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Apple And The Boob Tube 170

Posted by Zonk
from the writing-this-on-a-powerbook dept.
Rick Zeman writes "The Washington Post talks about Apple's success in product placement in television shows. While 'Apple said it does not pay for product placement and would not discuss how its products make their way into television and films' television viewers are treated to the view and use of Apple products in such shows as 24, Sex and the City, and this year's biggie, The Office. Also from the article: '"Apple is the brand of people who are creative," said Lucian James, president of Agenda Inc., a brand consulting firm. "Where they are using Apple is sort of suggesting artistic-ness."'"
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Apple And The Boob Tube

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  • by Bombula (670389) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:43PM (#15136091)
    I wouldn't say film and television uses Apple to suggest "artistic-ness" so much as intelligence and sophistication.

    Which of course means that what they should be using are hacked XBOX 360s running Linux...

  • From TFA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:46PM (#15136099) Journal
    Indeed, actors on [The Office]'s drab workplace set do not use snazzy Apple computers, but rather black, generic desktop PCs.
    Of course, for Apple, that works too...

    Simon.
    • Re:From TFA (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I rember when the iMac came out (the crt and the lamp-like style ones) that elementary and middle schools seemed to be buying them by droves. It didn't suprise me when a few years later those now dated models started appearing as props on tv shows. Sure the fact that creative professionals use Apple computers pretty heavily has something to do with their prevalence as movie and TV props, but I also thought it had something to do with the fact that there were so many cheap/free used/broken iMacs being toss
  • Free product (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <nacturation@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:47PM (#15136100) Journal
    Sure, maybe not *paying* for product placement but a truckload of notebooks and Cinema displays loaned to the studio for the season could be expected to find their way into scenes now and again?
     
    • Re:Free product (Score:4, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#15136129) Homepage
      This is pretty normal operating procedure from what I understand.

      Everybody wins. The studio gets free props, and Apple gets free advertising. If anything, it works out better for apple, as they get free advertising.

      That said, I think that apple products get chosen by the set designers simply because they're the most stylish/fashionible. If you want a futuristic, high-tech set (ie. 24), Apple's the way to go. It's their job to make the set look good.
      • Watch carefully. There's a trend, too, in HOW Apple products are used in comparaison to other manufacturers.

        When Apple products are used, it's typically by "the good guys". The baddies in the same movie would be using some cheapo white box manufacturer running Windows.

        I always find that hilarious.

        This link [brandchannel.com] is amusing for checking out all product placements in movies.
      • For years, Seinfeld had a Mac SE in his apartment. Why? It was actually his SE. Apple eventually provided him with a Duo (with dock and monitor) replacement so that a more current model would be placed.

        Similarly, when we first saw a Powerbook on Sex and the City, its logo was taped over. Not product placement (by the way, that's a very handy clue). Likewise the ibook used by Buffy's friends in several episodes.

        Apple even gets plenty of free advertising in advertisements for other companies. Almost every tim
    • Want to improve your Karma? Instead of "Post Anonymously", try the "Post Humously" option.

      How would a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas and sesame help my posts?
  • MovieOS (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:48PM (#15136104) Homepage
    I bet they have coders all set up to make their computers display what they need to, as props; while if the studios used X86 they'd have to hire their own coders. It's important for the computers to be able to blink "PASSWORD DENIED" in red, and then "password accepted!" followed by the super-secret information fuzzing in with neat video effects.
    • Re:MovieOS (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      Speaking of, has anyone ever created some version of MovieOS that we can use to wow our non-technical friends and family? I'm talking about all the "Password Denied" and "Accepted" messages, along with the slight tick-tick-tick as each character is printed to the screen. And then throw an image zoom function in there, too. Have it load up a really really hi-res image, but display it at like 200x300 and really fuzzy. As you zoom in, it just magically keeps on getting crisper and crisper, giving that MovieOS
      • I'm talking about all the "Password Denied" and "Accepted" messages,

        There was a version of this for the Palm Pilot that pretended to read your fingerprint to gain access. In reality, all you had to do was secretly press any button.

        along with the slight tick-tick-tick as each character is printed to the screen.

