Apple becoming more open about product placements in TV shows

Posted:
in General Discussion
While Apple has long wedged products like iPhones and Macs into TV shows as a form of marketing, the company appears to be taking a more open stance about it, a report suggested on Wednesday.




In the Fox show "911," weekly closing credits include the line "promotional consideration sponsored by Apple" -- reflecting the fact that characters use iPhones, Variety noted. Apple and Fox wouldn't comment on the matter, and OMD -- an agency that buys ads for Apple -- said it "didn't have anything to do with it" when asked if Apple had paid for the insertion.

Many movies and TV shows use paid product placements for funding. In return, companies not only get their products in the public eye, but often in the form of a illusionary, idealized lifestyle.

Traditionally Apple has only paid for its placements in the form of the devices themselves -- even a 2015 episode of "Modern Family" viewed entirely through Apple products didn't involve any money changing hands. The company has also frequently been left out of credits, unlike many firms seeking placements.

In recent times that's been changing. Last year Apple signed a deal to appear on "Saturday Night Live," and a May sketch featuring a MacBook was preceded by a bumper reading "Promotional Consideration for SNL Furnished By Apple."

In 2015 it sponsored musician Ryan Adams' appearance on "The Daily Show," resulting in an overlaid message about Apple Music while he played. And, obviously, Mac products like the 20th Anniversary Mac were in the main set of "Seinfeld" throughout the '90s.

Apple is working on its own slate of TV shows for 2019. Given their origin, they're likely to feature Apple products on-screen during modern settings.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    I find product placement to be fairly silly, although it's a greater source of amusement to see Scamdung products used by people who should know better, thwarting the suspension of disbelief as it's patently obvious a canoe of money changed hands to put them on screen.
    edited March 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    They should do more of this in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,Sri Lanka & African countries.
    baconstang
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I loved the Porsche 911 & a lot of the Apple products shown in Californication.
    stanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 326member
    Agree with this, but wasn’t there a slight change in the law that allows shows to brand companies like Apple without total permission? Such as Big Bang Theory, in the first few seasons the Apple logo on the MacBooks was always covered up, but not so much anymore.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    I noticed in both local and national news there are Microsoft Surfaces set up in front of everybody, behind which hides the iPads they actually use.
    racerhomie3zroger73watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Maybe they can get on ABC World News Tonight. The anchor desk has a laptop on it that doesn't look like a Macbook. Either HP or Dell, judging by the round logo, unless it's a round badge added to cover the glowing apple. Laurene Jobs still owns about 4% of Disney stock, and Disney still owns ABC, so if they're using something else, it's a rather blatant act of disloyalty.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,199member
    Marvel's Agents of Shield has very conspicuous placement of iMacs...for the good guys. Hydra always seems to have something else.
    stanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,791member
    Hmm... Obviously some companies pay to have their products used. It's really annoying when the shot is framed so the brand is clearly visible. Although, "Austin Powers" was by far the best when it came to product placement - completely blatant.

    I always just assumed that when a brand was covered up it was because there was some contractural obligation to do so? Like any movie or TV show produced by Sony (or a subsidiary), if it's not a Sony product, any competing product's branding must be covered up. Or maybe the producers couldn't get a company to pay for product placement, so they cover the branding out of spite.

    Apple's products are used in so many movies and TV shows, I can't believe Apple had to "Ok" that very single time.


    On a side note: I have noticed the Apple Watch is popping up all over the place, especially on live/unscripted shows.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,199member
    mjtomlin said:


    I always just assumed that when a brand was covered up it was because there was some contractural obligation to do so? Like any movie or TV show produced by Sony (or a subsidiary), if it's not a Sony product, any competing product's branding must be covered up. Or maybe the producers couldn't get a company to pay for product placement, so they cover the branding out of spite.


