POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Blu-ray Review)17 Jul, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff
Prebook 7/21/11; Street 8/23/11
Box Office $0.6 million
$30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some language and sexual material.
Stars Morgan Spurlock.
Billboards, television and radio commercials, logos on clothing and product placement in movies are just a few of the ways brands successfully inundate our lives on a daily basis. Director Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold explores the latter’s imprint on society in a playful yet mindful way.
The concept of the movie is simple: document the process of earning advertising dollars to completely fund a feature film about advertising — the goal being complete transparency. We see the film materialize from start to finish, beginning with Spurlock’s quest to get corporations on board with the project.
After countless cold calls and boardroom presentations (the film showcases Spurlock as a wonderful salesman), and plenty of rejections, the floodgates opened with willing sponsors for the film, such as Old Navy, Mini Cooper, Hyatt, JetBlue, Sheetz convenience stores, Mane ‘n Tail shampoo (for people and horses) and, most notably, title sponsor POM Wonderful, which chipped in $1 million of the film’s $1.5 million budget.
That contribution, however, came at a hefty cost, including contractual obligations specifying that Spurlock had to show the movie on more than 250 screens worldwide, generate more than 600 million media impressions and drink only POM beverages in the film — all others were blurred out. These mandates put Spurlock in a sensitive position as he himself walks the fine line between selling out and buying in to film branding.
The product placement within the movie about product placement make The Greatest Movie Ever Sold a comical commentary about advertising and corporations’ influence on consumers. The highlight for me was the Mane ‘n Tail spot that shows Spurlock, his son and a Shetland pony all bathing with the product in a bathtub. I’m sure I’ll remember that the next time I’m perusing the shampoo aisle.