And here is the last part of my article series about Apple and Stealth Marketing. Today I will cover two types of stealth marketing, advertising in video games and advertising in music.

My other articles can be reached by going to these links:

Positioning of products and brands on television and film

In 2011 Apple received the title (BrandCameo Awards) of the most successful company when it comes to placing their products in movies. Apple products appeared in 17 (or 42.5%) of the 40 films that were number one films at the US box office in 2011, showing up nearly twice as often as the the nearest brand. Apple-branded products have now appeared in more than one-third of all number one films at the US box office between 2001 through 2011 (Announcing the 2011 Brandcameo Product Placement Award Winners, 2012). Apple insists that it does not pay for product placement and Apple media relations does not respond to questions on the subject.

Apple’s history of product placement in movies and on television is of course much longer. Their products appeared in movies already in the 1980s. We can find Apple in movies like Real Genius (1985) or Short Circuit (1986). Tanaka (1998) noticed that Apple products dominated in various TV series during the 1990s, even though Apple computers were not as popular as they are now. He also reveals some of the most successful series like: Ally McBeal, Felicity, Dawsons Creek, Buffy the Vampire, Dharma and Greg, The X-Files, etc. At the same time Apple computers were present in popular movies like Jurassic Park and You’ve Got Mail. It is interesting that Apple products have such presenc in movie and TV series industry. This is inconsistent with their relatively low market share in US market – around 15% (Sauer, 2010).

The fact is that Apple is one of the leaders in the placement of products on television and on film. In movies and series actors use Apple computers for surfing or the iPhone for calls. However, Apple’s share of the product placement in movies and on television in recent years is decreasing. BrandChannel (2012) discovered that Apple had its peak in 2008 when their products appeared in 50% of the most watched films in the U.S. In 2009, their products have appeared in 44% of the most watched movies. The reason for the decline in the placement of Apple’s products in movies is not the change in Apple’s strategy, but in the fact that other brands try to emulate Apple’s strategy of product placement in movies and on television. In movies we can already see various competing brands such as HP, Dell and Sony. Sony has tried to exclude Apple’s products in its movies and replace them with their own. However, the Hollywood film industry still remains loyal to Apple.

Lindstrom (2008), an expert in neuromarketing claims that Apple is one of the most sophisticated users of product placement strategy in movies and TV shows. Customers dislike obvious link between the brand and the film and this problem is even bigger today. The key to overcome this is to use stealth marketing using unconscious connections (Lindstrom, 2008). As an an excellent example of unconscious connections, Lindstrom mentioned movie “Wall-E” in which the Apple logo is not present, but the consumers associate the brand with the movie. In the movie Wall-E sounds and background are specific to Apple products, also the whole aesthetics is similar Apple design. Movie creators were even cooperating with the team that design Apple products!


1984 – advertisement (2012). Found on 1. august on website:

Viral Marketing is an important part of Apple success (2007). Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Ogg, E. (2010, 19. april). The leaked ‘iPhone 4G': How did this happen? Cnet. Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Announcing the 2011 Brandcameo Product Placement Award Winners (2012). Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Effie (2007). Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Hayden, S. (2011). ‘1984’: As Good As It Gets. Brandweek, 52(4), 14-15.

Lang, D. (2011, 21. october). Did Apple give T-Pain an iPhone 5? BreakingCopy. Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Brown, E. (2006, 21. july). Product placement on the rise in video games. Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Sauer, A. (2008). Product Placement Awards. Brandchannel. Found on 4. november 2011 on website

Tanaka, J., & Peyser, M. (1998). The Apples of Their Eyes. Newsweek, 132(22), 58.

Sauer, A. (2010, 4. march). Why Apple deservers an Oscar too. TheAWL. Found on 7. november 2011 on website

Lindström, M. (2008). Buyology: truth and lies about why we buy. New York: Doubleday.


I'm an economist and i am currently visiting postgraduate study at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, Slovenia. TWP Tech Blog is part of larger network which i currently own and manage. Feel free to contact me if you have any inquires.

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