Vin Diesel’s constant plugging of Corona throughout the Fast and Furious movies can make certain installments feel like extended beer commercials.
But the company has apparently never paid a dime for the prolific product placement.
That’s according to a new feature story in The Ringer that examines the franchise’s longstanding relationship with the beer brand.
“We love Corona,” series producer Neal Moritz told Ringer founder Bill Simmon on an episode of his podcast this week. “Corona is the official beer of Fast & Furious… unpaid.”
The brand loyalty has paid off big-time for Corona. Apex Marketing Group, which handles film and television placements for major advertisers, told The Ringer that the beer’s screen time across each of the films had a total estimated value of more than $15 million.
The placement in Fast and Furious 7 alone would have cost more than a Super Bowl spot had the crew behind it not had such a particular affinity towards the beer.
Screenplay writer Chris Morgan called the beer “literally a character in the films,” and the beer’s brand image just happened to match the mood and tone of the franchise.
“I know it’s crazy,” Moritz conceded to Simmons.
According to Bloomberg’s exhaustive tally, Diesel is shown sipping the Mexican brew three times in the first installment, eight times in the fourth, seven times in the sixth and once in the seventh. The remaining three are apparently Corona-less.
The newest film, which hit theaters on Friday, apparently belongs to that latter category. The Fate of the Furious reportedly features Budweiser and Stella Artois, suggesting a possible shift in allegiances.
Both of those labels, however, still share a corporate parent with Corona in monster conglomerate Anheuser-Busch-InBev, making the switch all the more puzzling.
Either way, at least the shameless plugs are more believable than movie characters constantly guzzling nameless generic “beers.”