What is Sony Trying to Say About Mac Users in The Social Network?
Have you ever noticed that in most movies when the characters use a computer, it's usually an Apple? Kudos to Apple's product placement division, but it has become so standard that when I see a film that's distributed by Sony -- like The Social Network -- it's downright shocking to witness an on-screen world where all of the characters use Sony Vaios for their computing and Internet needs. So when I was re-watching David Fincher's Oscar contender over the weekend, I wasn't too surprised to see the film littered with Sony product placement...except for that one time when Mark Zuckerberg's Macbook was smashed into a million pieces.
OK, to be fair, it wasn't like I was completely focused on the individual computers being used in every scene before I noticed the MacBook being smashed into oblivion, but still: Is Sony trying to send a message to Apple? In an attempt to answer this, I went back through The Social Network and made a record of what brand of computers were being used in what situation. What does Sony's product placement division think of you, based on the computer you use? Let's find out!
Early in the film when Mark starts blogging about his terrible date, and decides -- in a bit of a drunken haze -- to create Facemash, we discover that our hero, Mark,
has two computers uses a Samsung Syncmaster monitor and a Sony computer.
During the long montage of Harvard students logging onto Facemash, ranking girls by their attractiveness, a group of "brahs" huddle around our first Mac sighting. During this montage of questionable human behavior, the word "Sony" is never visibly show, but a portion of the Mac logo is front and center.
In the scene where Mark is inspired to add "relationship status" to Facebook, he's seen in the computer lab working on a Proview (monitor).
When the Winklevoss twins are deciding how to respond to Mark's launch of Facebook -- a scene with the now famous line, "I'm 6'5″, 220 pounds, and there are two of me" -- there's an unidentified Windows-based laptop shown in a close-up.
When we are first introduced to Sean Parker, he checks his email on the laptop owned by the Stanford one-night stand he just slept with. She uses an iBook.
As far as I can tell, most of the fictional Facebook offices are equipped with Windows based computers. Except for Mark, who -- for the first time in the film -- we see clearly using a MacBook. It's also of note that this is the scene in which Eduardo Saverin realizes that he's been screwed out of the company that he helped found, the scene in which Mark has finally fully crossed to the dark side -- and now he's a Mac user. Of course, it's the MacBook that finds itself destroyed after an angry Eduardo smashes it on Mark's desk. Maybe the Sony Vaio is just so indestructible that, for dramatic license, they had to show the MacBook being annihilated?
And the last scene of the film. Mark tries to "friend" his ex-girlfriend, Erica, as we pan out to see the Sony logo and a now slightly regretful Mark Zuckerberg.