Back in 1997 KPMG announced that they were experimenting with product placement of the firm's name in a series of films some of which were to feature the above named stars and characters. (I explained my own consequential walk-on part on Newsnight in a previous post on this blog).
I have just traced a detailed article about the experiment, published in the June/July 1997 issue of CA magazine.
Here are some of the highlights:
It's all part of a product placement plan that will see KPMG's name slotted into 18 movies destined for international release over the next couple of years.
In addition to paying for an appearance on the big screen, KPMG offers movie production companies its offices in 147 countries as locations for shooting.
KPMG hopes that going to the movies will increase public awareness of its services, boost staff morale and present the company as a hip place to work. "It's a worldwide branding thing with a recruitment spin-off. People are attracted to you when you are in movies with James Bond, Mr Bean and Robert De Niro"
The first movie to feature KPMG will be Shooting Fish, starring Kate Beckinsale, Stuart Townsend and Dan Futterman. In the movie KPMG receives 12 seconds’ worth of promotion as a sponsor of a horse race called the KPMG Challenge Cup.
In a romantic comedy called The Sea Change, Sean Chapman plays a handsome, dashing and funny KPMG accountant named Rupert Granger. As the lead character he will be a top financial wheeler-dealer working for a very respectable City company which happens to be KPMG. Filming includes KPMG's Salisbury Square offices in London where Rupert's office has a KPMG wall planner, mugs and several other items among the usual office paraphernalia.
In Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman will hand a KPMG coffee mug to Robert De Niro.
A KPMG mug will also appear in a Mr. Bean film.
The James Bond movie will see KPMG advertised on an airport billboard.
Various KPMG corporate gifts will feature in The Gingerbread Man, John Grisham’s first-ever screen play, starring Kenneth Branagh and Daryl Hannah.
KPMG is flexible about the types of films it wants to appear in — to a point. “For example, we wouldn’t place the company in the next Pulp Fiction. We’re not interested in triple-X or hard-core sex films. We also don’t want to be associated with excessive violence. But we’re living in the real world, so swearing is okay when it is in context.”