Apple Polishing iPhone Giant Cant Keep Mum AbouBehind-the-Scenes TV Role

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Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits.

If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve no doubt noticed a few members of the stellar cast. Theres Angela Bassett as Athena Grant, an L.A.P.D. patrol sergeant with a troubled marriage; Peter Krause as a fire captain with a dark past; and Connie Britton as Abby Clark, a9-1-1operator.

No one can miss the individual keeping them connected. Its anAppleiPhone.

When it comes to placing products in shows,Appleis slowly moving from relying on surprising cameos to taking credited roles. For years, the popular consumer-electronics giant quietly supplied its favorite showrunners and their production staffs with plenty of gear. Fans of Ryan Murphy series like Glee, Scream Queens and American Horror Story are likely to notice Apple products quietly surfacing in various scenes.

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Foxs 9-1-1 is a show about rescues, however, not mysteries. And thats appropriate, because theres no question about Apples role in the program. The 9-1-1 characters are constantly using the companys smartphones to keep in touch. The action in one episode even suggested Connie Brittons Abby used the device to have phone sex with Buck, a young firefighter played by Oliver Stark. Viewers never see that connection on camera, but Apples role in the show has been spelled out each week in the closing credits, where viewers are alerted to a promotional consideration sponsored by Apple. One imagines they will see it again tonight, when Fox broadcasts the final episode in the series first season.

Apple did not respond to a query seeking comment. Fox declined to make executives available for comment. And dont get started on trying to find out if any money changed hands for the 9-1-1 appearances. We didnt have anything to do with it, says a spokeswoman for OMD, the Omnicom Group media-buying agency that purchases ad time for Apple.

The iPhone giant has many reasons to weave its products into popular shows. They need to sell their increasingly more expensive smartphones to keep their revenues flowing in, notes P.K. Kannan, a marketing professor at the University of Marylands Robert H. Smith School of Business. Producers and marketers of hardware have a tough problem when they release new models convincing the customers of their older models to upgrade to the new versions. Getting a new iPhone in the hands of a cool celebrity in a movie or music video or TV program is more likely to garner attention and interest rather than a straight and persuasive TV advertisement, says Kannan. If done right, product placements can lead to more viral campaigns than other forms of ads. Apple is probably counting on this.

Having that fact disclosed in obvious manner on screen, however, hasnt always been Apples nsider the case of Modern Family.In 2010, Apple managed to get its iPad into a storyline on the program just days before the device was scheduled for its first release. Apple didnt pay a cent for the appearance quite a bargain! One Modern Family character, Phil Dunphy, clutched an iPad in the episodes key scenes. In 2015, the series featured an episode with the action displayed entirely on Apple device screens. Again, no paid product placement.

Indeed, Apple has made prominent appearances in many popular series. You may have seen iPhones ring this season in Showtimes drama Homeland (produced by Foxs Fox 21 studio). And Apple products have long surfaced on HBO, whether in the form of an Apple laptop in Sex and the City or as a smartphone in the comedy Divorce (both, coincidentally, star Sarah Jessica Parker). Products in shows are creative decisions, not product placement, says a spokesman for the Time Warner-owned pay-cable outlet.

Yes, but. In advertising and production circles, its well known that Apple may not always pay the networks that run the programs, but that the presence of its devices is aimed at selling the tech. Others do it, too. The propmaster for Homeland tries to keep characters supplied with a variety of smartphones, including gear from Apple, Google, Blackberry and Samsung, says a person familiar with the show even going so far as to keep the same phones with the same characters and not letting phones show up in the hands of evil figures on the program.

Apple has been able to maintain a curtain around its in-show walk-ons. Now that seems to be opening, albeit slowly.Apple struck a deal last season to appear in NBCs Saturday Night Live, part of a new effort at the network tocreate content for advertisers tied more directly to the venerable comedy series. In May of last year, SNL aired a sketch that made use of an Apple laptop. A video bumper appearing in the live broadcast in advance of the sketch told the audience: Promotional Consideration for SNL Furnished By Apple.

In other instances, Apple hasnt been as shy about TV support. After SNL segments featuring musical guests, Apple has this season run short bumpers asking viewers to use Siri to download the shows app. Apple has done something similar during broadcasts of TBS Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, asking viewers to use Siri to find previous episodes of the series. In 2015, Applesponsored an appearance by Ryan Adams on Comedy Centrals Daily Show,running an on-screen message about Apple Music as the musician played a tune.

Do the math, and Apples plan becomes much easy to understand.

The in-show placements arent necessarily free supplying product costs something but they are substantially cheaper than traditional TV commercials. And that frees Apple up to spend heavily in more obvious ways. Among 2016 and 2017 TV programs, Apple spent the most on NBCs Sunday Night Football, according to Kantar Media, a tracker of ad spending. Last season, the average cost of a 30-second ad in that show was $728,434,according toVarietysannual survey of primetime ad prices.

Apple may not pay for its guest-star appearances, but they sure are lucrative.

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Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

Foxs 9-1-1, an eye-popping drama about cops and rescue workers, is chock full of interesting characters. One of them doesnt get a shout-out in the opening credits. If youve watched the Ryan Murphy-produced drama, which has shown a man falling out of an upside-down roller coaster and a metal bar piercing another fellows cranium, youve []

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