Using movies and pop culture to help promote a product isn’t a new idea. The reason why it works so well is because there is an immediate brand recognition with popular movies. It’s really the same principle as using celebrity endorsements, only in this case, the movie tie-in is the celebrity. But just like you have to be careful in choosing your celebrities, you have to be careful in your movie associations.

I saw two commercials this morning and felt like one hit a home run while the other fizzled. Chrysler has partnered with Syfy and Trion Worlds for “Defiance,” the first-ever convergence of television and online gaming featuring an interconnected world and storylines that co-exist throughout a scripted drama television series and an online game. In the commercial, the Dodge Charger starts out as more than just a car. It’s your tough, sexy, high-performance mode of transportation that can handle anything. You are then transported 10, 18, and 33 years into the future. As the world gets tougher, the Charger gets even more bad-ass — reminiscent of Mad-Max’s Interceptor — the toughest car ever. The commercial closes with, “Only the defiant survive.”

GE opted to resurrect the 10-year old sci-fi movie franchise, the Matrix, to to help promote its software and medical hardware. I’m wondering why they chose to use Agent Smith, a character whom we feared and hated from the movies to promote their technology. Yes, the movies were amazing to watch, but in them, computers took over the world and enslaved the human race. We hated the computers. GE is hoping that people will associate their brand with the coolness of the Matrix franchise, but overlook the fact that they’ve compared themselves with the most evil maniacal character in the movie series. They’ve made a pretty commercial that missed the mark.

See them both below. What do you think?

Dodge Charger Defiance Commercial

More photos here

General Electric’s New “Matrix” Commercial