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									                                                                                    Kyle Maatman
                                                                                         CSR 331
                                                                                    Film Analysis

                               The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

       Are we masters or slaves to stuff? Morgan Spurlock introduces us to the world of product

placement in his 2011 blockbuster. This documentary would suggest that we are more vulnerable

to advertisements than we might think. It turns out; we are slaves to our wants, wants that

become needs due to effective advertising. Our nation consumes more than any other on the

planet. The reasons for this are clear after viewing “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”. Through

media we are told what we need to purchase to build our status, lead a better life, or even find

happiness. Advertisements affect us all more than we know.

       The entire point of advertising is to create as many consumers of that product or service

as possible. Consumption is the act or process of using up a resource. From an economic

standpoint, consumption is the expenditure on goods and services for final personal use. This

motion picture helps us better understand consumption. Different brands have positioned

themselves in our minds. We consume because corporate America tells us to consume. We are a

culture that always wants the latest technology, the newest cars, the coolest clothes, and

whatever is bigger or better than what we currently own. Contentment is lost on our society.

There is a reason that credit card debt is so high. People, all of us and even the government

cannot stop themselves from consuming.

       Many of the reasons for such high consumption can be traced back to the marketing

efforts of major corporations. Advertisements have become extremely popular in just about

everything we watch and everywhere we go. “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is a documentary
about advertising, branding, and especially product placement. Ironically, the film is financed

and made possible through such marketing. Morgan Spurlock mocks the advertising strategies of

large corporations. Throughout the movie, he is pitching his idea to several different companies

whom are potential investors in the film. They would pay him a certain amount of money to have

their products or services featured. The companies include POM, Sheetz, JetBlue, Hyatt, Old

Navy, Mini Cooper were only some of the sponsors. The purpose of the documentary was to

show how prevalent product placement is today. Spurlock interviewed a lot of experts including

Quentin Tarantino, Ralph Nader, Donald Trump, Jimmy Kimmel, J. J. Abrams, and more to help

gain insight on the matter. Unfortunately, product placement and other advertisements will never

go away because there is too much money involved in it. “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” would

not even have been possible without the funding given to Spurlock to use product placement in

his film.

        Advertisements have an overwhelming effect on how we think. Every brand has an

identity and we as consumers believe in the false pretence that possessing such a brand will help

us assume that identity. For example, many models, actors, professional athletes wear Ray Ban

sunglasses. Ray Ban’s identity is high class and cool. They have positioned themselves in our

minds that by purchasing their product we can assume high class and become cooler like many

of those models, actors, and professional athletes. In our minds the product’s identity becomes

our identity if we purchase it. Similarly, commercials, bill boards, product placement, and

various other forms of advertisements subliminally change the way we think. When we see Pepsi

commercials over and over and then see our favorite actor drinking Pepsi in our favorite movie,

we tend to cave in and purchase a pack of Pepsi the next time we venture into a grocery store.

This exact theory is addressed in the documentary. One of the ways Morgan Spurlock mocks
these notions is by driving a Mini Cooper in his film. It becomes “the greatest car ever driven in

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” which is clearly an overstatement. Advertisers believe that the

only way to be credible is to be visible. Thus there is no escape from the marketing efforts of

major corporations anymore. It is out there multiplying and affecting the way we think every


       Unfortunately, it is hard not to fall prey to advertisements when we are constantly

bombarded by them. We grow up with advertisement after advertisement being figuratively

shoved down our throats and it forces us to think a certain way. Often, we are subconsciously

affected by advertisements; we do not even realize their influence over us. Marketing strategies

have even breached education. Students across the country are forced to watch Channel 1 news

and laden within are commercials about all the different stuff that we need to buy or things we

need to do. Such efforts have led us to believe that products define our lives. The house we live

in, the car we drive, the clothes we wear have become modes of identifying who we are.

Consequently, we make purchases every day based on what we see on television, or what the

celebrities are doing, or even what companies tell us to do.

       It is important that we think for ourselves and not let the large corporations of America

think for us. As consumers we need to overlook fancy advertisements. We need to learn to think

for ourselves and make smarter purchases. Why spend one hundred and twenty dollars on a pair

of Ray Ban sunglasses when you can get an identical pair for ten. It all comes back to branding

ourselves as individuals and not letting corporate America do the branding for us.

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