AU MA Social Media

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Morgan Sperlock Urges Audience (And Brands) to Take a Risk

Posted by richardjudge on June 6, 2013


Documentarian Morgan Sperlock puts himself in dangerous situations all the time.  He’s been to jail.  He’s been inside a coal mine.  He’s even gone on a McDonald’s only diet!

But what is the most dangerous thing he has experienced? Sitting in a boardroom with brand managers.

That’s the situation Morgan Sperlock found himself in as he pitched ad agencies and brand managers to sponsor his upcoming movie, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

Mr. Sperlock described his terrifying experience in front of a packed house, the latest installment of the popular TED Talk discussion series.

So would brand managers go for his pitch, to be sponsors of a movie they knew little about?

The answer he initially got from almost all brand managers?  A resounding thanks, but no thanks!

So what was the problem?cool-whip-original

Well, the conclusion Mr. Sperlock came to?  Brands are just too afraid to take a chance these days.  To take a risk!   As Mr. Sperlock joked, eat a whole tube of” Kool Whip”.

But in the end, some brands did sponsor Mr. Sperlock’s movie.  They embraced being open and transparent.  They let Mr. Sperlock use his creative talents to incorporate their brands in the movie.

And the results?  9 million impressions for the film and a growing media buzz about the movie and its sponsors.

The lesson? Take a risk with your brand and with your company. Embrace fear.  Eat that whole tub of Kool Whip!

And just to drive the point home, Mr. Sperlock offered sell the naming rights to his TED Talk.  The only stipulation being that that the brand would have no control over how it was talked about or used during the TED Talk.

In the end, only one company offered to sponsor his talk. The talk was called “Embrace Transparency”, sponsored by EMC2 .

Not a bad concept to be associated with, don’t you think?

– Rick


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