Apple may be the beneficiary of the best ever use of products on any broadcast television series.
DOn’t believe me? Turn your television on to a local PBS station on Tuesday nights and pay attention to a series called “Genealogy Roadshow.”
This PBS show about finding your roots and using publicly available and restricted documents to research ancestors features genealogists equipped with iPads and Macbook Air portables. If you watch it, pay close attention to the cast’s carefully styled and executed pinches, expands and swipe gestures
Staffers at Apple’s company stores couldn't do a better job of showing off Apple's gesture technologies than the hosts of PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow.
Apple doesn't sponsor this show, and one of its producers confirmed what I noticed, Apple logos on tablets an notebooks used in the show are obscured.
TV Product placement for technology companies can be as difficult and expensive. It’s definitely not something that MBA candidates learn on graduate schools’ cookie cutter entrepreneurial tracks. Getting a product visibly used on a TV show is much more complex than a VP of marketing or product manager calling an associate producer or Production Designer (who are in charge of setting up shooting locations) in Century City or Hollywood. Genealogy Roadshow is not sponsored by Apple, but it should be. I've never ever seen any television show highlight technologies like this PBS series does tablet, display and portable computing technologies.
Product placement negotiations take time, and technology companies trying to get their technologies spotlighted may not understand the value of real estate on a theatrical or other set.
The best possible scenario appears to be what's happening on this series. producers. directors and other professionals use Apple hardware to seek out and explain family history to the show's guests.
In general, the specialized knowledge associated with product placements isn't part of the Silicon Valley marketing playbooks. That knowledge is found in Los Angeles and is costly. but in this case it appears that apple didn't pay anything to have its technologies used on the show. Which is a huge coup for grandfather personal computer maker
there are two approaches that have been employed in product placement: Apple shows its current technology in appropriate settings: Microsoft, on the other hand, highlights mostly coming technologies in a way that captures the audience’s attention
For an example compare Apple’s products on genealogy Roadshow with Microsoft's transparent display technology on CSI and Hawaii 5-0.
Today, Silicon Valley’s 5000-pound gorilla, Google, isn't engaged in this. but it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood jumps on the autonomous car bandwagon.
There are a lot of technologies that could be highlighted on PBS and commercial network shows. but the void between “We need to do this” and getting it done may, for the moment, be completely missing from the skills found in Silicon Valley-- Jim Forbes, March 1, 2015
*** Note after receiving a comment on this post from a PBS Genealogy Roadshow staffer, I change d this postand its headline to clarify that Apple does not supply hardware seen on TV.--jmf on 3/10/2015