The Virtuous Circle of Product Placement in Apple's TV+ Shows

Apple products are visible in an average of 32 camera shots in each episode of "The Morning Show," and an Apple logo is visible in roughly one-third of those shots, based on a tally count by The Wall Street Journal.

the morning show apple product placement

Reese Witherspoon's character sleeps beside her iPhone and MacBook in 'The Morning Show'

In one four-second scene in episode one of the flagship Apple TV+ series, nine Apple products are shown as two characters walk and talk through a newsroom, according to WSJ's report.

As far as product placement goes, it's an impressive count for the newsroom drama, which debuted last week to a mixed critical reception but a generally favorable audience reaction, according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Morning Show" stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, and reportedly costs more than $15 million per episode, but as a vehicle to push Apple's own products, it could be worth tens of millions of dollars. WSJ:

"The Morning Show" wastes little time giving Apple screen time. The first scene of the first episode opens with the character of executive producer Chip Black, played by Mark Duplass, sprawled on the floor of his office in the dark, feet away from a Mac computer, when the iPhone next to him lights up with an incoming call. About 20 seconds later, Steve Carell's soon-to-be-disgraced anchor, Mitch Kessler, is awakened by his iPhone. In total, there are 31 shots of Apple devices in Episode 1, including eight with the company's logo.

Other Apple products that get decent screen time in the series include MacBooks and iMacs, iPads, and AirPods and Apple Watches. Even the HomePod speaker makes a cameo on a producer's office desk.

Spending on product placement has doubled since 2012 to about $10 billion, according to PQ Media, a media research firm that tracks the industry. However, Apple has said it doesn't pay for product placement, and people close to "The Morning Show" told WSJ that producers weren't under pressure to include Apple products in the shows.

Of course it helps that Apple products are very popular – the ‌iPhone‌ has a 35 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market – so it stands to reason that Apple products will appear in shows depicting modern life. Apple products often show up in other TV series not affiliated with Apple, too. But as WSJ notes, the ‌iPhone‌ appears in "The Morning Show" so much that it can seem like an appendage.

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The office of 'The Morning Show' character Chip Black, played by actor Mark Duplass

Some viewers may consider the flagship series to be overzealous in its product placement, but the very fact that Apple is able to promote its hardware in a subscription service that was designed to help lessen the company's dependency on its ‌iPhone‌ business at a time of slowing sales, is a sweet sort of irony. If the service is a success, it could well be a virtuous circle for Apple's long-term product revenues.

"In a changing world where people watch less traditional television, especially younger audiences, how do you reach them?" said Patrick Quinn, president of PQ Media. "One way to do that is to launch your own streaming service and show off your product. Not everyone can do that, but Apple can."

Apple is providing customers with a free 7-day trial for ‌Apple TV‌+, which is priced at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. Apple is also offering all customers who purchased an ‌‌Apple TV‌‌, ‌iPhone‌, iPad, Mac, or iPod touch after September 10 one free year of access to ‌‌Apple TV‌‌+.

Top Rated Comments

thasan Avatar
29 months ago
Will the villains in the new shows use windows or android products? :P
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
29 months ago
Subtle, or not so subtle advertising. I’ve noticed Apple products are shown in other shows as well.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phone Junky Avatar
29 months ago

Subtle, or not so subtle advertising. I’ve noticed Apple products are shown in other shows as well.
As well as shows that have iMacs and MacBooks with a round sticker over the Apple logo on the back.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RosOne Avatar
29 months ago
Well, I'd assume rich tv personalities use macbooks, iphones and ipads anyway. It didn't strike me as out of place.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsmornot Avatar
29 months ago

Ha, it's hilarious that the MacBooks are not even facing the correct direction for the people to be using them in the two pictures posted in the article. I know I always keep the backside of the computer facing me when it's sitting on my desk....
You sure? The logo will be upright when the lid is open which means it faces away from you when closed and correctly placed for use.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
unclemax Avatar
29 months ago
Given that it's impossible to showcase Apple gadgets in "See", "Dickinson" and "For All Mankind", TMS must be the product placement fest!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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