Making a movie costs money, period. It doesn't matter if you're just starting out, reaching out across crowdfunding platforms to shoot your first short, or if you're at the head of a tentpole studio action blockbuster. Any way you shake it, you've got to find a way to get your project made.
As such, one of the first things aspiring producers learn to look for in scripts is their potential to chalk up some extra cash. Oftentimes, these opportunities come in the form of product placement from giant corporations looking to advertise.
Bay has placed a product somewhere within the frame of a shot a whopping 555 times.
And no one is better at product placement than Michael Bay. So, while Bay is never really going to be in the conversation for "greatest living director," perhaps he is indeed in the running for "greatest director/producer of all time."
Bay lacks just as much subtlety in product placement as he does in directing, but perhaps that's what allows him to rack up the budgets for his $100 million blockbusters. The good people at Screencrush set out on a mission to find just how many times Bay has advertised products in his 20-something year career as a director, and the number they came up with is pretty astounding.
All in all, Screencrush found Bay has placed a product somewhere within the frame of a shot a whopping 555 times. The last 200 alone seem to come from the Transformer series—and this grand total doesn't even include the latest installment, Transformers: The Last Knight, which came out about a week ago. The video, which displays only the briefest snippets of scenes to highlight the placements, somehow still boasts a 12-minute runtime.
Bay started off as a commercial director, and many of the companies we see in his films return almost like recurring characters. Budweiser, Sony, Pepsi, and Chevrolet pop up again and again, so it's safe to say there is a relationship there. As Screen Crush comments, "It's sometimes hard to tell where the commercials end and the movies begin."