Docu-prankster Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock plunges into the billion-dollar business of product placement in Hollywood by branding himself and making a film financed entirely from product placement.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
The man who risked cardiovascular meltdown to illustrate the perils of a trip to McDonald’s now risks being iced as a total sell-out for his ingenious assault on the billion-dollar business of product placement in Hollywood. As its title surely warns, Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the most riotously upfront assemblage of mismatched brand endorsements you’re likely to encounter outside morning television. (Anyone for Mane ‘n Tail, the horse-human crossover shampoo?) When the fearless documentarian isn’t glugging POM Wonderful, applying Ban deodorant or flying JetBlue, he’s revelling in the meetings, the brand consultations, the pitches and the deals that enabled him to entirely fund his exposé of product placement from product placements. Marketing researchers consulted during his campaign identify the Spurlock brand personality as ‘playful/mindful’. There’s entertainment aplenty in discovering who can (and who cannot) be persuaded to buy into the Spurlock roadshow – and what they are willing to pay to be so thoroughly exposed. — BG
“Most of the movie’s substance consists of Mr Spurlock’s campaign to find backers… but he also discusses matters of ethics… with such deep thinkers as Noam Chomsky and Donald Trump, and with Ralph Nader, who warns that ‘you can satirize and spoof yourself out of your objective.’ It’s good advice, but Mr Spurlock doesn’t need it. He spoofs himself into an exuberant documentary that demonstrates the all-pervasive influence of modern advertising by satiric example, and with great ingenuity.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall St Journal