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.



  • Charlie says:

    Nitpick: the Syncmaster and Proview are monitors, not computers.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Whenever I post something witty or insightful on Movieline I am using a Sony Vaio. If I should post something ignorant, drunken, insulting, or just down-right lame> MacBook.

  • Dayton Flyer says:

    Can't believe I read this drivel.

  • None says:

    "Early in the film when Mark starts blogging...Mark, has two computers: a Samsung Syncmaster and a Sony."
    Syncmaster is a monitor, not a computer.
    "In the scene where Mark is inspired to add “relationship status” to Facebook, he’s seen in the computer lab working on a Proview."
    Proview is a monitor, not a computer.
    "When the Winklevoss twins are deciding how to respond to Mark’s launch of Facebook ...there’s an unidentified Windows-based laptop shown in a close-up."
    The machine is an IBM T2x Series. It is a computer.

  • Cantankerous says:

    crApple... ANYTHING; iPhone, iBook, iPad, iTampax, iMyAss...it's simply ALL over-hyped, over priced, under loaded, under-whealming iCrap designed by demented homosexual losers. It's an "i" wannabe a trendy "gay" product.
    Once upon a time crApple HAD a graphics edge, today, what, maybe 7-9% of the PC market place?PC's rule and Viao is one of the more reputable players.

  • Kristen says:

    These comments are making me feel bad about being a Mac user.

  • Martini Shark says:

    So did I overreact when I rushed out to get an AlienWare system in order to watch "Avatar" for its DVD release?

  • CiscoMan says:

    One wonders (okay, I wonder) if the prop folks did some serious research to map the correct computers to the timeline of the film. For example, the film begins in 2003, when Apple was undergoing a resurgence but was still, to a computer science major like Zuckerberg, the computer for graphic designers, hippies, and stupid people. By the end of the film -- 2006ish? -- the acceptance of Macs (and especially the Macbook line) by hardcore tech geeks was certainly larger than it was previously, especially for web development.
    Though it makes a lot more sense that a VP of Sony Marketing said, "Hey, Fincher... can Eduardo smash a Mac in that one scene? Please?"

  • Scraps says:

    Remember that crazy "he's gonna get a Dell" guy!?

  • Hammy Havoc says:

    Just a playful Sony jab at Apple most likely. It isn't a big deal though as this sort of thing happens all the time.

  • jakash3 says:

    It really doesn't matter what hardware they're using. The most important thing is the OS, and most of the scenes depicted a Linux based OS.