Would you buy a Jennifer Aniston laptop? In Apple’s product placement engine

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Ted Lasso, the cutest guy on TV, is trying to sell you things. In an episode of the comedy series of the same name about a feel-good football manager, Apple products are used 36 times. Ted talks on his iPhone, chats on FaceTime, sends emails on his MacBook Air. He doesn’t quite prostrate himself in front of an image of the late Steve Jobs, but you get the idea.

The same experience is provided by Apple TV + ‘s other big hit, The Morning Show, which returns for a second season on Friday. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon spend an enormous amount of their screen time with iPhones on their ears or whispering sweets into their MacBooks.

The show is purportedly about going behind the scenes on American breakfast television. But on a more basic level, it’s a celebration of the shiny and expensive kit – all presented by the company that invented luxury minimalism.

It is not uncommon for these products to appear in what experts call the “fifth quadrant”: the square bang in the center of the screen that is usually the focus of the viewer’s attention. And not that this needs to be told to anyone, but all of the Ted Talk on the iPhone confirms Lasso as the hero. Apple does not allow villains to be displayed with its products. As Knives Out director Rian Johnson revealed a few years ago, when you see a character on an Apple show speaking into an unbranded phone, you can assume they’re the bad guy.

It actually happens in the first season of The Morning Show, which depicts Billy Crudup’s unsavory father using an Android device. What a monster.


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