For the first time ever, Apple partnered with The Ellen Show to give the whole audience an iPhone, the iPhone XR. In a rather cringey skit with Julia Roberts, Ellen DeGeneres announces to the crowd that they are all getting the brand new iPhone.
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The Ellen Show always does 12 days of giveaways for the holiday season but never before has Apple participated in what are essentially paid promotional segments. You can watch the 3-minute sequence below.
Ellen starts by playing the App Store game Heads Up on ‘her’ iPhone XR and then the pair take a Portrait Mode selfie. Roberts says ‘I think it’s cool because it comes in six different colors and has the best battery life ever’ which then leads into Ellen announcing that every audience member is going home with an iPhone XR of their own.
The YouTube description says ‘Special thanks to: Apple IPhone XR’ (yes, with that capitalization) so Apple was definitely involved in the promotion/ad.