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Apple devices are the most seen when it comes to product placement in movies and on television. The Cupertino firm’s lead is impressive, even when you don’t count the content that is shown on Apple’s own Apple TV+ streaming service.
Just to bring everyone up to speed, product placement is when a company pays for its products to be used by characters in a movie or television show. Let’s say a character sits down in front of a computer and it happens to be an Apple iMac, Apple likely paid for the placement and may have also provided the computer.
Not every product sighting in a film or show is paid product placement. Instead, a product may make an appearance simply because the producers believe that’s what the character would prefer. It’s also possible that the screenwriter, producer, or even the actor simply like the product.
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Companies don’t generally reveal when or how much they pay to have their product make an appearance in a scene. However, the UK’s Merchant Machine decided to pore through the list of 890 shows and 2,227 films on the Product Placement Blog website to tally up which company’s products were tops in product placement.
So, which company outperformed all of the others when it comes to product placement? Well, since iDrop News focuses on reporting on all things Apple, you might be able to guess the winner. (You get 10 bonus points if you said “Apple.”)
Apple is the most product-placed brand in both film and TV, appearing around three times more often than rival Dell, although Apple only recently overtook Dell’s share of the personal computer market. Apple has also been product placed 83.6% more often than second-placed Coca-Cola, appearing in almost precisely one-third of U.S. box office number ones since 2001.Ian Wright, Merchant Machine
As you might imagine, Apple TV+ content contains plenty of Apple product placement. Out of 74 Apple TV+ episodes sampled, characters were seen using 120 MacBooks, 300 iPhones, and 40 pairs of AirPods.
It’s a very good chance that all of these Apple devices were used only by the good guys in the shows. In February 2020, Knives Out director Rian Johnson told Vanity Fair that when Apple allows iPhones to be used in movies, they stipulate that the villains in the piece aren’t allowed to use iPhones.
From now on, when you’re watching a film or show that hasn’t yet revealed the villain, make sure you note what type of smartphone he or she is using. If the phone is an Android handset, that could be the bad guy.
I personally have paid attention to which phones characters in shows use, and from what I’ve seen, it’s true. On Apple’s Hijack (a great show, by the way), the hero and other good guys all used iPhones, while the bad guys used Android devices. It’s probably not a good idea to use this test in the real world, though; just because Uncle Bill uses a Samsung phone doesn’t mean he’s all bad.
While in most cases, product placement isn’t blatant, you may have noticed it without realizing it, which can subconsciously affect your decision when it comes time to replace your current device.