Morgan Spurlock Sells His Soul in a TED Talk


"YOUR NAME HERE Presents: My TED Talk that you have no idea what the subject is and depending on the content could ultimately blow up in your face especially if I make you or your company look stupid for doing it -- that being said, it's a very good media opportunity." This was director Morgan Spurlock's (Super Size Me) pitch when he had the opportunity to give a TED Talk, and decided to sell naming his talk.

Spurlock proceeds to explain his movie, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The film is about transparency in advertising -- being honest about the fact that advertising pervades almost all media we consume. (You know how every TV show in which characters travel in a car lavishes time showing the pristine exterior of the car, the advanced features of the car, and integrates the car into the story in some ham-fisted way? Yeah, that.) Spurlock's film is not exactly anti-advertising (after all, various big brands did sign on to fund the film), but it's about examining the discomfort most advertisers have around being honest with their advertising, and examining what a "brand" is in the first place. But, ultimately, why not just go big? Why not come out and say "We are a brand and we want to sell you this thing?" That's transparency. Spurlock found a surprising array of brands willing to go there. He even found one to sponsor his TED Talk; he got $7,100 on eBay for the rights. Not bad.

So if you haven't seen The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, you can get a pretty good chunk of it just from this twenty-minute TED Talk:

Blogger disclosure: I wasn't specially compensated for this post; I watched The Greatest Movie Ever Sold last year on a plane for free. I am a Spurlock fan, though, and I gather his family is from West Virginia -- just like my family! Hey Morgan, call me!