Today’s films are brimming with products from big-name brands. How exactly do these partnerships work?

In the 2000 film Cast Away, Tom Hanks’ co-star isn’t Leonardo DiCaprio, Meg Ryan, or some other A-list actor.

It’s a volleyball, courtesy of Wilson Sporting Goods.

Throughout the film, the volleyball enjoys 10.5 minutes of screen time worth an estimated $1.85m+ in advertising value. And for this exposure, Wilson paid a grand total of $0.

Each year, hundreds of brands — cars, computers, clothing, kitchen appliances, and lawn chairs — grace the silver screen.

Sometimes brand appearances are overbearing (think a 30-second-long glamour shot of a Lexus driving down the coast); other times, they’re so subtle you might miss them if you blink.

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