe. When a character is using a computer, the Biglobe logo is often clearly seen.

Most of the advertising never made it for the airing of the anime in America. All the Pizza Hut logos were removed and wasn't even present in the DVDs. However, the Biglobe Search logos remained.

The Beach Stars (2007)

The Beach Stars - Molten Sports brand
The Beach Stars - Molten Sports brand

In The Beach Stars manga series by Masahiro Morio. The Hiroshima based company known as the Molten Corporation (株式会社モルテン Kabushiki-gaisha Moruten) has a sports brand of volleyball that is the only one seen to be used in the series. The brand name is often displayed clearly. Their brands of volleyball and basketballs have been used in various Olympic games since 1984.

The Beach Stars - Pocari Sweat
The Beach Stars - Pocari Sweat

The popular Japanese sport drink Pocari Sweat frequently appears in the pages of this beach volleyball series. The product has a light grapefruit flavor and is advertised as an "ion supply drink" that's meant to supplies electrolytes lost through sweating.

Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007)

Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone - YEBISU beer and Doritos chips
Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone - YEBISU beer and Doritos chips

In Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone movie, that is a re-imagining of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, the practice of product placement is much more bold than the original. The YEBISU beer is still present, but included is Kirin Beer brand lager. The cans are shown using digital labeling that allows for far more detail than the original hand drawn animation. An image of Misato holding this updated beer can is displayed in the YEBISU company museum in Shibuya, Japan. Dorito's brand chips are also prominently displayed.

Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Adavance - UCC COFFEE coffee milk
Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Adavance - UCC COFFEE coffee milk

In Evengelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Ryouji Kaji is seen giving Shinji a can of UCC COFFEE coffee milk. UCC brands are the only vending machines shown in this scene.

Sora no Otoshimono (2007)

Sora no Otonashi - Febreeze
Sora no Otonashi - Febreeze

In the Sora no Otoshimono manga adaptation, the fabric spray Febreze appears briefly on one of the pages in the later chapters of the more recent volumes. Mikako Satsukitane is seen using it as she talks with Tomoki and his friend.

Tiger & Bunny (2011)

Tiger & Bunny - Pepsi
Tiger & Bunny - Pepsi

In the Tiger & Bunny anime series, the concept of heroes being sponsored by corporations plays a prominent role. Some of the heroes even have the company's logos printed on their suits the way some modern athletes would have on their uniforms. Many of the real world companies that are advertised in Tiger & Bunny include BANDAI, Pepsi, SoftBank, and many others.

General Information Edit
Concept Name Product Placement
Japanese Name: アドバタイジング
Romaji Name: adobataijingu
Aliases Paid Advertising
Endorsement
On-screen Advertising
1st manga book:
1st anime episode:
1st anime movie:
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