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Apple movie/TV product placement is on the rise

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Does it seem like every TV show or movie you've watched recently has a MacBook, iPad, or iPhone in it? There's a reason for that; the cool factor of Apple's product line is resulting in more placements of its products on the big and little screens. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Apple product placements increased by 45 percent between 2009 and 2011, and that the familiar fruit logo showed up in 40 percent of movies atop the weekly box-office charts.

While directors may be looking for the cool factor, Apple loves the placements for another reason -- they don't cost a penny. Unlike some other manufacturers, Apple refuses to pay for product placement, just riding on the success of its products to propel them into view in your favorite shows and movies. Apple currently has almost twice the product placement penetration of such well-known brands as Chevy and Ford.

Apple products had an astonishing eight minutes of screen time in the latest installment of the Mission: Impossible movies, which would have an advertising value of about US$23 million. The total cost for Apple? Nothing. On-screen product placements have another benefit -- since the advent of DVRs, fewer viewers have the patience to sit through advertisements. When the products are included as part of the scenery or even as part of the story, viewers tend to talk about them on social networking sites, which in turn influences purchasing decisions.

Fox's House -- and its many Apple product placements -- might be disappearing from TV after next week's episode, but the iPhones and MacBooks will live on in syndication for years.

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