When it comes to product placement in movies and on television, Apple devices are the top dog, even if you don’t count Apple’s own Apple TV+ series and movies.
For the three readers that don’t know what product placement is, it’s when a company pays for one of its products to be featured in a show. For instance, if a movie character uses Siri on their iPhone, there is a good chance that money changed hands for that to be written into the script. If they’re drinking a Coke while they’re doing that? Product placement.
There are cases where a character uses or refers to a product in a show or movie, and the production was not paid to feature the item. It could be featured because that’s what a character would use, or maybe the producer just likes the product or service.
As noted by AppleInsider, in a first-season episode of “Only Murders in the Building,” one of the main characters, Mabel said something about attacking someone with a knitting needle. In an early draft of the script, writers John Hoffman and Steve Martin had her wanting to use an Apple Pencil.
While companies don’t disclose what they pay to have their product included in a scene, UK firm Merchant Machine took it upon itself to look through the shows and films (890 and 2,227, respectively) that are listed on the Product Placement Blog to determine which products were being placed the most.
Since MacTrast is an Apple-centric website, you might be able to guess which firm’s products had the most product placements. (It’s Apple if you didn’t get my subtle hint.)
“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,” say the researchers. “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.”
On Apple TV+ shows alone, across 74 Apple TV+ episodes, characters use 300 iPhones, 120 MacBooks, and 40 pairs of AirPods. Those Apple devices were likely used by the good guys in the shows, as at least one director (Knives Out’s Rian Johnson) says Apple doesn’t like it when the villains of a piece use an Apple product. So, if you’re watching a movie where the bad guy hasn’t yet been identified, pay attention to the phones being used by the characters, that Samsung phone user could be evil.
My personal experience bears this out. While viewing the “Hijack” mini-series a few weeks back, I kept track, and sure enough, the hero and other “good guys” used iPhones, while the bad guys all appeared to be Android users. You know, just like in the real world.
While in most cases, the Apple product placement isn’t overly blatant, it’s a good bet that you may have subconsciously noticed it, which could plant a seed in your mind when it comes time to replace your current phone, tablet, computer, or wireless earbuds.