Apple has, undoubtedly, conquered the digital world but now it looks like the Cupertino-based giant is all set to rein in the reels too. iDevices have made noticeable presence in movies and TV shows, overtaking other brands in product placements.
Getting in front of the camera seems to be no big deal for Apple MacBooks and iPhones, especially since the company claims it doesn’t splurge a single penny for product placements of any form. Then how is it that we see Tom Cruise sporting an Apple gadget in Mission Impossible?
Well, the not-so-well-kept secret is that Apple gives free product placements to Hollywood. While the company doesn’t pay for any spots on TV shows or films, they do give away huge boxes of Apple hardware to production houses for free.
That should explain the fact that 40 percent of movie box office hits featured iDevices in one form or another. While not all movies may have a Tom Hardy sporting an iPhone or Scarlett Johansson swiping away at an iPad, we do find an astonishingly large number of celebrities using them (or should we say, endorsing them?).
It comes as no surprise to note that Apple is the recipient of the Brandcameo Product Placement Award, for getting more screen time than its competitors. “Apple won’t pay to have their products featured, but they are more than willing to hand out an endless amount of computers, iPads, and iPhones,”says Gavin Polone, producer of Zombieland.“It’s kind of a graft situation.”
Companies ousting fab devices view product placements in television and films as a way to get noticed and show off. This is especially vital these days where consumers are opting DVRs and video streaming devices to indulge in entertainment.
While DVRs help users to bypass commercials, streaming services like Netflix shows videos without any commercials. Skipping television commercials by users would make it much harder for companies to get through to consumers through advertisements, especially for giants like Apple.
In such a scenario, getting their products handled by celebrities in TV shows and box office hits can become a form of advertisement. The idea isn’t anything new, but Apple seems to have made use of the trend without emptying its pockets.
Over the years, Apple has made an increasing number of appearances in front of the camera. Brandchannel, a firm that tracks product appearances, said a few years back that Apple gadgets have had screen space in more than 40 percent of the films that were box office hits.
And this was way back in 2011. Imagine how much more the percentage is likely to have risen.
Handing out free iPhone, iPads and MacBooks, have ensured Apple stay within the viewers’ line of sight. Since traditional commercials are seemingly on a downward path, free ads on movies and TV show spots are the way to go.
But that doesn’t mean competitors like Samsung and Microsoft are lying low. They have had their share of reel fame too, even if that share doesn’t hold up to Apple’s portion of appearances.
We have seen Samsung’s Galaxy line-up being endorsed by Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, not to mention the enormously lift gained from Ellen’s Oscar selfie that took the Internet by storm. Microsoft, on the other hand, has popped in a few of their devices every now and then, both in TV shows and movies.
The Microsoft Surface Pro slate got enough screen time in various TV shows like the Arrow, and they even had Jessica Alba handle a Lumia 920 days before it was launched, a sure fire way to get the public interested in their Windows Phone rage. That was probably the first time we saw a host of celebrities jump on to the Windows Phone bandwagon.
Nevertheless, both these giants fall short of Apple in hitting the home run with celebrity endorsements. According to a study by Nielsen, a global Marketing and Advertising Research Company, the Cupertino-based company towers over other brands in celebrity endorsements, with more than 650 appearances on screen within the last couple of years.