Because Josie and the Pussycats is a satire about consumerism, the directors went out of their way to ensure that almost every single scene featured at least one piece of product placement. Target, Ivory soap, Coke, Diesel, Ray-Ban, Apple, Ford, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, T.J.Maxx, Victoria’s Secret, SoBe, McDonald’s, Steve Madden, Puma, Bloomingdale’s, Virgin Megastore, Kodak, Hostess, Motorola, Bugles, America Online, 7-Eleven, Frizz Ease, Converse, Hawaiian Tropic, Bebe, Visa, Revlon, American Express, Evian, Butterfinger, Pringles, Barneys New York, Nikon, Red Bull, Verizon, Sony, Adidas, Sega, Ford, Advil, Crest, Clearasil, and Tidy Cat are just some of the brands prominently shown throughout the film.
But despite what many of the film’s critics assumed, none of those companies paid to be featured. “We didn’t get money for it, and that was the big scandal, I guess, when the movie came out,” Kaplan said — although she did add that brands like Steve Madden and Puma supplied the filmmakers with articles of clothing to outfit the cast. “A lot of the reviews called us hypocrites: ‘They’re taking money from these corporations to put them in the movie and they’re doing exactly what they say people shouldn’t do.'”
While they weren’t lacking for brands, not all of them were on board with their products being satirized. “We were dying to do a Gap ad for the movie that was ‘Everybody in Leopard,'” Elfont said, referencing the brand’s memorably homogenized Everybody in Khakis, Everybody in Leather, and Everybody in Vests campaigns from the late ’90s. “But then the Gap read the script and were like, ‘Hell no!’ There were certain companies that didn’t want to play because they realized what we were doing, and others, like Target, were like, ‘Who cares? We’re so much bigger than that.'”