The last episode (S05E14) of American sitcom The Big Bang Theory involved one of the best product placements in the recent months: iPhone 4S’ feature Siri. It was beautifully integrated as one of the main stories from that episode.

Raj got a brand new iPhone and of course immediately tested the Siri feature. We all know that Raj is unable to speak to women unless he’s under the influence of alcohol, but he’s perfectly capable to speak with iPhone’s personal assistant. This leads to several funny situations.

We could say that Apple pulled it off again: in April 2010 they placed iPad in an episode of Modern Family that aired a few days before iPad’s official sale. That placement was brilliant and ended on 9th place on my list of best placements ever.

iPhone’s Siri in The Big Bang Theory S05E14 (2012, CBS, screen capture)

You can watch some parts of iPhone’s product placement in the video below.

I already mentioned that this placement is in my opinion one of the best in recent months. Here are the reasons for that statement:

  • iPhone was visible, the characters have mentioned both the phone and Siri. Besides that we’ve also seen the use of Siri on several occasions. Producers actually used all types of product placement.
  • Even more, product / service / brand became an important part of the story.
  • Siri’s integration in the story was flawless: Siri is the only girl that Raj can talk to, which is the basis for several funny situations.
  • Siri was included in the scene with Leonard and Sheldon’s co-worker Barry Kripke, who has a case of rhotacism where he pronounces the letters “R” and “L” as “W”. Siri of course didn’t understand anything that Kripke told her. That scene with Kripke is hilarious.
  • Producers managed to present several interesting features of Siri: recommendation of bars and restaurants, wine suggestions, playing the right music for the occasion …
  • During its fourth season, The Big Bang Theory became television’s highest rated comedy. The fifth season opened with viewing figures of over 14 million, but the episode with Siri attracted more than 16 million viewers (US only).
  • There is also a final twist, which enhanced the whole placement.

Kudos to Apple and The Big Bang Theory crew for that placement. Great stuff.

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