No money was exchanged, and the company -- currently in bankruptcy -- was hoping for some good exposure. It got that and more on the opening weekend of Mr. Ferrell's Nascar comedy, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."
Not only did the film earn an estimated $47 million at the box office, but sponsorship measurement firm Joyce Julius & Associates, Ann Arbor, Mich., estimates that Wonder Bread received $4.3 million in exposure.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius, which specializes in measuring the impact of sponsorships and promotions across all media, the Wonder Bread logo appeared clear and in-focus for 11 minutes, 32 seconds during the film. The brand was also mentioned by the actors on two occasions.
The opening-weekend exposure value for Wonder Bread was calculated by comparing the estimated number of people who saw the film, along with the on-screen time and mentions, to the cost of reaching the same size audience through traditional advertising.
Main corporate sponsor
Wonder Bread is the main corporate sponsor for Mr. Ferrell's character, fictitious Nascar driver Ricky Bobby. In the film, Wonder Bread had prominent placements on Bobby's uniform, helmet and car hood, as well as crew member uniforms. In real life, Wonder Bread is not a Nascar partner, nor does it endorse any driver.
Other brands enjoying significant product placement in the racing spoof included Old Spice, Powerade, Applebee's and Perrier, the sponsor of Bobby's racing nemesis, Jean Girard. Perrier received more than two minutes of in-focus exposure worth a total of $894,000.
The $47 million earned by "Talledega Nights" was not only $15 million more than most analysts predicted, but it was a 53% increase over Warner Bros.' "The Dukes of Hazzard," the No. 1 film during the same weekend last year.