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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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Apple doesn't do any favours for celebrities


Apple doesn't need increased exposure, whisper of a new product from them gets more hype than an actual product from other companies.

It is a perfectly reasonable way to increase exposure...which is why Apple lent one to Colbert at the 2010 Grammy Awards, when they were still unsure of the market. It wasn't tacky then, and, handled properly, it would not be tacky now.
But in 2012, exposure is not a problem Apple has, so celebrities can wait in line with the common folk.

I enjoy Apple's launch-days. Wouldn't be the same if devices started to trickle out early to a privileged few.

I know at least one celebrity that didn't get preferential treatment.
When I was in line at the iPhone 4 release in Roseville, CA, Bobby Jackson (a former Sacramento Kings basketball player, current assistant coach) was in line a few people behind me (actually he showed up about 3 hours after I got there, he had some ladies saving a spot in line for him).

Apple has no need for exposure, if they fall into the rut that RIM is in then maybe, but now why would they give away money that these celebrities will be giving to them since they will all buy them anyways.

Totally useless. Apple needs zero help in the hype department. Celebs actually have money to spend. Let them buy one like the rest of us.

I am not 100% sure but I think Steve Jobs did deliver an original iPad to President Obama before release date.

However I can also recall reading that Steve Jobs also bought his own Apple products. He can also be considered a celebrity and is why they should also be lining up if they want this marvelous device.

Great. So if I want an iPad before Friday, all I have to do is become president of the United States and bring Steve Jobs back from the dead. (Though I imagine if I brought Steve back from the dead first, becoming president by Friday would become a lot easier.)

Unfortunately I have never heard of bringing back the dead... And Obamas term is not over yet! Its just going to be faster to wait in line Friday starting at 8:00 a.m or pro-order online and wait till who knows when they will ship them out, if you missed it on March 16.

I like how during the keynotes the speakers will sometimes say, I can't wait to get my hands on one. Like they don't already have one at home. Over the past few days I've been watching the keynotes from iOs 2.0.

No, they should be treated like anyone else. Though, if they do have a professional shopper or servant doing their bidding Apple will need to work with them. Otherwise, most probably would like to be treated like anyone else .... they tire of fame I suppose.

Screw Hollywood! I hate how they think they are all high and mighty and they expect yes to everything they want, I love the fact they get told NO! It makes me like apple that much more that they don’t give any favors to them. Plus they don’t need them to promote their product. It’s the product that sales itself. …… and again SCREW HOLLYWOOD Thanks Apple.

product placement was insanely ridiculous in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It was basically a 2 hour long Apple commercial. The movie sucked by the way; don't watch it.

F*ck celebs, as you can see from various criminal charges, they get enough special treatment! Apple, consistent and priority regulated. It's history so far, is a proud one.

I think celebs should have to wait like the rest of us.
I remember when the original iPad came out. It was featured on Modern Family where Phil was eagerly awaiting its arrival. That episode aired on the official launch date. Good timing for Apple. And I don't remeber if the show had a working model to use for filming, but they definitely had one on set to shoot the episode... well before they were available to the public.

Celebrity endorsements mean nothing...actually they mean that the celebrity was just looking for a paycheck. That's about it.

its normal and reasonable. The same reason normal people don't get invited to the launch after party with playboy bunnies, Crystal, and blow.

The best show on TV, "Southland" on TNT, has Apple products all over it.
As for celebs, they can wait in line like everyone else, unless they want to buy my spot 5 minutes before the doors open on release day.

I would be less likely to buy their products if they shilled for a bunch of so-called celebrities. Only a fool buys a product because some Neanderthal they never met is paid to promote it

Screw these celebs. Woz gets a new I device handed to him by apple and still stands in line with us common folk.

Woz never considered himself above the common person or apple customer... And he still doesn't. Unlike some others who stalked the halls in Cupertino...