This weekend, I saw Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” The concept is simple—fed up with all the advertising around him, Morgan decides to take a critical look at “brand integration” in our everyday lives by making a documentary that is fully-funded by product placement. He shows us every step involved in getting sponsors and one of the points he hits the hardest is that movies and brands have formed a symbiotic relationship—studios make money when sponsors buy into a movie, sponsors get a visibility boost from people seeing the flick, and in turn the sponsors promote said movies not only on their packaging but in their other advertising. It’s a pretty good racket in the end.
So I was pretty interested to see today that the new James Bond flick, “Bond 23,” will be financed by a whopping $45 million worth of product placement. Keep reading »
Remember Morgan Spurlock? He’s the documentarian who lived on nothing but Big Macs and other McDonald’s fare for a month to show us the perils of fast food in “Super Size Me.” Well, Morgan is back with a new documentary, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” which is all about the perils of product placement, not only in TV shows and movies but in real life. The big twist—the movie was actually funded by 15 companies who paid to have their products in the doc, despite the irony, including POM Wonderful, who shilled out $1 million for the top billing.
To promote this new movie, Morgan has come up with a pretty unique stunt. For the next 60 days, he has gotten the town of Altoona, Pennyslvania, to change its city name to “Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” No, like for real. Keep reading »
In the grand scheme of award shows, I genuinely enjoy the MTV Movie Awards. Last night, I giggled at Aziz Ansari and Zack Galifianakis’ hilarious “Swagga Coach” sketch. I was way amused by Tom Cruise’s heroic turn as Les Grossman. I loved the tribute to Sandra Bullock, well, until the lame fake-lesbian kiss with Scarlett Johansson. (I mean, that was old by the time Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera did it in 2003.) But one thing totally drove me crazy about the show—could they stop trying to sell me stuff for one second? Keep reading »
Rarely lauded for their subtlety, Lady Gaga and Beyonce went even more balls out than usual with the product placement in their recently released “Telephone” music video. First up, there’s the fact that the song itself (much like its predecessor, “Videophone”) is just waiting to be licensed for commercial use by a cell phone company. But lest they should be accused of selling out to cell phones entirely, entertainment’s strangest lady duo produced an out-of-control video to accompany the
jingle song, too. All we can say is we hope major money went Gaga and B’s way, because their almost 10-minute video was like an extended commercial for everything from dating sites to Polaroid to Verizon to Miracle Whip. Check out the most blatant placements, after the jump. [BlackBook] Keep reading »
OK, “Project Runway,” we get it. Viewers own TiVos and fast-forward through commercials, so advertisers want products plugged in the show instead. We understand. But last night’s “Project Runway” went too far! Designers have always sent their models to the L’Oreal hair and makeup room and the Garnier hair salon and that’s fine. But we never had the name of the products shoved down our throats quite like this before. “Project Runway” titled the task of creating a beach look for surfer girls the “Garnier Challenge” and a Garnier hairdresser told the designers how important hair will be to complete their look on the runway. Tim Gunn, no doubt rolling his eyes inside, mentioned several times how the models needed to head to the Garnier hair studio, where the Garnier hairdresser got more screen time and showed all of Garnier’s green products in the background. Then the Garnier hairdresser made a comment before a couple commercial breaks, which led with Garnier products. I had to stop myself from shrieking at the screen, “I buy Garnier shampoo, conditioner, and frizz-ease, OK?! I swear! Leave me alone!” Seriously, “Project Runway,” don’t do that s**t again. Or at least try to slip product placement in and trick us. Keep reading »