It’s really hard to watch TV these days and not see Apple products adorn the screen. From Entourage to The Office and 30 Rock, iMacs and iPhones are often on full display. Apple’s pervasive product placement also occurs on the silver screen, with brandchannel reporting that of the 33 number one films in the US this past year, 30% of them featured Apple products. From Little Fockers to the Social Network, Apple products abounded.
Apple-branded products appeared in more than one-third of all number one films at the US box office between 2001 to 2010 (making 112 of the 334 #1 films in America since 2001). That is second only to Ford (144 of 334) and well ahead of third place Coca-Cola (96 of 334).
In fact, Apple products appeared in more top films in the last decade than McDonald’s and Nike combined (92). Pretty impressive, considering that fewer than 15% of American computer-owning households have an Apple. (That figure, by the way, is up from 9% in 2008 — an indication that Apple product placement may be paying off.)
And this tally, of course, doesn’t include the extensive list of films that didn’t make it to #1 but nonetheless featured Apple products. Some of these more well-known films include Hot Tub Time Machine, Book of Eli, Hurt Locker, Funny People and Couples Retreat.
The report notes that Apple’s overall product placement percentage is slipping from year to year due to other companies like HP and Sony stepping up their advertising game. This past May for example, Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City 2 gave up her trusty MacBook Pro and exchanged it for an ever-so-fun HP laptop on account of a new HP/Warner Brothers partnership.
Back in October of 2008 (damn, it’s been a loong time), we profiled Apple’s adept talent at product placement.
Apple was one of the first companies to actually hire someone in Hollywood whose job was to get as many eyeballs on Apple products as possible. The strategic placement of consumer products on TV shows and in movies is quite common now, but it’s something Apple has been working at and refining for quite some time. While most product placements typically involve seeing a product in the background, or having a character specifically mention a brand name mid-sentence, Apple products sometimes take center stage in the actual plots of certain TV shows.
The most glaring example of this occurred during a Modern Family episode whose airdate preceded the iPad launch by a few days. The bulk of the plot centered on Phil Dunphy’s (played by Ty Burrell family jumping through hoops to get him his long-desired iPad.