AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Posted by eschaub on July 22, 2012

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the new film from Morgan Spurlock, who is best known for the film Supersize Me. Spurlock is known for immersing himself into different situations to explore, and report, on different parts of society. He has done this from a prison, coal mine, and even a war zone. This week Spurlock gave a TED talk on his new film, and the ideas behind product placement.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold examines the world of marketing, product placement, and advertising; the entire film was funded on the money it made from the product placements. Spurlock stated that he approached over 500 companies, and only found 17 that were will to participate. One would think that companies would be more than willing to product place in yet another film. What’s one more on top of the thousands they already have? But Spurlock showed that companies aren’t willing to step away from their brands, and give someone else control. Most are not willing to be transparent.

When first hearing of this issue you might think, “Who cares? People know about product placement.” But that’s not really the issue. The issue is that the companies would have to give up all control to Spurlock, and except whatever happens. At the start of Spurlock’s TED talk he told the audience how he held an EBay auction, and was selling the naming rights for his speech. He told potential buyers that they would have no control how he uses their name, nor would he even tell them what the speech was about. This story, or stunt, illustrates the idea behind the film. Who will give up their brand name just to be in a film? Who will gamble for the sake of product placement?  He never did state who was brave, or dumb, enough to win that prize. But, what he does show is a clip from the film that takes place at the offices of the deodorant brand, Ban. In the meeting he explains the idea of the film, and explores how “Big Box Office” films get the product money; leaving the independent film makers worrying of how they’ll compete. The deodorant brand can relate, as they feel that many users forget about Ban because they are a smaller company with a smaller advertising budget. The Ban executives seem interested in the project, and they idea of reminding movie goers they have another option when it comes to staying fresh. However, you’ll have to see the film to find out if Ban really went for it. Remember Spurlock too needs to make money, and sell tickets.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold appears as if it’ll expose all the dirty trade secrets of product placement, leaving movie goers enlightened on the entire process. But will viewers actually buy into the Spurlock brand, and reject all others? Or will it just educate the public on an issue they’re already aware of? Most people knew McDonald’s wasn’t good for them before Supersize Me.


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