        Back in the good old days of 8-bit computing, when the TV show Whiz Kids was on TV all the computer magazines published type-in programs that allowed you to do this on your Commodore 64, or
    • Just watch Jurassic Park. It's blatently advertised in it. Apparently it can be learned without much difficulty by 13 year old girls and has a very pretty 3D graphical interface. Here's the line:

      "This is a UNIX system. I know this."

      How I wish this intuitive GUI and OS were available to the masses. [everything2.com] I hear that Apple is using some kind of clone as the basis for OSX, but I have yet to find confirmation about it.
    • Re:MovieOS (Score:4, Funny)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @06:33AM (#15137626)

      Don't forget if you are searching for something, it needs to flash up each and every record in the database until it finds the one you want.

      I can't wait until Google supports this killer feature.

  • Here is the iPod as an alien invader in Scary Movie 4.
    Scary Movie 4 Trailer - iPod [scarymovie.com]
  • Set dressing (Score:5, Informative)

    by vought (160908) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:52PM (#15136117)
    I'm lucky enough to have known a couple of set dressers for popular television shows introduced over the past decade. We never spoke specifically about Apple products, but she (both of them) had iBooks, a cube at home, etc.

    Decorating a TV set is pretty complicated. You don't show brand names unless they're paying for it (and you must hide those brands from all camera angles), but you want to encourage a feeling of familiarity for the viewer, so you end up with stuff like a half-turned Coke(TM) can that has a malformed "ribbon device" to avoid the trademark police. Regardless, you always display products that the viewer will find familiar - hence the avocado-green washer and dryer on That 70's show. That godawful combo isn't there because it's pretty, but it is a clear indicator of when the show occurs, and a nod to the life and times the show is set in.

    Apple is pretty unique in that they don't have to pay, but you'll notice that rarely is the Apple logo shown on TV shows that place Apple products. Apple knows that their industrial design is enough to get them placed in shows that want to show progressive, forward-thinking office environments or creative, flip characters.

    You see racks of Dell servers on "24", but you never see the word Dell, either - and I'd bet you my neck on a block it's because XServes just don't have big enough blue LEDs and blinky lights - and because Dell's servers are, oddly enough, among their best looking products.

    Apple products just look better on camera, full of artful, swooping designs that are utilitarian enough for everyday use, but futuristic enough for TV's trendsetting set dressers.
    • Apple is pretty unique in that they don't have to pay, but you'll notice that rarely is the Apple logo shown on TV shows that place Apple products. Apple knows that their industrial design is enough to get them placed in shows that want to show progressive, forward-thinking office environments or creative, flip characters.

      In the first season of Seinfeld [amazon.com] Jerry's apartment had a Macintosh SE in the corner. If I recall, it was later upgraded to a Mac TV. Too far away to notice a logo, but everyone knew Jer

    • On the last ep of 24 I saw, they did have PowerBooks, and they just covered over the Apple logo with stickers.

      Sometimes I wonder about those racks of Dell servers - that's a fair amount of computing power, I wonder if those are purely prop computers or they do something with them?
    • I noticed on Alias that both the good guys and the bad guys always used the same couple of racks of Dell servers, and that the good guys had Apple laptops. I think it was in the third season that the Apple logo suddenly got covered with a red circle, though.
    • You didn't come out and say it, but a big part of this phenomenon is that Apple computers tend to be distinctive and noticeable, going all the way back to the form factor of the original Macintosh. Whereas, it's hard to tell the difference between a Dell or an HP or what have you.

