Revealed: Apple’s #1 Marketing Secret

During the course of its ongoing patent suit against rival tech giant Samsung, Apple‘s Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller has let slip that free media coverage and strategic product placement in TV and film does a better job at marketing Apple devices to the public than any other marketing avenue.

While testifying in the US federal court at San Jose, California last Friday, Schiller described how Apple benefits from significant levels of attention from the global press. While the content of his comments may come as a surprise to few, it is an historic moment nonetheless to hear of a senior Apple employee speaking so candidly.

Providing anecdotal evidence regarding the iPhone, Schiller said that Apple even decided not to pay for any advertising at all for some time after the device was first announced in 2007, and even after it went on sale later that year.

“We didn’t need to,” Schiller said, according to Bloomberg. He then produced several example reviews for both the iPhone and iPad, noting how much more these stories contributed to building buzz in comparison to other advertising methods.

Schiller also described the company’s advertising philosophy as placing the “product as hero” and that the company has dedicated resources working closely with Hollywood in order to create product placement opportunities. The appearance of Apple devices in these various productions also has an obvious benefit, and there wouldn’t be many people that haven’t noticed their near-constant on-screen presence.

Of course, for most retailers and product companies the level of hype that Apple manages to achieve off the back of a single press release or announcement is unattainable. However, Schiller’s testimony highlights just how much that magic mix of great product design, an engaged audience and leveraging existing media networks can achieve.

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