Over the holiday break, Time Magazine took notice of all the Apple product placement in two of the season's hit films: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Of the latter, TIME wrote (kindly citing our ongoing Brandcameo product placement tally) "If it weren’t for Apple, the IMF would be SOL."
Of course, here at brandchannel we've noted (numerous times) Apple's involvement in both Mission Impossible and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Of the former, we noted that, 15 years after being a very public partner of the first Mission Impossible movie, Apple now zips its lips, "unwilling to even acknowledge its product placement program."
The two films cap off a year that was, as has become typical, extraordinarily filled with Apple product placement.
Cars 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Fast Five, Green Lantern, Hall Pass, Hop, Just Go With It, Limitless, Little Fockers, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, New Year's Eve, No Strings Attached, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Thor were movies that not only all reached the top spot at the US box office in 2011, but also which all featured some kind of Apple product placement.
By our count, in the decade spanning 2001 through 2011, Apple products appeared in more than one-third of all number one films at the US box office (127 of the 374 films). That is second only to Ford (153 of 374) and well ahead of third place Coca-Cola (103 of 334). Yes, for the last decade, Apple has appeared more often in top films than Coke.
Then there were the Apple product placement in films that never reached the top spot but were hits nonetheless. In 2011, this included Bridesmaids, What's Your Number, Abduction and The Dilemma. All featured Apple notebooks. Friends with Benefits worked in an iPad "bible app" scene. I am Number Four functioned as a two-hour iPhone ad for young adults.
And speaking of young adults, one other holiday break film with Apple product placement that TIME overlooked: the Charlize Theron-starring Young Adult.
Apple has maintained this massive showing despite increased competition for screen time by brands. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol's official partner was Samsung, yet iPhones were everywhere. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was produced by Sony Pictures, yet Apple's Macs filled the screens. These brands are, in a small way, underwriting the success of their competitor.
From the look of things, 2012 will maintain this momentum. In the first few weeks of the year, Apple products will appear in movies so broad in genre as Tyler Perry's Good Deeds, the smash-face actioner Contraband, and the indie Albatross.
For more of the decade in product placement visit the Brandcameo product placement database. And stay tuned for the annual Brandcameo Product Placement Awards in February.