Whats with all the Apple computers in nearly ALL popular media today?

This has been bugging me for a while. I started noticing about 2 years ago that in 99% of all movies, tv shows, and commercials EVERY time you see someone on a computer they are on an Imac or Ibook. Why is this? If you were to base your perception of Apples share of the PC marketplace solely on what you see in media you would think that Imacs were the only comps people used and only a few “geeks” used windows machines.

Does Apple spend massive amounts of cash on product placement in movies and television? If so, the money may be better spent trying to make computers that are just as easy to use as they are to look at.

(I’m serious. If you haven’t noticed this trend start paying attention to computers in movies when you watch them. The only place you won’t see them is when they show the inside of Norad or something like that)

Part of it may have to do with the same reason why city streets at night are always wet in the movies - it just looks better. If you want a computer that looks slick and modern to the general public, a Mac might be the best choice.

Secondly, one of the industries where Apple computers are used a lot is in film production. The makers of the movie may use Macs in the movie because that’s what they use in real life.

I wouldn’t discount the idea that Apple is spending a lot of money for product placement, though. They blew lots of money giving computers to schools back in the '80s to try and get future customers, and they are one of the companies that stands to benefit the most from product placement - Dell or Gateway wouldn’t benefit much from paying to have one of their computers in a movie, because nobody is going to know what brand it is unless they do a closeup of the case, but most computer users can pick out a Mac from a distance.

I think it’s in homage to the wonderful OS that can interface with Alien systems and save the world from destruction.

Anyway there is a scene in the Simpsons when the French fire a Nuclear weapon at Springfiels and it has the “Intel Inside” logo on it.

So it’s not all one-sided.

Another thing to consider is that Macs are stereotypically used by “artsy” types. Every person that I personally know that uses a Mac is either some kind of graphic artist or does some form of media production.

If we take this into account, the certainly hollywood would have a larger than average amount of Mac users.

It could also be product placement paid for by Apple Computers itself. Apple’s Powerbooks were so prominent in Mission Impossible and Independance Day that they could only have been paid product placements.

They look cooler. And the fact that they’re more expensive is meaningless in the entertainment world.

I’m surprised we don’t see more Sony Vaio’s in the media though. They have a hip look too. So maybe it is Apple throwing around the big bucks.

Apples are almost exclusively used in the entertainment industry due to the better software. So if you need a prop, are you gonna go find the nearest computer? If so, it will probably be an Apple. But I’d bet they do get money from Apple as well. Otherwise I’m sure property masters have plenty of the fake generic looking computers you see in furniture stores!

To clear up a common misconception, product placement is NOT companies paying lots of money to have their products featured in films. Companies donate (or, in the case of more expensive items such as cars, loan) their products to the production in exchange for screentime. This might seem like a small moral line, but I think it’s much better than “highest bidder gets to be in our film!”. There are companies, such as Norm Marshall, who all they do is broker deals between consumer companies and film companies. This can range anywhere from high-end sports cars to cases and cases of candy bars and water to feed the crew, in exchange for a few moments on screen. For the companies, it’s a no-brainer; possible big-time advertising for the cost of some product. Why do the filmmakers do it? As Mondeo said, they could easilly use fake generic looking computers, or a white-labeled “Bob’s Soda” instead of Coke, but seeing these will often take the viewer out of the film, reminding him that it’s fake.

As for the OP question, I agree that the reason Macs are seen so often is threefold: Macs are the main computers used in the entertainment industry, so it’s what filmmakers know; they just look good, so production designers approve of them; and Apple is very eager to donate to have their products seen.

As far as I know, Apple seldom tosses out money to have their stuff used in TV shows and movies – Mission: Impossible was the last incident that I recall. Most of the time, it’s just a case of the producer or set designer wanting a “cool-looking” prop, and Apple’s stuff fits the bill better. After all, if you’re trying to portray Tom Cruise as a tech-savvy Wall Street trader, you’re not going to sit him behind a generic beige/black box (or, heaven forbid, a cow-patterened Gateway!).

