Movie and television directors brand fictional entities with some regularity, either because it factors into the narrative or because the director wants to avoid actual product placement. Sometimes these fake brands appear in many unrelated places (lots of film and TV characters drink the fictional Heisler brand beer, for example) and some of the fake brands have actually been trademarked!
Take a look through this collection of 12 other fictional brands used in film and television.
Heisler Gold Ale is a fake brand that many directors have used to avoid actual product placement in their films or TV shows, such as the New Girl (above)
1. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (Mad Men)
A new brand mark, pictured below, appeared midway through the sixth season of the hit AMC show Mad Men. It represented a significant moment in the narrative: Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the main advertising firm that the show had been following, merged with another agency. After much quibbling about what the new name would be, the partners diplomatically compromised on the above.
The latest logo for the fictional advertising agency on Mad Men
In fact, each incarnation of the agency has had its own brand mark:
The logo for Sterling Cooper, as the agency was originally named
The logo for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, which preceded Sterling Cooper & Partners
What is unusual, however, is how much attention has been paid to the newest logo itself. After the episode’s airing, AMC even released a mock-press release announcing the logo:
The header of AMC’s mock press release, announcing the latest branding change
As was probably AMC’s intention, people promptly began analyzing the branding change as if SC&P were a real life company. Armin Vit gave it the usual Under Consideration treatment, and the Los Angeles Times even had a panel of “font experts” weigh in. Which raises the question: SC&P may be fictional, but does that make its branding any less real?
2. Wonka Bar (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
The film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory necessitated all sorts of product packaging for the fictional Willy Wonka company. Eventually the Nestlé corporation would buy the rights to the name and create an actual Wonka brand, the logo of which is modeled loosely on the one from the film.
3. Dunder Mifflin Inc. (The Office)
The Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, where the characters on NBC’s The Office work, is suitably plain.
4. Weyland Corporation (Aliens, Prometheus)
The evil Weyland corporation, which financed the ill-fated voyages in the Alien films, sports a menacing logo which has undergone slight modifications over the years. The most recent version appeared in the film Prometheus (above).
5. Oceanic Airlines (Lost)
Oceanic is the go-to fake airline for many movies and TV shows. It was Oceanic flight 815 that famously marooned the characters on the ABC show Lost.
6. Duff Beer (The Simpsons)
Duff Beer is Homer Simpson’s beverage of choice.
7. Stark Industries (Iron Man)
Tony Stark owns Stark Industries, the military equipment company that produces his Iron Man gear.
8. Initech (Office Space)
Initech is the software company where the characters in Office Space punch the clock.
9. Pizza Planet (Toy Story)
Pizza Planet is the suburban pizza franchise featured in Pixar’s Toy Story series.
10. Wayne Enterprises (Batman Begins)
Bruce Wayne, a.k.a Batman, sits on the board of this shady corporation that bears his family name.
11. Big Kahuna Burger (Pulp Fiction)
Auteur director Quentin Tarantino has a zero tolerance policy for product placement in his films. Rather than appropriate an existing fast food chain for a famously bloody scene in Pulp Fiction, he invented the Hawaiian-style Big Kahuna Burger.
12. Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters)
Got to be our favorite logo of the bunch. It even has a theme song to go with it!