Sometimes it wasn't enough that we watched these shows and movies on a near-regular basis from the comfort of our homes; where there was money to be made, companies wanted to convince kids (and their parents) to spend, spend, SPEND! While some were subtle about it, these 10 franchises had some pretty extreme, and often weird, marketing campaigns.
Bugs Bunny & Michael Jordan - Nike
No joke, these commercials were so damn popular they're the entire reason we got Space Jam. Yes, that's right: there was a time both Bugs and MJ were so huge they could sell shoes AND a movie.
The Flintstones - Chewable vitamins
I mean, it was a good product that helped a lot of kids, but seriously, who decided the best people to get kids to take their vitamins were a bunch of cave-people from millions of years ago?
Alvin and the Chipmunks - Honey Nut Cheerios
This one doesn't even make sense. 1) Honey Nut Cheerios already have a mascot, and 2) said mascot is a bee, not a chipmunk.
Oliver & Company - Coca-Cola
You would think that a company like Disney wouldn't need money from product placement for their movies, but apparently a sponsorship deal from Coca-Cola was too good to pass up.
The product placement just gets weirder from here...
The Simpsons - Butterfinger
I can't be the only person who thought it was super weird that Bart Simpsons kept trying to sell me mediocre chocolate.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Pizza Hut
This makes a lot of sense as the turtles were always eating pizza, but man did they ever lean into this deal HARD. Like, it was almost kinda scary.
Spot Video Games - 7-Up
Spot was a mascot from back when every company needed to be "hip" for "the kids," and he starred in two video games on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis that were basically just giant advertisements for the drink. it was really weird.
Mac and Me - McDonald's
The movie that Paul Rudd continually pranks Conan O'Brien with clips of is basically an E.T. ripoff that was designed to market McDonald's to families. Really.
Toy Story - Every toy company ever
Playskool and Mattel get name-dropped a lot throughout the whole movie, which I'm sure had nothing to do with either of their toy lines...
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - Reese's Pieces
Okay seriously, of all the things this weird tiny alien could love about Earth, why Reese's Pieces?