Hollywood’s Product Placement Bias

This past year Apple managed to get their product placed in over 40% of the movies that enjoyed at least one weekend atop the box office, Abe Sauer at The Awl reports in a great piece about Apple’s product placement success.

Down from the year prior when it was in 50% of the top movies, but it was good enough to make it the brand with the most product placements. What’s more impressive is the brands Apple beat out such as Ford or Pepsi, which have been atop the list in many recent years. As Abe points out, it’s especially impressive to beat Ford, since it’s easy to put a taxi cab with a Ford logo in a movie.

More impressive than all those product placements over its rivals is the price Apple pays, which would be ZERO. According to the Abe,“Apple does not pay for any of this exposure.” Set decorators want their sets to look realistic, so they need computers.

The problem here: 12% of the homes in the U.S. have Apple computers, says Abe. So, there’s clearly a bias. What’s more, Apple computers managed to find their way into places that just don’t have Apple computers normally, like hospitals and government offices.

These numbers also don’t include the mountain of other films and TV shows, from Macs on Regis and Kelly and Jimmy Fallon’s desks to the Mac grotesquerie of The Office and 30 Rock. Fruity logo out front, advertisement aglow.

For one month in 2009, product placement tracking service Nielsen IAG noted 62 total “occurrences” of Apple products, more than any other brand, including AT&T (59), Coca-Cola (55) or Ford (41). Playboy, even with a whole show crafted around its brand name, logged a comparatively paltry 21 occurrences.

Apple is essentially like Hollywood itself, beautiful, expensive and not at all representative of reality. And just like disbelief is suspended when Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt portray normal people, Apple product placement is dismissed as creative license.

I’m a PC.

Hollywood’s Product Placement Bias
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