On July 4, 2012, the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) broadcast live from Geneva a seminar where the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented their latest results in the search for the Higgs particle.

Beyond the excitement about the confirmation that the particle that has been discovered is consistent with what would be the Higgs boson, a small detail caught my attention.

Consider these two screenshots of the webcast. A few small bright white apple-shaped dots stand out in both images.

They are Mac laptops and the hall is full of them! Beside them, the other laptops are almost imperceptible, camouflaged. It was a really great idea to design elegant computers with a bright logo on the cover.

More than a workshop on particle physics, CERN’s event seemed an example of product placement, an advertising technique that involves insertion of a product, brand or message in the program narrative (shown, quoted or used by the actors).

Viewing the images we can came to two conclusions:

1. Particle physicists definitely prefer Mac computers.

2. We can save big money on marketing if our product is good and nice, and it has a striking logo.

Apple has shown us that, as Jeff Jarvis says, “our product can be our ad and our customers, our advertising agency” (What Would Google Do?).

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