Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me, is at it again. This time he has stepped into my arena. His new movie, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, takes an inside look at advertising, marketing, and product placement. I would love to sit here and tell you about the movie, but instead I’m going to let Spurlock do it himself. Below are videos for the trailer of the film and Spurlock’s talk at TED. His TED talk is 20 minutes long, but I promise that it flies by and is both entertaining and informative. A little surprising spoiler from his talk- when he asked four advertising executives from Ban deodorant how they would describe their brand, none of them could. I know that I don’t have any real world experience, but I’ve been taught that no marketing can take place without a strategy statement or plan, which should include a brand identity. I found this amazing.
When I think of product placements a handful of movies instantly come to mind. Number one in my mind is Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Rick Bobby. It features 96 different product placements, and the top 3 products (Wonder Bread, Perrier, and Old Spice) appear in the film 90 separate times. The most memorable product placement scene for me is the dinner scene!
Next in my mind is Josie and the Pussycats. This film ends up being about product placement in movies, but that isn’t obvious until the end. Until then, the movie is just awkward. Unlike most movies with product placement, Josie’s products were put their for free!
The Book of Eli, stuck in my mind because the obvious product placements keep taking me out of the movie. In the middle of a post-apocalyptic world, are all of these brands. I had to Google most of the brands in the movie after having not watched it in so long. Some of them are- Motorola, Busch, O Magazine, GMC, and Puma. The only brands that stuck with me were the ones that were integral to the story line such as Apple iPod, Beats by Dr. Dre, Ray-Bans, and Oakley. Martin Lindstrom discusses this in his book, Buyology. If a product is not important to the story line, or used in a meaningful way then it is not remembered. This is also seen in E.T. They are credited with saving Reese’s Pieces! The producers originally wanted M&M’s as the hard candy that was used to catch E.T., but M&M passed on the product placement opportunity. Reese’s Pieces, who was on the way out, jumped at the chance and the brand became bigger than ever!
If you want to see the product placements in your favorite movie check out, Brand Channel. In the meantime here is a list of the 96 products featured in Talladega Nights! How many do you remember seeing?
Advanced Auto Parts
Bain de Soleil
Huffy Bicycle Company
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Shake ‘N Bake
United Auto Workers (UAW)