[UPDATE] TCL, the Chinese electronics and home appliance company, has announced a product placement deal to appear in the upcoming “Iron Man 3″ movie. Everything from Tony Stark’s motion panel device to his 110-inch 4K smart TV and mobile handsets will be from the Chinese company. Nowadays, elements of Chinese culture had been incorporated in Hollywood shootings and the plot lines, marking a collaboration between movie industries in the US and in China. TCL has just been committed to build an international brand image to deepen its brand influence. This isn’t the first brand placement for the company though. They’ve also done previous promotions with “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “The Avengers”. The superhero movie series “Iron Man 3” will be released on 3 May 2013. Sneak peaks of the Iron Man 3 filming in Beijing were reported last month.
Founded in 1981, Huizhou, China-based TCL is a seller of appliances, telecommunications devices and home electronics. Apart from its own brand, the company, which employs 60,000, manufactures Thomson TVs and Alcatel mobile phones. The company is doing whatever it can to move upmarket, a familiar path taken in previous decades by Japanese and South Korean electronics and car companies. To support the marketing effort, TCL recently sealed a deal to rename Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles as TCL Chinese Theater, buying naming rights for the cultural landmark along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Even so, movie magic and impressive technical specifications may not be enough to convince western buyers and retailers to take a risk against more established brand.
Right now, Chinese electronics companies don’t have a track record. Consumers and distribution channels from the west don’t know who they are, making Tony Stark using Chinese gadgets doesn’t mean you will get trust and sales. There’s properly a misreading of the electronics business in general. Tony Stark will battle the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 using TCL products, Chinese moviegoers will feel good about themselves, that’s all about this product placement deal.
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