Modern Family Product Placement Mystery Solved?
Last night's episode of Modern Family followed Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) as she contrived a way to purchase an iPad for her husband, gadget-loving Phil (Ty Burrell). Product placement emerges as a lame supporting player in many primetime offerings, but the front-and-center shilling felt particularly acute last night. While Apple and ABC seem to deny a deal taking place, a new press release from Apple ensures that the two companies had at least been in iPad-related discussions recently (in addition to an ABC player for the iPad that's advertised on ABC.com using...a picture of Phil cradling the product):
DISNEY, ABC AND ESPN TO OFFER NEW APPLICATIONS AND CONTENT FOR APPLE'S iPAD
New ABC Player App Enables Users to Watch Full Episodes of ABC Programming, Disney to Launch New Interactive Books Exclusively for the iPad and a Custom Version of Disney.com Featuring Exclusive Video Content, ESPN ScoreCenter XL to Provide New Premium Features Exclusively for the iPad
BURBANK, Calif., April 1, 2010 - As part of its ongoing strategy to provide original creative content where and how consumers want it, Disney will offer applications from all of its businesses on the new Apple iPad.
The ABC Player app extends the reach of ABC.com's full episode player onto the iPad. iPad users will have the ability to watch free, ad-supported episodes from approximately 20 popular ABC series through a wi-fi connection. The application will also allow iPad users to purchase downloads of episodes via the iTunes store. The ABC iPad app brings the full experience of ABC.com's Emmy Award-winning full episode player to a touch-screen, handheld device for the first time. Additionally, the ABC.com site is now optimized for the iPad, complete with full-functionality for all its features, including short-form video.
How exciting. But couldn't ABC have pandered in a more tolerable way? Like, if maybe The Middle did an episode where Patricia Heaton shrinks her kid's iPad in the dryer? And it still functions and fits snugly inside a Lisa Frank folder? I'd have been OK with that.