It could be argued that cinema hasn't exactly benefited a whole lot on an artistic level from product placement. (Though occasionally it does help from a financial perspective. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was apparently financed by the Quaker Oats Company to promote a new candy bar).
Still, we don't know what to make of "Inside", a film not only delivered by Intel and Toshiba, but one that apparently co-stars a laptop computer.
The laptop in question, a Satellite P775 Series, becomes a lifeline for star Emmy Rossum when she is trapped in a room. The first stroke of luck: she has an Internet connection. And thanks to that connection, she's able to get online and contact friends who can help her. Also, the laptop is running a 2nd generation Intel Core i7. It's not clear whether Rossum will be required to convey that little fact in what could be one of the most awkward moments of exposition ever delivered.
Inside isn't all about the P775. The audience can get involved by sending the main character advice and clues via Twitter and Facebook. The film will air in episodes and posts selected by the filmmakers will become part of the storyline. Intel is calling it social film.
At the very least, seeing a few Toshiba laptops in movies might be a refreshing change from the number of Apple MacBooks that appear on the big screen. This compilation put together by web site The Awl is a case in point:
Apple's Greatest Cinematic Achievements from The Awl on Vimeo.