Apple doesn't do any favours for celebrities
While some handset manufacturers strive for celebrity endorsements, giving out pre-release devices to build up hype like (John Mayer and the BlackBerry Bold 9000 comes to mind), comments from Shaquille O'Neal, Phonix Suns forward Channing Frye, and other high-profile personalities indicate even they're stuck on the same side of the impenetrable Apple PR wall as the rest of us.
Bradley Frank, a publicist that was involved with the excellent Old Spice ad campaign, provided an interesting look at what it's like working in close proximity to Apple.
"When we shot the last Old Spice campaign with Isaiah Mustafa, Apple was shooting the iPad 2 campaign on the next sound studio. We tried to check it out, but it was like machine-gun guards, check-in at different stations. They had code names. It was like dealing with the CIA. Then they walked their asses right onto our set, and had no issue doing that. They just walked onto our set! We were like, 'What are you doing? You can't do that!' And when the iPhone 4 came out, I can't tell you how many clients were like, 'We need that early.' And Apple's like, 'No.'"
While that might be true in general, there have been rare exceptions, like when Stephen Colbert showed off the original iPad at the 2010 Grammy awards (though he almost certainly didn't get to keep it).
Despite having a total lock-down on devices prior to launch, once they're out, Apple scores a ton of product placement in movies and TV shows, nevermind the tons of celebrities that go out and get their own iOS devices with or without the help of Apple. Besides, Apple has a finely-tuned hype machine that hardly needs the help of Hollywood to pump up the latest iPad. The only ones outside of the production process who seem to get iPhone and iPads in advance are high-profile media like Walt Mossberg, and even then, they're on a strict embargo which usually lifts a day or two ahead of launch.
Do you guys think it would be too tacky of Apple to seed new iPads with celebrities before us common-folk, or would it be a reasonable way to increase exposure?
Source: Fast Company
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