      Also, while Apple doesn't pay, they don't always insist that the prop computers get returned. =) I know a few producers who have negotiated for computer systems* for themselves in return for product placement, as well. It's time h
    • FWIW, Dell is definitely getting its name onscreen in this season of 24. Just like Cayce in Pattern Recognition I'm really starting to notice branding because of my negative reaction to it. Dell's logo appears on the back of every flat panel display, and each keyboard shot. I think the only reason you haven't noticed a name on the racks is they haven't zoomed in close enough to show the badge 'buttons'. Also prominently displayed: Cisco, Avaya, Ford, Treo. I've noticed the powerbooks and Macs (Henderson's h
    • Re:Set dressing (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 1u3hr (530656)
      You don't show brand names unless they're paying for it (and you must hide those brands from all camera angles), but you want to encourage a feeling of familiarity for the viewer, so you end up with stuff like a half-turned Coke(TM) can that has a malformed "ribbon device" to avoid the trademark police.

      I'm sure this is a common policy, just to avoid hassle, but it has little basis in law. How on earth could Coca-cola complain about a character drinking a can of coke? The trademark is firmly attached to t

    • ... I'd bet you my neck on a block it's because XServes just don't have big enough blue LEDs and blinky lights - and because Dell's servers are, oddly enough, among their best looking products.

      Have you ever seen an Xserve? They account for about 90% of the LED's in the server room where I work (:

      Front view [apple.com] (27 LED's)
      Rear view [apple.com] (7 LED's .. I think)

      The front LED's in the dark [quakeconpics.com] (:
      • Have you ever seen an Xserve? They account for about 90% of the LED's in the server room where I work

        Yes, I have, and I appreciate the post...but XServe LEDs, though many, are tiny. Like Jawas fighting the mighty, singular Death Star of Dell's "Massive Blue Server-Lite 2000", they are overwhelmed, since hey - they don't photograph as well.

    • Actually I have definitely seen the "Dell" logo a few times in this season of "24," which makes me think that they ponied up the big bucks for all that product placement. I'm thinking specifically of a few times when they have shown somebody's face over the top of their monitor from the back, you can rather clearly make out the word "Dell" on the rear side.

      Of course, I'm watching this on a fairly large screen, so I'm not sure how obvious this would be on a smaller TV, or what the 'standards' are for a 'vis
  • For a while in the 90's ... everything, and I mean *EVERYTHING* out of hollywood had one of those green shaded desk lamps in it. (just for fun, when you are watching anything from the 90s, count how many there are ... tv, movies, anything) and that is not because the lamp manufacturer paid for product placement... it is most likely because the prop departments got a good deal on them!

    As for Apple, have you seen the programs that they actually show running on television and movies? It is ALL artwork... there
  • by yintercept (517362) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#15136126) Homepage Journal
    One explanation is that Apple might simply be the computer used by movie editors. If I were making a movie; I would be inclined to use the computer equipment I use in my business life on screen. If I use an Apple computer to edit the films, I would be apt to place an Apple in the film.

    Apple could get placement simply by making sure that people in the movie industry have Apples ... either through gifting product and service or extremely low prices.
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#15136131)
    Apple is the brand of people who are creative.

    Baloney. I'm not knocking Apple products ... but from a marketing perspective Apple is the brand for people that are willing to pay a premium for their personal computers in order to suggest that they, themselves, have some degree of "artistic-ness", or at least style. Yes yes, many Mac users are artists or graphic designers or what-have-you, but people such as that purchased their equipment on its merits and have no need to impress anyone with "hey, look at me I have a Mac so I must be artistic!" For me, a computer is a box that sits on the floor and should remain as inconspicuous as possible, since I'm not trying to make any kind of statement with my choice of computer system. I make that statement with the quality of my work, regardless of the platform I happen to be working on at any given time.
    • For me, a computer is a box that sits on the floor and should remain as inconspicuous as possible

      The whole reason I bought my Mac Mini is because it's totally inconspicuous. A giant G5 box on my desk is one thing, but the Mini is great if you want to save desk space. I don't worry about my computer as such, I just have a system that works and I do what I need to do.

