Movies Shakers


Movies Shakers


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In the Oscar-nominated Super Size Me, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock made us lose our appetite for McDonald’s. In his upcoming Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, he offers us more food for thought.

Taking aim at the all-pervasive influence of marketing and branding, the documentary chronicles Spurlock’s efforts to fund his movie entirely through product placement. The film follows Spurlock as he pitches to corporate clients, offering sponsorship deals if they pony up the bucks. As cameras capture all the boardroom negotiations, viewers receive a crash course in brand management, marketing tactics, cross-promotional strategies – and corporate bullying.

Once title sponsor POM Wonderful (a pomegranate juice) signs on, Spurlock agrees to drink only POM onscreen. He also inks deals with Hyatt (promising to stay in their hotels), JetBlue (flying exclusively with them) and Sheetz gas stations (he’s contracted to conduct several on-camera interviews at their outlets).

Along the way, he raises the art-versus-commerce issue and questions whether corporate sponsorship compromises an artist’s vision. (Not surprisingly Rush Hour director Bret Ratner scoffs at this idea, sneering, “Artistic integrity, whatever!”

In his creative, off-kilter way, Spurlock gives us the inside word on selling out.

Are you as stoked about this movie as we are? What’s your take on product placement? Are marketers getting more inventive (read: subtle) in their techniques?

Catherine Feliciano-Chon

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