And sghoul, if you’re looking for Mac users who aren’t artists or creative types, you can always start with me. :slight_smile: I write software for a variety of projects, from air-defense networks to automated train control, and I use Macs because I don’t want to spend my hard-earned money on shoddy computers. Though Macs now appear to be making a resurgence in the scientific community as well – Genentech reportedly bought 1,000 of the new iMacs because of the G4’s vector processor.

Because you don’t want to spend hours getting the shot right only to later realize that the computer in the background is displaying the BSOD.

I work for Bose, and if you look around you’ll see our Wave radio product everywhere. (TV shows, movies, etc.)

We do retain a PR firm that handles product placement trades. However, for every trade for airtime that we make, the product probably shows up 10 or 15 times. Once it becomes a prop on the set, it’s just used over and over.

For instance, we trade a Wave radio and an Acoustic Wave music system to Seinfeld. They placed the AWMS in J. Peterman’s office behind the chair where Elaine always sat. Every time they were in that office, you saw the AWMS. Also, Elaine had a Wave radio on her nightstand, so every shot of Elaine’s bedroom included our product.

Hey Morgainelf, any chance you can convince Bose to do some product placement in my apartment? :smiley:

<hunts through piles of audio equipment gathering dust in heaps in house, trips over three Wave radios on the way to the keyboard>

Nope, no extra speakers to spare. Sorry! Now, if suddenly your apartment gets some national airtime…

I think Apple pursues product placement to a greater degree than any other computer manufacturer because they’re the only company whose product is easily recognizable. An iMac is easily identifiable, but most PCs are indistinguishable from each other unless you get a real close look. Why would Dell spend big bucks (or any bucks) to get their computer placed in a movie when the audience won’t be able to tell if it’s a Dell or an HP or a Gateway?

Next trend: Product placement in porn.

The OP is something that, as a computer geek, always bothered me.

As others have said, I think the main reasons are that Hollywood types tend to use Mac’s because they used to be better for graphic stuff[#1] and that Apple probably puts more money behind their stuff.

There are three major exceptions to the OP I can think of. They are “The Matrix”, “X-Files” and “Millineum”(SP?). The Matrix pretty much never got close to the issue since it didn’t really have anything to do with the plot though the screen shots in the movie are Unix like. The X-Files and Millinuem(SP?, I’m too tired to spellcheck) had the right idea for the most part. I was happy, and somewhat amazed, to see real Unix boxen on Millinuem. Finally, someone did the research.


#1. Mac’s at one point were light years ahead of Windows and *nix when it came to graphics. Now days the Windows-Mac difference is trivial. For high end graphics you want SGI machines which are now running Linux for the most part.

Waitaminute… by the transitive property, I do believe you’re insinuating that my apartment is used for porn! :smiley:

Speaking of Seinfeld, this trend’s been going on at least as long as that show’s been on the air. You’ll notice that Jerry always had a Mac in his apartment. In the earlier days, it was, I believe, a Classic II, one of the little black-and-white models. Next, Jerry upgraded to a DuoDock (really a laptop, but it plugged in to a base station for home use). At the end of the series, Jerry had a 20th Anniversary Mac back there, which was a really sweet and eye-catching case design.

I don’t buy this. It could be because I’m Australian (therefore many of the featured products don’t exist here anyway), but I never get jolted out of a movie by seeing someone drinking fake brand “Bob’s Soda” instead of Coke or Pepsi. In fact, I find that sometimes Coke or Pepsi are more likely to cause a jolt because my brain says “Product placement!!”. Pepsi mostly does this, because I associate Pepsi with Coke-bashing. I find Pepsi-sponsored anything vaguely distasteful because they tend to be more “in your face” about it. JMHO.

[dual hijack]
Did anyone besides me notice that Harrison Ford used a Mac in Blade Runner?

I liked the Generic beer in Repo Man
[/dual hijack]

They used generic-type PCs in Jurassic Park, but I don’t recall what OS they were running. At the time the movie was released and as network servers, I’m guessing it should have been NT 3.5 or a flavor of UNIX.