    • I think you are very right.

      Sadly though, if I keep my laptop on the floor the cat walks all over it and my back hurts from that awkward position thus the quality of my work suffers and the people who purchased this laptop for me aren't as happy as they would be if I kept it on the desk.
      • Ah, see, your problem is that you need a mattress on the floor of your office and maybe a blanket to pull over your head when you're on a deadline, and don't want to be disturbed.
    • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shmlco (594907) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:19PM (#15136226) Homepage
      "Yes yes, many Mac users are artists or graphic designers or what-have-you, but people such as that purchased their equipment on its merits and have no need to impress anyone..."

      To quote, "Baloney." Keep in mind that artists and graphic designers happen to be the exact same types who'd appreciate Apple's elegant lines and strong industrial design.

      I have an Apple Powerbook, and I bought it not because it makes a statement to others, but because it works, works well, and I enjoy using it. I love solid well crafted tools, and I hate the flimsy creaky cheap plastic crap that other manufacturers pass off as "design".

      I work better on my Mac. It's a synergistic effect.

      Characterizing Apple owners as mere status-seekers is as simplistic as my characterizing Linux-types as people too cheap to pay for software. Sure, some might qualify as such, but it would be unfair, unwise, and, well... stupid for me to tar all of them with the same brush.
      • Re:What? (Score:3, Funny)

        by DaveCBio (659840)
        And characterizing all laptops and computers other than Apple as "flimsy creaky cheap plastic crap" is just the sort of attitude he is talking about. "I work better on my Mac. It's a synergistic effect." is another line of bullshit. You are the cliche that you try to deny. A computer is a tool and that's all. If there is something that sets the computer apart like ergonomics or the software on a certain OS is better for your work flow then that's great for you. However, don't try and tell me that the case c
        • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by geniusj (140174)
          Could it have anything to do with the fact that it runs a completely different operating system too? Nah..
          • Did you actually read my post? No, of course not. You just glanced and then decided to post a smart-ass response. I addressed the idea that the OS and software might be better for the root poster. What I was responding to was the fact that he tried to imply that the construction of the Mac notebook was far superior to the "flimsy plastic" models of other companies. I don't know what other laptops he has used over the years, but I've used many and there are some incredibly well constructed pieces of gear on
            • Sorry, I was responding mainly to this comment:

              "I work better on my Mac. It's a synergistic effect." is another line of bullshit.
        • "However, don't try and tell me that the case colour and design have anything to do with "working better"."

          If you don't get then it you don't get it. That's okay. Some people don't care about such things. Just keep in mind that others do.
          • This response is the refuge of a person that can't actually back up their suppositions. It's like a freaking religious argument where when backed into a corner the religious person pulls out the "faith" card. Just admit it, you DID buy the Mac partly because of the "statement" and that false air of superiority it affords you. Macs are great machines, but if you are going to make assertions about their superiority at least have an actual argument to back it up.
            • FACT: It has great industrial design. FACT: I appreciate well-designed tools. FACT: I enjoy using it, and even look forward to using it. FACT: I take it with me more places, and use it more often, than I did the Dell. FACT: My frustration level is lower. FACT: My productivity on it as opposed to my Dell is higher.

              FACT: There are people who appreciate design, many of whom are designers. Lack of design grates upon their senses.

              Like I said, if you can't understand that, then you can't. But if your sense of sup
              • So, your preference are now "facts"? Okay, I can see this is going nowhere fast. I am glad you like your Mac, but your preferences are far from universal and that is a FACT.
                • So now one person's facts are nothing more than preferences? And no one else could possibly have the same reasons?

                  Apparently, to use an analogy, anyone who buys an expensive sports car does so solely because they're making a statement. And not because they appreciate the clean lines and precision engineering. And not because they admire the fit and finish and fine interior. Nor can they enjoy the performance and handling.

