In 2010, Apple (NASDAQ:
) and the Disney-owned (NYSE:
) ABC sparked some controversy when the first iPad became the
focus of an episode of Modern Family.
Word on the street is that
Apple received the free promotion
simply by providing the network with an iPad to use on the show.
Now Apple is at it again, teaming up with Netflix (NASDAQ:
) to promote its two biggest iDevices -- the iPad and the iPhone
-- in the new series House of Cards.
, nine iDevices appear in one scene alone. Insiders claim that
while Apple pays someone (likely an organization) to get its
products into Hollywood projects, it does not actually pay TV
networks or studios to feature the iPhone or the iPad.
This distinction might sound like Apple is staying away from
true product placement, but consumer perception might suggest
Engadget's Sharif Sakr was so disturbed by the frequent and
blatant display of Apple products (including an iMac) that he
wrote an entire editorial on the matter. He initially stopped
watching House of Cards as he waited for Apple, Netflix or any
other involved party to respond to his request for comment.
No one has answered Sakr's questions officially, but he has
been informed that House of Cards producers decided to display
Apple products as a thank-you to the firm for donating the
devices. This response satisfied Sakr, who started watching the
Apple is not the only company hoping to cash in on House of
Cards. Sony (NYSE:
) wormed its way into the show when Francis Underwood (played by
Kevin Spacey) reportedly said that he "oughta get" a PlayStation
Vita for his car.
) devices are also featured on the show.
By attempting to hide the status of the product placement
(whether it was brought on through a financial exchange or the
donation of products to use on screen), these companies may
create greater controversy than if they had been open and honest
about what they were doing.
In 2009, Comcast-owned (NASDAQ:
publicly teamed up with Subway
to help pay for the production of the TV series Chuck. Subway,
which had been a sponsor of the show in the past, had no qualms
about the announcement.
Meanwhile, fans did not care that the Subway placement was as
blatant as possible, partially because it was expected (everyone
knew it was coming), but also because it was done in an amusing,
By trying to be subtle and secretive, House of Cards'
unofficial product placement may appear to be much more obtrusive
than if Apple and Netflix had gone public with their
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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