Friday, May 20, 2011

Altoona sells naming rights, announces new name

For the next 60 days, Altoona will be known as POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.  Tack the PA on the end of it for the mailing address. 

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock bought the naming rights of the town -- for $25,000 -- in order to promote his new movie: "POM wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold."  In case you were wondering, it cost POM wonderful a cool $1 million for its inclusion in the name of Spurlock's new film.

This is not Spurlock's first documentary, as most people are familiar with "Supersize Me."  However, in this film, Spurlock attempts to show how advertising infiltrates almost every sector of our lives.  Says Spurlock, "Even when I’m standing at a urinal, chances are there’s an ad or a video screen staring back at me.... That used to be a little ‘me’ time that I had, a little private ‘me’ time that I’d like to have back.”

Examples of advertising in our lives can be seen everywhere, from PNC Park to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to the worst of all: the GMRI scoreboard brought to you by McDonald's.  The last example is the actual name of the scoreboard at Washington Redskin stadium, or more correctly, FedEx Field.

Advertising is also all over our movies and television, from Coke placement in movies to iPad involvement in shows.  In Spurlock's new film, he attempts to get his entire film financed by these advertisements alone.  The film follows his travels where he attempts to accomplish this task.  Along these travels, he ends up in Pittsburgh, where he starts to work on advertising his own 'brand.' 

Advertising obviously works.  I wouldn't be paying attention to this documentary or article about his new movie had I not seen that Altoona was changing its name to promote a movie.  While it may be interesting to see him make an entire movie financed by advertisers, I believe he obviously missed the bus on exposing the infiltration of marketing in our daily lives.  That has been evident for a while. 

Morgan Spurlock


  1. I may be jumping the gun with not seeing the movie yet, but he should have tried to see how successful the movie would be by only posting it on the internet without advertising.

    This movie could be redundant as well. We obviously know that ads are everywhere.

    The next step is the pro sports teams becoming like soccer teams with only ads on the front. As popular as sports jerseys are in the US I would never buy a jersey with an ad across it, although many will.

    I know many foreign soccer stadiums keep their real names without ads attached and the jerseys have the ads. Here in the US we have the opposite. I wonder which model is best?

  2. Little known fact, Spurlock is a Fiji, among the likes of Phil Knight (Nike Founder), Calvin Coolidge (13th US Pres.), Johnny Carson (Tonight Show), Stu Evey (ESPN Chairman), Jack Nicklaus (PGA), Roger Penske (Penske/CART), and Dean Smith (UNC) among others. And most famous of all Phi Gams - Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap). Damn proud. . .