                  Nope, none of those things could possibly apply. Paying more money for an expensive ve
                  • How gracious of you. Since you allow me the last word I'll start with yours.

                    I hate the flimsy creaky cheap plastic crap that other manufacturers pass off as "design".

                    You haven't adressed the point that I was making all along. Not once did I deny that Macs have good design, not once did I imply that Mac OS and software is not a good choice for some users. What I am saying is that Apple isn't the only company to make well designed laptops and it's not like they haven't made their share of "flimsy crea
      • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

        I appreciate elegant lines and strong industrial design. I also have no artistic talent. I like a lot of Apple's laptops. But not all. The others, I hate. Those all white models look like "flimsy creaky cheap plastic crap", too, whether they are or not. My laptop, not an Apple, uses dark slate gray /metal/, and is well designed.

        You say it's a synergistic effect. What is? "I work better on my Mac because it works well" is /not/ a synergy. If you work because something works, that's not a synergy, that's cau

      • That's an excellent .sig, shmlco.
    • Re:What? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      in other words, Apple is usually the brand of those assholes that tell everyone how they are an artist or musician, or (best of all) a movie director and expect to be treated as superiour people because of their self declared artistic ability. In the meantime they have not created anything that has brought even a single person a little enjoyment.

      Of course I dont know how much of this is really Apple's fault, but they do encourage it by making their products as conspicuous as possible.

      • "Apple ... encourage[s] it by making their products as conspicuous as possible."

        What do you want them to do, start slapping "intel inside" stickers all over their computers just to blend in? If Apple's products stand out, it's for looking good in a sea of ugliness. Don't complain that Apple stands out--complain that Dell is still pumping out slabby turds festooned with garish, useless blinkenlights and "Genuine Microsoft" labels.

        I agree with you that all the "I use a Mac and therefore I'm creative" posers,
    • For me, a computer is a box that sits on the floor and should remain as inconspicuous as possible, since I'm not trying to make any kind of statement with my choice of computer system. I make that statement with the quality of my work, regardless of the platform I happen to be working on at any given time.

      I wonder if that's the same thing as saying you buy all your clothes from Wal-Mart because it's what's on the inside that counts.

      • No, it's because for me, as a software developer, it's what's on the screen that counts. And like I said, I think Apple has great products and I'm not being critical of them. I am criticizing a certain subset of the people that buy them.
    • Re:What? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by anarkhos (209172)
      What was that?

      Sorry, I got distracted when you started sniffing your own farts.
    • by LKM (227954)

      Apple is the brand for people that are willing to pay a premium for their personal computers in order to suggest that they, themselves, have some degree of "artistic-ness", or at least style.

      That's pretty arrogant.

      People who work with their computers buy what's best for the job. For some people, it's Macs, for others, it's PCs. So you buy PCs. Good for you. Others buy Macs. That doesn't make them better or worse than you, it just means they need a different OS to "make that statement with the quality of

      • Hardly arrogant, just observant. And you're right: it doesn't make them any better or worse than me ... the difference is, unlike me, they think they are better.

        Now, I thought I had made it clear: I'm not knocking Apple products, I happen to like them. I wasn't bitching about their pricing. I'm slamming attitudes, not hardware. Nor am I slamming all Apple users, just the irritating ones traditionally called "Mac bigots". That's actually a fairly significant subset of the Mac using population, large enoug
        • by LKM (227954)

          the difference is, unlike me, they think they are better. (...) at's actually a fairly significant subset of the Mac using population, large enough for non-Mac users to notice. (...) I'm talking about the Mac bigots who exude a sense of innate superiority because they use a Macintosh.

