Hollywood’s hippest executives and filmmakers have been shuttling back and forth to Park City, Utah this week for the top U.S. film festival, Sundance. One of the more interesting films debuting is Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which he financed entirely with product placement and sponsorship money. In this interview with Jeff Sneider for The Wrap he discusses how neuromarketing works:
The Wrap: The thing that I found most fascinating was the neuromarketing stuff.
Spurlock: Amazing, right?
Yes, it was very interesting. Do you feel like that’s the future of marketing, and if so, does that worry you?
You have to think that if you can get to the point where you know that a mass of people, if you do X, Y and Z in a trailer, will want to go see that movie, or in a commercial, will make them want to go buy that thing or make them crave it in some way … it’s a crazy thing to think about. It’s a pretty insane, “Brave New World”-ish, futuristic way to look [at things]. I’m basically going to be able to know what you want. It’s like pre-cog advertising.
What do you think will be the next evolution in product placement? Where is it going?
I think the evolution is going to be a de-evolution. I think what will happen is, you’ll see things get flipped back to almost how it was in the glory days, the early days of radio and TV. I think you’re going to see brands who are going to be giving money to artists and creative people, saying ‘I love what you do. Here’s money. Go do what you do and just let us be associated with it.’
I think you’ll still have ‘hold on a second, let me get out my AT&T Blackberry.’ I think stuff like that will still happen, but I think it’s going to start to diminish because I think that the brands that empower artists and empower creative people are going to be the ones that really look great.
In the film, you bring up “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” as an example of product placement in movies. Having done “Super Size Me,” do you think we’re going to eventually see a McDonald’s movie where Ronald McDonald and Grimace and the others go on a big screen adventure?
Well, did you ever see “Mac and Me?” Years ago, there was this film paid for by McDonald’s, about an alien that loved to eat there. It was one of the worst things you’ll ever see.
Again, what these companies need to do is they need to let the creative people be creative. The thing that’s interesting to me is, it also makes you wonder … as you see artists like OK Go who make all these amazing music videos that are brought to you by brands — you saw the stuff that we created in this film just by working with those companies — I think there will be some companies that question the need for agencies.
Going down the road, when you start to understand what your brand personality is, as they say in the movie … once you understand what your brand identity is and what you want to do to market that, couldn’t we go right to artists without having an agency do that?…
[continues at The Wrap]