POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Culture Warrior

Buried deep within this sentence (Doritos are delicious) is an advertisement. Did you catch it? You probably didn’t because it was so subtly subliminal, but that’s exactly how product placement has worked for a century to varying degrees of success. After all, there’s a thin line between using real-life products in a film to create a sense of verisimilitude and using them to promote the product in question. Where that line is drawn is up to each person. One person might see a kid reading “National Geographic” in It’s a Wonderful Life and think it’s quaintly appropriate while another person might find it craven and conspicuous. To the same extent, different film productions have delivered brands with means ranging from the slyness of near-imperceptibility to almost Doritos-Scorchin’-Habanero-Flavor levels of obviousness. It’s far from new, and even though sold items have sneaked their way into movies for almost one hundred years, there’s been an explosion in recent decades, seeing a new revenue stream for studios and a new annoyance for film fans.


Does anyone drink POM Wonderful? Who actually consumes that stuff? Besides the snoods who shop at the high-market grocery stores, it seems impossible to meet someone that genuinely enjoys POM Wonderful… except for Morgan Spurlock who, of course, just loves POM Wonderful. Whether or not he actually likes them for their product is neither here nor there, but he should love them for financing a huge chunk of his latest film, POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Spurlock’s doc is a comedic exploration into the shady and vicious advertising world. Spurlock has become known for his signature humor, and Greatest Movie Ever Sold fits the filmmaker’s bill that we all know. But if you had told Morgan Spurlock 20 years ago he’d be in the documentary business that may have not appealed to him. Surprisingly, Spurlock originally aspired to make horror films, and he names Clive Barker and the head explosion scene from Scanners as early inspirations. In some ways Spurlock did wind up making horror films, but instead of monsters and gore he’s focusing on the far more subtle horrors inherent in modern society. Here’s what director Morgan Spurlock, a film school reject himself that got turned down five times from USC, had to say about how he defines selling out as a director, commercialism, and that delicious pomegranate juice:

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published: 12.23.2014
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