          I don't see this. It's porbably similar to the recent Southpark episode with the Hybrid owners: They aren't smug (at least none of the ones I know), but people often perceive them to be smug because they unintendionally remi

    • That's why I use a mac. It doesn't piss me off on a daily basis like my Windows machines.
      • No argument from me on that score. Windows is an ongoing thorn in my side, unfortunately it's how I make a living. I like Macs ... I just think some of the people that buy them need to grow up a little.
  • Pretty much any time a laptop is shown on TV, you see the Apple logo on the back of the screen. I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with the tendency of producers/writers to want to avoid "generic" stuff in their work. An Apple branded piece of hardware stands out visually more so than your garden variety PC notebook, or at least they believe that to be the case.
  • Comic strips also (Score:3, Insightful)

    by azpenguin (589022) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:58PM (#15136144)
    I don't know exactly how much Apple actually works to get its products out there on TV. If you want to follow the creative/graphics angle though, look in your newspaper comics. Almost every single time you see a computer it looks like an Apple product. I doubt Apple is pushing this placement; rather, it's just what the artist uses (and most likely prefers.)
  • 24 and bad guys (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dionysus (12737) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @02:01PM (#15136157) Homepage
    Didn't the bad guys on the first season of 24 use PCs? All the good guys (CTU) used Apple [wired.com]
  • Apple doesn't pay for product placement. Apple does pay marketing and advertising companies, and if some of the money Apple pays them ultimately ends up paying for product placement.... well, that's another story, isn't it?

    Of course, truckloads of free product probably have some effect. But I noticed that on the last Veronica Mars, the logo on her laptop was covered up... it isn't usually. Did someone stop paying?
  • Everyone knows that the word is "artisticity"! :-P
  • What happens if the HDD goes bad, wouldn't this be a pain to back up and restore? From what I understand, you have to have everything the same when moving to a bigger drive. Or reformat and partition the new bigger drive, and then copy everything over which is tedious due to three different file systems.
    • What happens if the HDD goes bad, wouldn't this be a pain to back up and restore?

      Connect external drive. Boot from external drive. Restore backups to external drive.

      Or, alternately, crack open that puppy and replace the drive. But the external drive workaround is one easy enough for grandma to deal with.
  • hahaha! BOOB! hahaha!
    • Question is though - why does it say that? I've never heard TV referred to as the "boob tube" before? "The Tube" sure. I thought the "boob tube" was a peice of awful looking clothing from the eighties.
  • I'll admit it, I watch quite a few TV shows, all downloaded, all while I work alone at home (the quiet tends to drive me crazy after a while). Over the past year or so, I have been more or less actively noticing the computers they use in TV shows and they are almost all Apple. The thing I find funniest, is how they cover up the Apple logo. I'm setting up a website to document this phenomenon, and have records of everything from stickers (the most obvious), to post-its (center bottom on ACD monitors) and str
  • This is a pet peeve of mine. In seemingly every TV show or movie, they have an Apple computer. Even in corporations where the bean-counters are not going to pay 50% more for a computer. The Whitehouse staff on "The West Wing" all had Powerbooks. I have no problem if the character is a writer, photographer, graphic artist or reasonably successful musician. Those people are in the 5% of the population that will pay the "Mac Tax". The rest of the population uses Windows boxes (Slashdot readers possibly excepte

  • Apple is the brand of people who are creative

    I am really getting sick of this cliche. I have used Macs on occasion, but in my 7 years of sound design for videogames my primary tools have all been on Windows and PCs. A computer and the software that it runs are just tools and tools are only creative forces in the hands of people that are skilled enough to use them. Not once did I feel limited in my work because I was on a PC. Not once did I feel less creative because I was running Sound Forge and nuendo
    • but in my 7 years of sound design for videogames my primary tools have all been on Windows and PCs.

      I work in print publishing. I personally use a PC, but am in a tiny minority amongst the Mac users. Actually, if my boss hadn't been such a cheap bastard back when I started I'd probably be using a Mac too, but I got comfortable with my old-school DOS software and find it hard to change. But I do lust after OSX and may "switch" sometime.

    • I have used Macs on occasion, but in my 7 years of sound design for videogames my primary tools have all been on Windows and PCs.