    Use of a trademark without a license is potentially a violation of the Lanham Act. Sort of depends on how the mark is portrayed if an owner believes it has been disparaged, so producers don't take the chance.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,211member
    eightzero said:
    Marvel's Agents of Shield has very conspicuous placement of iMacs...for the good guys. Hydra always seems to have something else.
    Surface by Microsoft for all Hydra agents.
    stanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,199member
    eightzero said:
    Marvel's Agents of Shield has very conspicuous placement of iMacs...for the good guys. Hydra always seems to have something else.
    Surface by Microsoft for all Hydra agents.
    Yeah, cut one MS software bug off, two more grow in its place. Hail Hydra.
    baconstangSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    fred1fred1 Posts: 280member
    But it works. A friend here in Europe asked me one day if everyone in the US uses Mac computers. When I told him that no, Apple’s market share is around 10-15%, he said, “But they’re all people use in movies.”
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    If you watch “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” on Netflix, you can see that MacBooks and iMacs are used almost exclusively. That’s effective product placement. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    fred1 said:
    But it works. A friend here in Europe asked me one day if everyone in the US uses Mac computers. When I told him that no, Apple’s market share is around 10-15%, he said, “But they’re all people use in movies.”
    Correct, most Europeans have little concept of what a “normal” American’s life is like or what they do or have.  There are very few accurate portrials of middle class or lower-middle class Americans on television or on the big screen.  
    tallest skil
  • Reply 15 of 20
    I've seen the "promotional consideration sponsored by Apple" line in 30 Rock, which ended in 2013.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    fred1fred1 Posts: 280member
    fred1 said:
    But it works. A friend here in Europe asked me one day if everyone in the US uses Mac computers. When I told him that no, Apple’s market share is around 10-15%, he said, “But they’re all people use in movies.”
    Correct, most Europeans have little concept of what a “normal” American’s life is like or what they do or have.  There are very few accurate portrials of middle class or lower-middle class Americans on television or on the big screen.  
    And given the almost complete lack of portrayals of life in Europe, Americans have little or no idea of what life is like here. Of course there are those who think that a one week European vacation will show them what life is like here, but they’re sadly mistaken (and I know examples of these people).
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 17 of 20
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 690member
    In at least a couple of episodes of ABC's The Middle, Frankie is seen using a non-Apple laptop with an overlay of what appears to be OS X.

    The gray laptop was from an episode in March 2013 while the black one (HP?) was from October 2015.

    Another episode of The Middle back in 2012 ("Hecking it Up") basically served as a commercial for a Volkswagen as the Heck family gushed over the borrowed use of their neighbor's Passat.



    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 958member
    eightzero said:
    Marvel's Agents of Shield has very conspicuous placement of iMacs...for the good guys. Hydra always seems to have something else.
    But truth be told, it's not very easy to show a computer 'in use' without it conspicuously being an iMac.

    I've often wondered why some TV and films (especially porn, from what I'm told) cover logos, especially of Apple kit. I'm sure Tim and Apple wouldn't want iPhones, MacBooks (though not as much) and iMacs to be known as Computers to the Porn Stars!'.

    I thought that as far as civil law is concerned, no one could profit by using someones logo, brand, trademark, etc., without permission. Sure that's an Aston-Martin that Callan is driving (yeah, right) but without long lingering shots or close-ups of the wings filling the screen, etc., legally it's just another car. Yes, we can see the Apple on the back of the computer or phone, but often it's not really recognizable unless you enlarge the image.

    Sometimes the back of a Mac/display isn't shown but you can see the OS is obviously macOS.

    The Apple Watch got a lot of screen time (showing an EKG, LOL) on Lethal Weapon, but on other shows you really had to do something to see it wasn't a Blaze or other watch. I believe there's more latitude in using products than most people think.

    If Apple were to get ticked at unlicensed 'product placement', I think it would be when an Apple product is shown 'running' a Windows OS. Or fake OS. That makes me laugh.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 958member
    And Angela Basset is horrible, in a bad show. You'd think it was her first time acting, ever. I'm sure after seeing herself on the tube, she regrets taking the gig. And so she should.

    Some people are great actors, hardly ever a misstep. Others need a great director giving them direct, constant, and unyielding supervision. Basset is much closer to the latter than the former.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    fred1 said:
    fred1 said:
    But it works. A friend here in Europe asked me one day if everyone in the US uses Mac computers. When I told him that no, Apple’s market share is around 10-15%, he said, “But they’re all people use in movies.”
    Correct, most Europeans have little concept of what a “normal” American’s life is like or what they do or have.  There are very few accurate portrials of middle class or lower-middle class Americans on television or on the big screen.  
    And given the almost complete lack of portrayals of life in Europe, Americans have little or no idea of what life is like here. 
    There's life on Europe?
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