9 – Click (2006) – Twinkies
Here’s the biggest shocker of Sandler’s product placement career. Anyone who’s seen Click probably remembers that the eponymous remote was bought at Bed Bath & Beyond (in the “Beyond” section… GET IT?!), but a second viewing of this schmaltzy fantasy flick shows that Twinkies are the true star of this remote-focused movie.
Sandler’s sad dad guards Twinkies with his life early in the movie and even scarfs one down while at the triple-B in a rare case of double-advertising. What makes this blatant advertising even worse is that Twinkies have been seamlessly integrated into movies like Zombieland and UHF, but subtle ads are not Sandler’s forte.– Dave
8 – Just Go With It (2011) – Pizza Hut
What makes Just Go With It’s product placement so egregious is that most of the movie shows remarkable restraint (relative only to an Adam Sandler film) in regard to displaying brands… but only because it ejaculates it all in one overly long scene in a Pizza Hut. The framing of this scene is shot so lovingly, every image without Sandler could nestle right into a TV commercial, plus you’ve got some extended looks at cans of Pepsi (when we all know Pizza Hut’s the only place in the world where you can get a pitcher of soda) so that’s another mark on your Yum Corporation Bingo Card!
7 – Jack and Jill (2011) – Dunachino
Sometimes product placement is so good, you just gotta end your movie with it! Or your career in Al Pacino’s case, who morphs into the mesmerizing pitchman “Dunkachino” for the finale of Jack and Jill, only after spending much of the movie lusting after Adam Sandler in drag. Further proof that Al Pacino is going senile, so let’s just enjoy him while we still can.-Chris
6 – Bedtime Stories (2008) – Cinnabon
Bedtime Stories is about stories and fables come to life, so you can understand how Happy Madison had a hard time figuring out to cram products into frame during sequences that are essentially period pieces. This probably explains why the film has one of the most abrupt and jarring instances of product placement, with Sandler screaming “WANT SOME CINNABON!” in the middle of a conversation for no reason in one of the contemporary scenes that shell the fantasy sequences.-Chris
5 – Grown Ups 2 (2013) – K-Mart
I can easily, even happily, defend Adam Sandler’s movies in the face of his critical detractors. Except for Grown Ups 2, which seems like a series of unrelated sketches on a bad YouTube channel that just so happens to have access to a million dollars worth CGI necessary to draw an elk peeing into someone’s mouth. Grown Ups 2 is pretty indefensible, as is an overly long sequence set inside the cleanest fucking K-Mart you’ve ever seen in our life.-Chris
4 – Grown Ups (2010) – KFC
Grown Ups almost always features its five main players in every scene where their wives aren’t complaining, however, in the touching scene where the gang spreads the ashes of the dead basketball coach who brought them together again there is a sixth main. Oh, you better believe it’s a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken! Yes, it’s part of a gag about spreading a corpse’s remains, but grab a stopwatch and see how long Sandler can keep a KFC bucket in frame during one of Grown Ups’ stab at an emotional scene. SPOILER: You’ll come up for air at least two times.
This scene is also one of the most notable times that Sandler advertised for a direct competitor after previously advertising a product. Why are these guys eating KFC if Sandler previously told us that Popeye’s Chicken is the shiz-nit?!-Chris
3 – Mr Deeds (2002) – Wendy’s
Following the formation of Sandler’s Happy Madison studio, any subtlety in product placement has gone out the window. On Mr. Deeds’ flight to New York, the movie basically grinds to a halt for a Wendy’s commercial, featuring lavish shots of the restaurant’s’ exterior and Wendy’s menu items referenced by name. However, as you can see in our accompanying video, the Cocoa Pebbles spot also featured in Deeds is even less subtle.-Chris
2 – Eight Crazy Nights (2002) – Everything
A while back we wrote a piece on Product Placement in Animated Films. If you missed, the reason why it doesn’t happen all that much is that there are literally laws forbidding it, and you essentially ruin your film, either by creating a jarring visual compromise or timestamping your film in the name of getting an accurate corporate logo. With Eight Crazy Nights, Adam Sandler sought to put all that to the ultimate test where, literally, a mall full of logos and assorted product placement come to life and try and get him to cry. I wish I was joking, this has to be seen to be believed! -Chris
1 – Little Nicky (2000) – Popeyes
What could be worse than the near-orgy of brands that descended upon Eight Crazy Nights? A fast food brand that SAVES THE WORLD. Nicky’s declaration that “Popeye’s Chicken is fuckin’ awesome!” is already pretty indefensible (though like a true tourist, he’s eating fast food in New York City instead of a restaurant that puts care into food preparation), but the apex of audacious advertising comes when Nicky is given powers “of light” by his mother to convert demons. Lower level versions of the spell release butterfies and bunnies, but when Little Nicky needs to “release the awesome” and keep evil forces from attacking, it’s a giant crate of Popeye’s that saves the day. Yes, instead of creating obesity or high cholesterol, fried chicken saves the world. What else do you expect from the very first Adam Sandler-led film from Happy Madison? -Chris
What Sandler product placement did you find the most offensive? Let us know in the comments!