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'Modern Family' Co-Creator Explains Genesis of iPad Story

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 2nd 2010 12:37PM
Modern FamilyChristopher Lloyd, the co-creator of 'Modern Family', explained to The Live Feed blog that the recent iPad-centric episode of the show was not a case of paid product placement. You know what? I believe him.

Truthfully, the love of gadgets fits very well into Phil Dunphy's (as played by Ty Burrell) character. He's the sort of man-child that would love such toys as the iPad. Plus given all its publicity it has gotten so far, it's not likely the iPad needs more product placement. Lloyd told James Hibberd that they wanted Phil to get excited over a gadget, and the iPad seemed to be "the perfect one to use," since it was being released the Saturday after the episode aired.

More likely examples of paid product placement would be 'Chuck's' heavy use of the Subway restaurant chain or that painful episode of 'Smallville' that revolved around the consumption of Stride Gum that was infected with Kryptonite. It's also possible to name episodes of 'The Office' and '30 Rock' with paid product placement that got to the point of parody.

On the other hand, it's unlikely that the creator of a show would ever admit to selling out. We'll have to accept that the complete truth will never be known. Enjoy the show!

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The "Bones" Toyota ad may have been the worst I've ever seen. At least when Tony Bourdain whips out his chase card he can give the camera a look like "Did ya catch that everybody? Do you see what crap they make me do??"

April 02 2010 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No one parodied product placement better than George Clooney in "The Return of the Killer Tomatoes".

April 02 2010 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apple provided products, but there's nothing to say that they provided only the iPads seen on screen. It's likely that every man, woman and child in the cast and crew scored a free iPad in exchange for their participation in this 22-minute commercial. What does a 30-second spot during 'Modern Family' go for these days? Apple got a bargain.

April 02 2010 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to George's comment

Around $130,000.

April 02 2010 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite product placement, is Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations placement of the Chase card. It's AWESOME every time I see him pull it out of his wallet.

April 02 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I found the Ford crap in White Collar far more irritating than the iPad on MF... Why? Well, because people do get excited for new tech debuting... they rarely have to explain the features of their car over and over to someone who is their partner and undoubtedly rides with them almost every day... Just me...

April 02 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joann McIntyre

You forgot or dont how bad it was gotten on Daytime TV. I see Sonnie or Luke(GH) harking some product that had to be worked in. Or Erica Kane(AMC) pushing Campbell products for 2 days. I know money is tight, but really......
I know daytime got its start from product placement, but that was another day, another time.

April 02 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

How about the little Sienna moment in last night's episode of Bones ...

April 02 2010 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Gordon Werner's comment

FCC rules dictates that the station must broadcast full disclosure when placement deals are being made, so Lloyd seems to be telling the truth when he said they've done placements deals before, but not this time. The end of the valentines episodes states that "Promotional consideration provided by Toyota Motor USA Inc"", but the end of this episodes states that Apple only provided products.


April 02 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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