With the first movie being released in 2007, Transformers is the most successful science fiction action film to be released. In 2009 and 2011, directors released the sequels to the original movie, Revenge of The Fallen and Dark of the Moon, respectively, making it the 7th highest-grossing film series worldwide and the 4th highest-grossing when averaged to gross per film, behind the The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
The movies collectively tell the story of an on-going war for peace and humanity between the noble Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the deceitful Decepticons, led by ex-Autobot, Megatron.
Many of the products placed in the filming of this series are cars; face-paced, pony cars to be specific, such as the H2 Hummer, the 2008 Pontiac Solstice, and a GM Top Kick Heavy Duty truck.
The US Army and General Motors even loaned vehicles and aircrafts during the filming, in order to add realism to the battle scenes.
However, the audience was not the least bit impressed by those vehicles and honorable aircrafts. Instead, thousands of viewers, including myself, fell in love with the newest renovation to the Autobots, the humble Bumblebee.
Although Bumblebee was an original member of the Autobots, in the original Transformers, prior to the creation of the movie series, he was introduced as a Volkswagen Beetle. Later on, upon the making of Transformers the movie, Bumblebee was upgraded to a 1967 Chevy Camaro. His final transformation came about in 2009 when he was upgraded once more to a 2006 fifth generation Chevy Camaro Concept.
This product placement was quite strategic, in my opinion. Not only did it excite viewers around the world but it also helped reintroduce the Camaro to consumers and kick-start revenues after several years on hiatus.
When it made its movie debut, the fifth generation Camaro was still far from being offered to customers at dealers, however many interested consumers had already taken steps towards pre-ordering “Bumblebee”.
“The Transformers franchise has helped introduce Camaro – and Chevrolet – to a whole new generation of fans,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “Its role in the films helped make the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America and one of the best-known cars of any kind around the world.”
By including this vehicle in a movie that was experiencing rapid growth and box-office sellouts, both GM and Paramount Pictures were able to increase sales.
Furthermore, from this movie, GM was able to move forward with various other cross promotions and productions, such as offering Bumblebee and friends via toy replicas, t-shirts, Halloween costumes, and more.