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Product Placement, Care For An Apple?

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There has been a lot of buzz lately surrounding the release of the ever popular, ever sleeker Macbook Pro laptop computers, as well as the release of the iPad 2 coming up March 2. And we can’t forget earlier in the month when the Apple iPhone4 finally became available for Verizon Wireless cell phone users. Apple, Inc. a world-wide company that designs electronics, software and computers have a lot of pressure riding on them this week. AppleTV is actually pretty awesome – But who ever thought the iPad would catch on like it has?  Maybe because it has the brand behind it – I still don’t particularly care for the name and although I’ve played around with some before, I still prefer my computer and Android phone over the cool little tablet gadget thing that you can read the Huffington Post on… riding the metro home from work.

Let me ask you, faithful readers, have you ever been so mad at your computer you want to throw it up against the wall? Come on, we’ve all been there – and at some point in our lives, whether you’re an “Apple” or a “PC”, have witnessed the sad mac/blue screen of death. Does it make you give up and switch to the other side? If you compare the amount of times that has happened whether it was user error or manufacturing error, I bet it turns out to be about a 50-50 split.  My first home computer was an Apple IIGS, and have stuck with Macintosh computers ever since. I just don’t like PC’s as much as I do the Mac. My friend Trevor (@MrTrevC) prefers Windows-based computers. He has never wanted a Mac, nor does he even own an iPod. “Last on my list,” he says. But hey, preference is everything in the consumer world, and brand loyalties don’t fall far from the tree (pun intended for an apple?, sure, why not).

So what makes Apple so great? Some can argue the operating systems, some argue the quality of the applications, the layout, and more. Different strokes for different folks. But aside from personal opinion, How does Apple do SO well outside of picking sides? Its simple: product placement. For grad school, my assignment this week is to write a research paper on the marketing behind Apple, Inc. I have to wonder if my professor knew that there was a lot of press about the new products coming out this week when she made the syllabus at the beginning of the semester. I thought a post about Apple products tied it in nicely.

Adding to the mix, the Oscars are this weekend. There are some hefty contenders this year, and still so many movies I have yet to see. What do the Oscars have to do with Apple? Aside from wearing a dress out of apple slices or something with the famous logo on it, more than you think. Product placement in movies and television subliminally mind trick you into a desire to purchase products. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Although experts are calling it a downfall compared to the past several years, Apple products take the cake in product placement in the top 33 movies that hit the number one spot this past year. The press about this, is getting people talking, just a few days before the 83rd annual Academy Awards are set to air. Brandchannel found a total of 591 different brands and products which factor out to a 17.9 average of products per film. For Apple, products showed up in 10 of the top movies. They aren’t the only ones on the bandwagon this year, though. Nike, Chevrolet, and Ford products shared a total of 8 films each. To find out more about the winners in product placement this year, check out Brandchannel’s recent post.

This has been going on for years, and whether we actually look closely enough at the movies we’ve seen over and over again or not, you’ll remember it, too. This was the first movie clip that came to mind:

I look forward to movies like Scream 4 coming out this summer with the latest technologies to work with. Does it share the same appeal? We have started to notice Mac computers and people using iPhone’s in television and movies more and more, but lets think if these story lines will actually work in the next couple years. With Scream 4,  why would you answer an “unknown” caller from your cell phone, wait, how did the killer get your phone number in the first place? Wait, knowing half the people died from answering the phone in the first place, why would you even bother using it? Why didn’t the psycho killer just tag you in a post on Facebook or broadcast personal videos on Justin.tv? I wonder if it will have the same effect the fourth time around. We can only wait and see, and that’s why movies are one of the greatest forms of entertainment.

All in all, I love the effort that is made with the marketing and promotional aspect of sports and entertainment. Even the satire of marketing with recent products…remember this?

Also, check this video out, on the longer side, but a great little history compilation of product placement in movies:

Tell me you aren’t hungry right now, or thinking about getting a new car, or a new pair of sneakers, or hey, even a new laptop? Even though you might not actually purchase these products, you’ve at least thought about it and toyed with the idea of looking into buying something after reading this. The marketing department has done its job, and as a consumer, its your job to do yours. Maybe the next time you watch a movie, you’ll be able to recognize those products you love or hate or be introduced to something you never knew about… A thought to leave you with: What brands are you loyal to?

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