According to Philadelphia-based sponsorship analysis firm Front Row Analytics, the cost of Shinola's appearance in a film like Dumb and Dumber To would be $2.1 million, says Crain's Detroit Business. However, a Shinola spokesperson says that the brand does not pay for celebrity endorsement. The company got the cameo because the film's directors, the Farrelly brothers, "are friends of the brand” — apparently Peter Farrelly "has been following Shinola’s progress since the very beginning and even visited the factory," the spokesperson says. This is in addition to actor Jeff Daniels' self-professed love of the brand (see below).
Originally posted Nov. 13:
On Wednesday night we checked out a screener for the new Dumb and Dumber To, and while we certainly laughed our asses off, one scene in particular left us scratching our heads.
In the movie, our dimwitted heroes Harry and Lloyd are tasked with delivering a secret package to the "KEN" conference in El Paso, Texas, a sort of TED-esque symposium for the world's brightest minds. Hilarity ensues. They interrupt a lecture on dark matter, get into an altercation with a Stephen Hawking stand-in, and ridicule demos for disease-curing nanobots and a machine that can read minds.
Clearly, this is supposed to be a symposium for high-tech stuff — which is why we're puzzled that there was a prominently placed Shinola Detroit booth in the background of one of the scenes. You know, that company that hawks low-tech contraptions such as analog watches and bicycles.
(We're not stupid — we know how product placement in film works. We just thought the cameo was unintentionally funny.)
In related news, Dumb and Dumber To co-star Jeff Daniels will perform as a musical artist at his Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea for a string of dates in December. Find out more information here.
[EDIT 5:00 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014] This Tweet from Jeff Daniels may help explain things:
Detroit's @Shinola Watch Company is a shining example of how to resurrect this country; invest in its Creativity & Craftmanship.— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) February 13, 2014