Story updated with comments from NYU marketing professor.
CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) hardly needs to feed the hype surrounding its iPad launch, but the tech giant's product placement team has been carefully putting the device into some high-profile hands.
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Last night's episode of ABC's comedy Modern Family felt like a half-hour iPad commercial -- all that was missing was Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck (the Apple supremo did get a mention, though). The subtly-titled episode, "Game Changer," described a bungled quest to buy one of the first iPads and gave viewers some quick and adoring glimpses of the device towards the end of the show.
"I was surprised by the intensity of the placement -- it wasn't a small part of the story," Jay Newell, associate professor of advertising at Iowa State University, told
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