‘Iron Man 3’ Product Placement Deal Will See Tony Stark Wield Chinese Gadgets

THR Staff
The Hollywood Reporter
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Chinese electronics-maker TCL has hired another high-profile Hollywood name to help boost its international brand: Iron Man.

As part of a drive to raise its profile to compete with industry leaders Apple and Samsung, the Huizhou-based electronics company has announced that its televisions, cloud technology and mobile phones will be conspicuously employed by Robert Downey Jr.’s billionaire super hero, Tony Stark in Disney-Marvel’s upcoming Iron Man 3, which is set for release on May 3 in North America, China and other select territories.

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The Iron Man product placement deal comes fast on the heals of TCL’s eye-brow-raising acquisition of the naming rights to the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles last week. For $5 million, the Chinese company picked up the right to rechristen the city landmark the “TCL Chinese Theater. “

Zhao Zhongyao, CEO of TCL Multimedia said in a statement, "TCL has attached great importance to the collaboration with Hollywood. Through this cross-industry collaboration, we are looking at introducing our latest smart products to consumers from around the world via a wide range of different brand promotion activities associated with the Iron Man 3 theme."

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But whether TCL is now the exclusive electronics company to score a product placement in the latest installment of the Iron Man franchise remains to be seen. In sneak-peak footage shown at Hong Kong’s CineAsia industry event in May, Tony Stark could clearly be observed wielding a Samsung camera in one sequence. Samsung and Disney-Marvel’s Chinese co-production partner DMG could not be reached for comment or confirmation at time of print.

“I believe our new generation of products are as good as those from Samsung and Apple,” Tomson Li, TCL’s chairman and co-founder, said in an interview with Bloomberg News at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. “This Iron Man cooperation is very useful for us to promote the TCL brand in the global market, including the U.S. and China.”