Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

John Boyer

Committee Co-Chair

Guy Stewart

Committee Member

Robert Cook

Committee Member

Bob Summers

Committee Member

Charles McCann


Brand name products have been making appearances on the silver screen since the beginning of the cinema. Jack Daniels bourbon made its film debut when Joan Crawford served it in the 1945 movie, Mildred Pierce. However, only recently has such a great effort been exerted by those involved in this "advertising" technique. Many credit this growing trend to E.T., Steven Spielberg's lovable little alien creature, who followed a trail of Reese's Pieces to a documented 65 percent increase in sales for the Hershey company in 1982.

Interestingly, there is no research available concerning the communication effects associated with a brand name's exposure within a motion picture. The E.T. story is often cited along with the popularity of Ray Ban sunglasses following Tom Cruise's Risky Business, but these obviously are not representative samples of the results of what has become known as product placement.