5/4/3/2/1. Robert Zemeckis - The King Of Product PlacementSeriously, through hardly any research at all on product placement, it soon becomes quite apparent that Zemeckis is the undisputed king of it all and, in all honesty, I am not sure he even knows about most of it. It seems quite fitting that the number one on this list is a man who doesn't seem to always go out of his way to place products in his movies, yet somehow they end up being in there anyway. Much like the way in which we as a nonplussed audience take it all in sublimely, it is as if some of them are happening beyond his control.
5. The Risky - Cast Away (2000)
'Contrary to popular belief, FedEx did not pay the filmmakers anything for their presence in the movie. The director has made this clear in a number of interviews. While FedEx was very concerned when they heard about the project, they had no objections to the finished script and offered support during filming, with the company later stating that the movie was very good for FedEx business in general and in overseas markets in particular.' -IMDB Trivia
In which case, why bother using them? It would make much more sense to just make a company up and not have to deal with the possible legal threat that hung over this film for a short time. Luckily, as mentioned in the quote, it was good for business in the end but was a huge gamble for Zemeckis to take in the first place.
Showing a company responsible for importing and exporting goods failing in their mission and crashing a plane was a risky move that could have affected their reputation either way. It is entirely reasonable to assume that this is an example of Robert being a victim of advertisement and in turn opting to use a real company rather than a fake one, which he went on to do with the Airline in 'Flight' after possibly learning his lesson.
Or possibly not...