      Gah, I hate the cliché that you need a Porsche to drive fast. Sure, Porsches are fast, but I've been doing street races with my hummer for seven years now!

      Anyway, there are lots of Windows users doing creative stuff, and lots of Mac users doing non-creative stuff. That doesn't change the fact that Apple is disproportionally strong in the creative market.

    • I have used Macs on occasion, but in my 7 years of sound design for videogames my primary tools have all been on Windows and PCs.

      Maybe you're not as creative as you think. ;-)
  • The Office? Nope, sorry.

    There's only one character in The Office who uses a Mac. The temp, Ryan Howard, uses an Apple iBook. He's the guy played by B.J. Novak. In almost every shot, however, the Apple logo is obscured. If I didn't own an iBook, I might think it was just a white laptop. The iBook is not very often shown on camera at any rate.

    Almost everybody else uses Gateway PCs. In fact, the Gateway logo is quite visible on the back of the flat-panel monitors in many, many shots. There are also a few IBM P
  • Reminds me of when someone with their own skill and experience takes a truly wonderful photograph and someone tells them "Wow, you must have a *great* camera". They don't realise how insulting that may be until it is compared to someone that writes a great book and so it follows they must have a terrific typewriter etc. You don't need an Apple to be creative; if you have an Apple it doesn't mean you are creative. "Apple is the brand of people who are creative" sounds like a line from a cigarette ad. It's a
  • I'm sure folks have noticed that Cisco IP Phones [cisco.com] also get placed into quite a few shows that have a high-tech slant to them bordering on sci-fi (think Alias). Sure, it's not something that a typical consumer is going to run out and buy, but I can imagine those people working in large corporations that can afford Cisco IP telephony products [cisco.com] wondering how they can cool phones like that.

  • In 1995, in "Under Siege 2," Steven Segal saves America by faxing critical data using an Apple Newton. He secretly taps into into a satellite communication system while hiding from approaching bad guys on a moving train. The camera cuts back and forth from the surroundings to an extreme closeup of the snot-green Newton screen which happens to say "Newton Fax" on it in huge letters, and its slow-moving progess bar, creeping, creeping toward completion as we become aware of the bad guys approaching closer, cl
  • Last night, as I was working at my job as a TV board op, I saw a commercial for some online product (tax filing software, or something), that blatently used a Safari look-a-like browser in an OSX setting, although no logos were shown. The thing that astounded me, though, is how much trouble they went to to make it look ALMOST but not quite like Safari/OSX. The window had the tell-tail "stop light" (red-yellow-green) circle widgets in left corner (Mac OS windows always place widgets on the left side, because

  • In the US product placement on television is prohibited under the FCC sponsorship identification requirements of 47 U.S.C. 317 and 508, and 47 C.F.R. 73.1211. My wife used to be Director of Marketing of a well known consumer goods manufacturer. She says that back in her day TV placement for gratis product was already common, but the shows didn't even ask for money, probably more because it devalued advertising slots than because they were afraid of the FCC.

    Hollywood, without advertisers or the FCC to ans
  • In Britain, A Boob Tube is an article of clothing. It consists of a cylinder of elastic material and is (or was, having now gone very much out of fashion) worn by women and girls as a top. In other words, it's a tube that covers the boobs. The American use of this phrase always sounds bizarre to me - I mean, why boob, in that context?
    • In North America, Boob is sometimes used as a replacement for idiot or fool (What a boob!). Tube is sometimes used as a replacement for TV or Telly (What's on the tube?). Boob Tube is synonymous with Idiot Box, which refers to the idea that watching television inherently makes you stupid because of all the crap on TV.

      The Boob Tube that you refer to is usually referred to as a Tube Top here in North America. Maybe we don't call them Boob Tube's here because they are becoming quite popular (much to the dism

You know you've been spending too much time on the computer when your friend misdates a check, and you suggest adding a "++" to fix it.

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