Ever met a Guitar Hero salesman? Me either. Vince Vaughn's character in "Couples Retreat" was made one, however, because he and co-screenwriter John Favreau adore the series. And, how about that, it crowbared a few buxx out of Activision marketing.
Activision joined an all-star list of brands such as Bud Light, Captain Morgan's and Crunch Gym in paying for product placement, but no one got the treatment like Activision, in which a Guitar Hero showdown acts as a key plot device moving the story forward. Variety talked to Will Kassoy, the senior vice president of publishing for Guitar Hero, who said he "laughed hysterically," when he found out co-stars Vaughn and Favreau wrote "Guitar Hero 5" into the script.
"We thought it was a perfect way to showcase the new game," Kassoy said.
Of course it is. It wasn't a free one though, and one can reasonably assume Vaughn and Favreau's choice of Guitar Hero was more business than artistic tribute, and that's fine. That's how movies of this caliber get made.