Apple Resumes Product Placement on The Office



After an unexplained absence, Apple products have officially returned to NBC’s The Office, which wrapped up its seventh season last night.

Apple gear was prominently seen and mentioned during the show’s earlier seasons. In 2005, for example, former boss Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) gifted a then-cutting-edge 5th generation iPod Classic (“video iPod”).

But as of late, HP replaced Apple for “promotional consideration”, as evidenced by the closing credits. Apple products continued to appear on occasion, but only discretely, the logo always obscured.

In fact, in a recent episode in which pseudo office manager Pam buys an iMac for reception, the Apple logo on the back was digitally erased. “This is a sick computer. Gwen Stefani has this computer,” says Office drone Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) of the incognito iMac.

In a deleted scene released online later, the logo is clearly visible, suggesting that it was removed from the aired show to accommodate HP which, unlike Apple, pays for its products to appear in various media.

(In 2006, the Washington Post reported that “Apple does not pay for product placement and would not discuss how its products make their way into television and films.”)

Clearly, Cupertino and the show’s producers moved to rectify the situation and bring Apple back to Dunder Mifflin. In yesterday’s season finale (scene pictured), a fully-lit Macbook Pro appeared several times, logo and all.

  • DysonApps

    I thought Apple had this anti-product placement policy. Didn’t they said a few years ago they would and have never paid for placement? I’m thinking either a directional change or no one else would sponsor.

  • Dutchman

    Not only The Office, actually.
    NBC’s 30 Rock also features prominent product placement. Just watch a recent episode like “Plan B”, season 5, episode 18 (you should watch it just for fun, Will Arnett is great in it). It cleary features sevaral MBP’s, and one of the ending credits reads “Promotional Consideration Furnished by Apple”. This hasn’t been the first time Apple products have been featured on this show (Tina Fey’s character Liz, for instance, uses an iPhone) or the first time I read that credit, but this is the most recent episode that comes to mind.

    Plus: Remember last year with the whole Modern Family (ABC) controversy?
    The central plot of an intire episode (“Game Changer, season 1 episode 19) focussed on Phil wanting to get an iPad on him birthday, the day the first gen was released. It actually featured the lines: “Not just that, the iPad comes out on my actual birthday! It’s like Steve Jobs and God got together to say: We love you, Phil.”, two character waiting in line at an Apple Store and his birthdaycake was on an iPad app. The ending credits read “Product provided by Apple.”

    So my thoughs: In the first case, it is defintely product placement. In the second case, Apple provided the products but did not pay for product placement. It makes sense, really, all three mentioned shows are progressive, hip and tap into a young and very upscale urban audience. I wouldn’t see it working in shows like NCIS or Glee (anything on FOX of CBS, really…).

  • CharliK

    They may not have paid. A lot of companies don’t pay for placement but they also don’t charge for usage. All they ask is that if they logos etc are clear then you have to properly present the product. No making it do things it can’t, making it catch fire and hurt someone etc.

    It is also not uncommon for companies to make it a condition that you can’t clearly how the competition if you are clearly showing their product. Which is what HP would have done, particularly if they paid for placement

  • Chris

     Film guys just have good taste;)

  • cheesy11

    i love it when they hide brands, last time i watched something the apple logo was covered, by a pear logo

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