RSA Security Continues Movie Deals

RSA Security is taking to the silver screen once more — in connection with Friday’s release of Paramount Pictures new action thriller, “The Sum of All Fears.”

Through a product placement arrangement with the Viacom-owned studio, the Bedford, Mass.-based cryptography and data security firm will have its SecurID authentication tag appear in the film, used by star Ben Affleck as his character, CIA analyst Jack Ryan, tries to thwart global terrorists and save the world.

Additionally, RSA said its experts consulted on the film about identity authentication technology and products, “in order to depict realistic electronic security scenes in the film,” the company said.

“RSA Security has a presence in all markets with our award-winning security technology,” said John Worrall, vice president of marketing at RSA Security. “We were honored to be chosen by Paramount to provide the security technology and consulting that we are currently delivering worldwide.”

Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.

It’s not the first time that RSA has been involved with a major motion picture. Last year, the company worked with AOL Time Warner’s Warner Bros. studio unit in a consulting capacity on the hacker action flick “Swordfish.” The firm’s logo had a cameo in the film, as star Hugh Jackman’s character hacks an RSA-protected Web site.

The company’s SecurID token also appeared in “Antitrust,” worn around the neck of the character played by actor Ryan Phillippe.

The latest deal comes as product placement, long a marketing staple in the consumer goods industry, is now finding its way into the arsenal of technology marketers. For instance, the current television season has seen a dizzying number of tech brands appear in a host of hot series, including several Warner Bros.-produced, teen “dramedies” on the company’s WB Network, and Fox Television’s action series “24”.

While consumer brands typically use product placement in films and TV to promote existing products, tech brands usually favor highlighting flashy new offerings. That’s especially common for mobile device manufacturers, who often play some of the biggest roles in tech product placement — knowing that a key segment of their user base values style and freshness as much as functionality.

As a result, Motorola , Ericsson , Nokia and Handspring have all made brief appearances in recent blockbusters. As part of the same trend, Apple Computer — long considered both the pioneer and the authority in technology brand product placement — has an established practice of seeding its computers into hot major motion pictures and TV series, including “24”.

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