Thanks to television, film, billboards, any form of transportation, the Internet, sporting events, concerts, telephones, coffee mugs, t-shirts, word of mouth, public restrooms, etc. not one person is safe from the intentions of corporations, unless you live in Sao Palo, but I’ll elaborate on that later. As a former marketing and advertising major in college, I somewhat comprehend the techniques businesses utilize to reach out to their demographic. Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is essentially a crash course on marketing as it explores several platforms of advertising and the effects it has on consumer culture, only as if it were taught at a community college in a third world country.
Similar to how sporting events have title sponsors such as “Tostitos Fiesta Bowl,” Morgan Spurlock is looking for a company to spend 1 million dollars for the title rights to his film. Evidently, “Pom Wonderful” is interested in this proposal, but there are some stipulations that have to be met in order for the film to be funded. Getting Pom’s attention was no easy task. He was first rejected by some of the largest corporations in the world, such as Volkswagen and Pepsi. For all of the effort put into contacting companies, you would think that some of hard work would carry over into the documentary’s story.
Morgan and his filmmaking team started off with a great concept: “What if we were to make a documentary that consisted entirely of product integration, in fact, that’s how we will finance the movie.” This is incredibly clever considering the fact that we’re bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look, but we never think anything of it. Whether it’s before our YouTube videos, on taxicabs, busses, park benches, and even in movies that we PAY to see, we’ve come to accept it as a part of everyday life. The question that is raised isn’t whether or not marketing is effective, but rather if there is truth in these advertisements?
So, is there truth in advertising? Opinions are asked from people on the street, similar to the “is McDonald’s healthy?” questions he asks people in Super Size Me. However, everyone knows McDonald’s isn’t healthy and it’s not a matter of opinion like the marketing motives of corporations. All of these corporations are different; some want to deceive, whereas some want to be honest. All of the questions the film asks are subjective. No one wants to hear opinions of the average person; we want answers! Too bad we will remained uninformed.
Unlike most documentaries, this film doesn’t try to persuade us/shove anything down our throats. This is only because there’s a lack of focus for what the film really is about. Granted, Morgan explores different marketing techniques, and even visits a city in Brazil that banned any outdoor advertisements, deeming it “visual pollution,” he’s never trying to accomplish anything, including the stipulations to Pom Wonderful’s agreement. Don’t allow me to negate the film because it is filled with a lot of the dry humor that made Super Size Me so entertaining. It’s just an unfocused concept.
The film is humorous and I did find myself laughing more often than not, especially the running gag with “Mane and Tail,” a shampoo that can be both used for humans and horses, and Morgan looking to them to help sponsor his film. However, do we really need to understand why companies market themselves the way they do? Even if we do, it’s not rocket science to understand “Business 101,” the bottom line. There’s nothing we can do to get away from being targeted, unless we move to Sao Palo, and there is no need to raise awareness on this topic, because we become aware every time we turn our heads, so really when all of this is stripped away, the film was made with the intentions of being comedic.
Without this documentary, people will still understand that Burger King teams up with summer blockbusters like Iron Man, because Iron Man and Burger King both have broad appeal. This is why smaller independent films, like this one, have trouble raising money. Though independent films found at festivals like Sundance may be better than the junk that studios put out year after year, the average person will never have the chance to see them. Like they say, “survival of the fittest,” and sadly Morgan is the antelope with two broken legs, in more ways than one.
In 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold', Morgan Spurlock, ('Super Size Me') takes us into the world of product placement, marketing and advertising. The full title of this documentary is actually 'POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold...because POM Wonderful is the major sponsor of this film. So how interesting is the world of product placement? It seems now-a-days, most films, especially the big budget action … more
Anyone looking for a little further insight into how THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD was made should check out my interview with director, Morgan Spurlock: http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/0...ws-morgan-spurlock.html