The Freeloading Apple of Hollywood’s Product Placement Eye

It’s just one more stroke of genius for the empire that Steve Jobs built. Despite having more cash on hand than any of its competitors, Apple never has to pay for Hollywood to place its products in film and TV shows.

Per an article in Bloomberg Businessweek by San Francisco-based Peter Burroughs and LA-located Andy Fixmer, this no-cost sideline is booming:

The company’s gadgets were discussed or shown 891 times on TV in 2011, up from 613 in 2009, according to researcher Nielsen (NLSN). In the same year, iDevices appeared in more than 40 percent of the movies that topped the weekly box office, according to Brandchannel, which tracks product appearances. That’s nearly twice the penetration of the next most common brands in Hollywood—Dell (DELL), Chevy (GM), and Ford (F).

The reporters highlight the critical early contributions of Apple marketing director Jon Holtzman and also note, quite rightly, that although the firm does not pay for product placement, it has sometimes done a little tit-for-tat. For example, it framed TV ads in 1996 around use of products in the first Mission: Impossible. But for its estimated $23 million of screen time in the fourth M:I, Apple had to do zip.

To read the complete article, click here.