Originally Posted by iVlad
I don't think that Apple is getting free advertisement from all the shows and movies. Sometimes it's strategically done. Product placements are always for sale in any kind of entertainment show or movie. Apple would spend more money on product placements than actual ads on tv.
Clearly someone that doesn't work in the industry. It is actually very rare for any company to pay for placement on a tv show or movie. At least in terms of cash money.
What they will do is make deals to provide materials and permission to use them without covering up decals, faking screen contents etc for free. This allows the production company to have what it needs without paying out money for the physical item or image use licenses (which can be very very expensive) and the other side gets the 'free advertising'.
With TV shows, companies like Apple used to just send a handful of whatever to each of the various studio prop houses on the idea that when companies go to see what they have around to use they would see it and be like "its here, lets use it". Often it was items that were clearly recognizable as whatever even if you covered the logo and never showed the screen, like the old bondi series imacs and ibooks.
Cars and clothing are two major companies (aside from electronics) that will free for free. The old WB show Dawson's Creek is still talked around town for making a deal to dress all their kids in the same company, getting the clothes for free or extremely reduced prices. CSI etc all drive the same dark SUVs cause they are getting huge discounts (up to 100%). Even sunglass companies will send samples to certain shows so that someone like David Caruso (famous for his character's sunglasses schtick) will be seen where X brand)
Movies run the same way. Free For Free is a common way to reduce budgets for cars, clothes, computers, even sometimes food and drink. Sometimes that neighborhood hot spot will be more than happy to be used in the new Jolie (or whomever) film for a pittance fee to cover the electric bill during filming. Productions love that kind of gig because it adds to the realism. I mean you can't say that the movie wasn't shot in Chicago when the leads are having a drink at THE bar.
Very rarely is product placement actually a cash payment. when it is, it is typically something very common place that has no real budget advantage (like you notice that 'everyone' in a movie is drinking pepsi even if the can is covered up) and no real reason plot wise to have everything the same.