Friday Funny: Altoona to Become 'Pom Wonderful'

Sometimes, the Friday Funny just writes itself.

This just in from The New York Times' Media Decoder Blog:

The documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has found another catchy way to promote his next release, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” which takes a wry look at product placement and the integration of brands in the plots of movies and TV shows.

The city of Altoona, Pa., agreed on Wednesday night to sell naming rights to Mr. Spurlock for 60 days, beginning on April 27. For a fee of $25,000, Altoona will be called after the full title of the film, which is “Pom Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

The presence of the Pom Wonderful juice in the title of the documentary signals Mr. Spurlock’s cheeky take on the subject of product placement. He has lined up a skein of marketers to sponsor the film to help illustrate how branded entertainment works.

Among those sponsors is the Sheetz chain of convenience stories, which is based in, yes, Altoona. The Altoona City Council said that the fee from Mr. Spurlock would be used by the city’s police department.

“Clearly, the people of Altoona have a sense of humor,” Bill Schirf, the mayor, said in a statement, “and an asking price.”

Apparently, several municipalities across the nation have begun selling naming rights to raise needed revenue — a topic Morgan Spurlock explores in his new film.

Just wondering: could Pennsylvania adopt this strategy to help avert some of the budget cuts being proposed? Do I see an "Old Spice Presents the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" renaming ceremony in the offing?

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