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Handful of Indies Discuss Move to ‘Super Size' Orders to Send a Message to McDonald's

1 Sep, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

A handful of independent video dealers are urging others to super size their orders of Hart Sharp Video's upcoming documentary Super Size Me as a way of getting back at McDonald's for treading on their turf.

The title, due Sept. 28, is Morgan Spurlock's video diary of a monthlong diet of exclusively McDonald's food. McDonald's disputes the title's conclusion that Americans are increasingly fat and lethargic due, at least in part, to eating too much fast food.

McDonald's has been testing Redbox video rental machines offering $1-per-night rentals in all of its corporate stores in Denver since May.

“Indications are the test has been successful in increasing evening food sales,” indie Mike Salas wrote in a post to the Video Software Dealers Association discussion board.

“Assuming that they will expand this program nationwide, I think we should all be sure to order Super Size Me. Maybe we can lessen the impact on our revenue by helping to chase the public away from their restaurants.”

So far, the groundswell is small — just one other post on the board: “I agree! Go deep! I'm an hour from Denver, and I see the ads for their DVD rentals all the freaking time! Hmmm … I wonder if the Super Size Me DVD will be available at McDonald's? If not, we can further differentiate from those clowns as independents who do not censor what's available to our customers.”

Joe Amodei, president and founder of Hart Sharp Video, said the title is preordering faster than, well, McHotcakes.

“The preorders as of today are about 35 percent higher than my initial projections. All the mass merchants are carrying it. National and regional grocery chains are carrying it. I can't find anyone who has said no to Super Size Me so far” — except McDonald's, Amodei said. Wal-Mart, which has McDonald's restaurants inside 950 of its stores, will carry the title both in stores and online, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said. McDonald's representatives did not return calls by press time.

Although Amodei appreciates the indie support for the movie, he doesn't consider dissing McDonald's to be a selling point.

“We're selling it on the merits of the film. The film has always been about the obesity problem in America,” Amodei said. “I'm hoping the same thing that Morgan Spurlock hopes — that it will get people to take a look at what they eat on a daily basis.”

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