Tracking Apple products in shows is somewhat of a hobby for many folks, and we even did a number of ‘Apple on TV’ posts here at Gear Diary. Of course, Apple is just one of many companies that spend heavily to get their products featured prominently in TV shows and movies, and keeping in the spirit of awards season the folks at BrandChannel have compiled their annual ‘Product Placement Awards’ … and not surprisingly Apple has come out on top again.
Here are some details from the award:
Apple products appeared in ten (or 30%) of the 33 films that were number one films at the US box office in 2010, outstripping appearances by any other single brand for the year. Nike, Chevrolet and Ford tied for second place, each appearing in 24% of the top films. Sony, Dell, Land Rover, and Glock appeared in at least 15% of the #1 films.
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.)
Those numbers do not even include the preponderance of Apple product placement in films that did not reach #1 at the box office.
In 2009 and 2010 alone, the following films featured Apple products but didn’t make #1 at the box office: Morning Glory, Somewhere, Repo Men, Hereafter, Machete, Greenberg, Catfish, Dinner for Schmucks, Lottery Ticket, Solitary Man, Going the Distance, Chatroom, Hot Tub Time Machine, Please Give, She’s Out of My League, Chloe, Killers, Book of Eli, The Spy Next Door, When in Rome, High School, Cats and Dogs 2, Step Up 3D, Gulliver’s Travels, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Knight and Day, You Again, Vampires Suck, Drag Me to Hell, Orphan, I Love You, Man, Duplicity, Crank 2: High Voltage, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Imagine That, Sorority Row, Answer Man, Post Grad, I Love You Beth Cooper, All About Steve, Hurt Locker, New York, I Love You, It’s Complicated, Road Trip: Beer Pong, Law Abiding Citizen, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Funny People and Couples Retreat.
Not only that, we know that Apple benefits from unpaid spots in many local news shows, as well as being used in a wide array of films and shows simply because so many of the writers and other cast and crew use their products regularly.
Product placement is an interesting thing – if done well you see things without feeling you are being pandered to … but too often in films the placements are simply obnoxious. While the award site notes the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the recent music video for Britney Spears’ ‘Hold It Against Me’ reportedly netted more than $500,000 in placement money.
I found that number surprising. Surprisingly LOW – if you watch the video for the first time you will likely think it is just another ham-fisted commercial … and suddenly realize it is a music video that got over-run by greed and inept product placement.
In general I have found Apple’s placements pretty reasonable – unlike the whole Bing episode of How I Met Your Mother …