Feb 07, 2011 at 05:23 PM
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Greatest Movie Ever Sold Shines Light On Film Sponsorship

The easiest way to get 15 sponsors? Start with a list of 600. That's what Morgan Spurlock, the creator of acclaimed film Super Size Me, had to do to get his latest film on product placement, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, completely financed by - you guessed it - product placement.

After roasting fast food giant, McDonald's, in his previous creation, how is it that the same filmmaker managed to recruit 15 brave brands to participate in his latest project?

"I bet I called 500 or 600 companies to be in this film and we got 15," Spurlock told Indiewire.com, noting that many brands were afraid of being in the film.

Among the excuses Spurlock said he encountered were "I don't want to be skewered the way you skewered that other company in that film" and "I value my job." And of course, the elephant in the sponsorship soliciation: the economy.

"In a different economy, how many companies would have been not as risk averse," Spurlock said. "How many would have said you know what fuck it, we'll take a chance, but I think literally as the budgets were getting cut and people were getting fired fewer and fewer people wanted to be the guy that said we should do this."

Pomegranate juice company, POM Wonderful, took the leap as the film's title sponsor, paying a reported $1 million for the privilege.

“POM is always looking for creative opportunities to deliver our unique health message in a fun and engaging way,” said Matt Tupper, president of POM Wonderful, the Greatest Juice You’ll Ever Drink. “We really respect Morgan’s work and his commitment to healthy living, as evidenced by Super Size Me. Participating in Morgan’s film is the perfect fit for POM: our brand confidence enables us to freely share our marketing process, strategy and POM Wonderful products in this exciting new forum.”

Joining POM as official sponsors are JetBlue Airways, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Sheetz Convenience Stores, Merrell Shoes, Amy’s Kitchen, THAYERS Natural Remedies, Seventh Generation, Ban Deodorant, MovieTickets.com, CARRERA Sunglasses/Solstice Sunglass Boutique, The Original Mane ‘n Tail and Aruba Tourism Authority, the movie’s official vacation destination.

“JetBlue shares Morgan’s passion for looking at things differently,” said Fiona Morrisson, director of brand and advertising for JetBlue Airways, The Greatest Airline You’ll Ever Fly. “We’ve built our brand on innovation, rooted firmly in common sense, with a dash of fun. We can’t imagine any other product placement opportunity that fits better than with Morgan and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

“Old marketing models are being turned upside down and Hyatt constantly challenges itself to present our brand and its values in innovative ways that make consumers take notice,” said John Wallis, global head of marketing and brand strategy at Hyatt. “Everyday, guests make Hyatt hotels an integral part of their important life events – once-in-a-lifetime trips, weddings, and make-or-break meetings – as well as everyday business travel and weekend getaways. We saw this film as an opportunity to showcase the Hyatt experience that has led people to choose Hyatt hotels for their travel for more than 50 years.”

At Sundance, Spurlock unveiled The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and even wore the names of his sponsors on his sport coat. He also brought his sponsors on stage after the screening. Check out this (shaky) video in which Spurlock talks about how he wooed the sponsors of the film.