“The iPad comes out on my actual birthday. It's like God and Steve Jobs got together and said, ‘We love you, Phil.’”

That quote isn’t from an Apple advertisement. It’s from a 2010 episode of ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family. In it, Apple fanboy Phil Dunphy claims it’s fate that the tablet will be released on his birthday and waxes poetic about the iPad throughout the episode.

Back in 2010, when the first iPad hit Apple Stores, it seemed the tablet was so hyped that it practically advertised itself. As it turns out, that wasn't so far from the truth. According to details spilled at the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial, that episode, along with all the other media hype, played directly into Apple's marketing strategy: hold off on the advertising, just sit back and let the media go hog wild.

Testifying at the Apple-Samsung trial on Friday, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, confirmed Apple's patented (ha!) non-marketing marketing strategy. Here's how Bloomberg News described his testimony regarding the release of the first iPhone, released in 2007:

Schiller, discussing the iPhone, said Apple decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the device was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year.

"We didn't need to," Schiller said. He read from several rave reviews of the iPhone and iPad, explaining that such stories did a better job than advertising to build buzz.

Of course, Apple did eventually tap its overflowing coffers to promote the iPhone. Schiller testified that Apple spent $97.5 million on iPhone ads in the U.S. alone in 2008. Nevertheless, the point remains: Apple can spend less on advertising than rivals like Microsoft and still get hype by just creating an information vacuum around its products and letting the hyperventilating media fill in the gaps around it. And, of course, by creating good products.

Another key part of Apple's marketing approach is getting Hollywood stars to use its gadgets. "One of Apple's employees works closely with Hollywood on so-called product placement so its gadgets are used in movies and television shows," according to Bloomberg's account of Schiller's testimony. Bloomberg Businessweek also reported earlier this year that Apple has "spent decades strengthening its subtle but powerful grip over Hollywood, and unlike many companies, says it never pays for its products to appear on television or in movies."

But the first iPhone and iPad were launched when Steve Jobs, master of marketing mystique, was at the helm of Apple, and it remains to be seen if the company can maintain that marketing mojo.

And it bears noting that Apple can't always wield media frenzy and fanboy hype to its advantage: big buzz over unreleased products has actually burned the company in the past (or at least that's Apple's story and it's sticking to it).

After seeing its stock slide after a disappointing quarterly report in July, Apple laid blame in part on anticipation on the next iPhone. Knowing that an Apple product announcement was coming in October 2011, the media fully expected to get the iPhone 5. Instead, they got only a relatively small upgrade with the iPhone 4S. Bummed, demand for iPhones dipped and sales suffered. They used a similar excuse for an earnings miss last October.

The lesson for Apple is that if it wants to let the media lend a hand in promoting its products, it's got to deliver on the innovative goods. Given the level of secrecy at the company, that's always a question open for debate. Managing expectations is surely something on the company's mind as it prepares its next product release for September (maybe finally it'll be the iPhone 5?). This time around, be sure to watch how soon -- or if -- those Apple ads appear.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • "We've never worried about numbers. In the market place, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. [...] Ad campaigns are necessary for competition; IBM's ads are everywhere. But good PR educates people; that's all it is. You can't con people in this business. The products speak for themselves." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/steve-jobs-1985-interview_n_787023.html#s188334&title=On_How_Computers" target="_hplink">-- Playboy interview, 1985</a>

  • "That's been one of my mantras -- focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." -- <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/may1998/nf80512d.htm" target="_hplink">BusinessWeek interview, May 1998 </a>

  • "The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people--as remarkable as the telephone." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/22/steve-jobs-1985-interview_n_787023.html#s188334&title=On_How_Computers" target="_hplink">-- Playboy interview, 1985</a>

  • "We've kept our marriage secret for over a decade." -- Jobs' answer to Kara Swisher asking about the "greatest misunderstanding" in Jobs' relationship with Bill Gates. (<a href="http://allthingsd.com/20070531/d5-gates-jobs-transcript/" target="_hplink">May 2007</a>)

  • "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." -- <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/may1998/nf80512d.htm" target="_hplink">BusinessWeek interview, May 1998 </a>

  • "Picasso had a saying: 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas...I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world." --<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU" target="_hplink"> 1994</a>

  • "[Y]ou can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." <a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html" target="_hplink">-- Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.</a>

  • "My sex life is pretty good these days, Walt. How's yours?" -- Jobs's response to a question from Walt Mossberg about how Jobs feels about Google and if he feels "betrayed." <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/02/steve-jobs-all-things-dig_n_597818.html#s95757&title=On_Sex_And" target="_hplink"> (June, 2010)</a> (Jobs also added, "Well they decided to compete with us. We didn't go into the search business.")

  • "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish." <a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html" target="_hplink">-- Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.</a>

  • "I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list....That didn't look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of lomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away. That's what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds." <a href="http://www.mlfilms.com/productions/m_and_i" target="_hplink">-- Interview for the documentary "Memory and Imagination," 1990</a>

  • "My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people." <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4835857n" target="_hplink">-- Interview with 60 Minutes, 2003</a>