| Cult of Mac

iProduct Placement: Burn After Reading

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In “Burn After Reading,” the Coen brother’s black comedy about privacy and politics, Brad Pitt plays Chad, an amiable goof who works in a gym.

Along with co-worker Frances McDormand, who thinks plastic surgery will buy her love, he tries to sell a memoir from a former CIA agent found in a diskette left behind at the gym.
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Chad is almost always plugged in to an iPod (and singing out loud) even when he’s on a stake out — as shown in the movie poster. Pitt doesn’t have a big part, but gets a lot of mileage out of playing a dim bulb in a stellar cast including George Clooney,  John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton.

iProduct Placement: “Get Smart” Chats with iPod

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In the title sequence for 1960s spy-spoof turned film “Get Smart,” main character Maxwell Smart interprets intelligence chatter on his iPod.

He’s first shown without the original earbuds, but shortly afterwards on his way to Control with white headphones plugged in, having traded the intelligence chatter for mood-boosting Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me.”

Arguably the best gadget in what should’ve been a gadget film (anyone hanker for a molar transmitter? Though the Cone of Silence might be nice ), to boost product placement in the movie Apple teamed up with Warner Bros to promote the film by giving away iPod Touch devices to journalists with pre-loaded film clips and having cast members make Apple store appearances.

iProduct Placement: Ben Stiller’s iPod Fetish

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Depending on your point of view, Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder” was either a bladder-threatening comedy, a hodge-podge of offensive stereotypes or just plain stupid.

After earning $100 mil at the US box office, it was recently released on DVD. The movie, about a ragtag bunch of actors forced to become real-life heroes, is a triumph of product placement. TiVo plays has a decisive role in the plot and everything from the newly-sexy cherry Chapstick and, yes, the iPod have cameos.

When Stiller’s character Tugg Speedman gets lost in the jungle, he soothes himself by watching Star Trek on his iPod, which was prominently placed in a giant gift basket in an earlier scene.

Not to spoil the plot, but after he’s attacked, he loses his cool and starts wearing his iPod as part of pseudo tribal fetish costume.

Guessing the iPod wouldn’t work with beads strung through it, but it’s a nice idea.