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No one has convinced me whether it derives from the Native American name Allatoona, or the German name, Altona, but Altoona is a funny name. George Burns used to quip, "They loved that joke in Altoona!" and I think that proves that Altoona rivals Walla Walla, OshKosh and Burbank for guffaw potential. And it just got funnier. I walked into my daughter's house last weekend, and heard, "Welcome to POM Wonderful."
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
[Morgan Spurlock is] aiming to show us how ad-soaked our lives have become by financing an entire doc about the ubiquity of product placement using—what else?—product placement. The title is no joke; Spurlock pitches POM the naming rights on camera. From then on, he is shown imbibing only the pomegranate beverage, while other drink brands are visibly blurred out. He flies exclusively on JetBlue, wears Merrell shoes (giving a pair to Ralph Nader), and drives Mini Coopers. His contracts obligate him to interview anti-commercialization advocate Susan Linn at a Sheetz gas station, and to stay at a Hyatt when he travels to São Paolo to cover the city's outdoor ad ban.
Another facet of the ad campaign is that Altoona is renaming itself POM Wonderful for two months, as described in the Altoona POM Wonderful Mirror:
The name "Altoona" has a faint air of the ridiculous that comes into play occasionally - like when Curve mascot Al Tuna emerges from the centerfield wall at Blair County Ballpark to celebrate a score.
On Wednesday, with a proclamation at City Hall, Altoona will swing for the fences of the ridiculous: For 60 days, it will take the moniker Pom Wonderful: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold - the title of movie director Morgan Spurlock's parody of product placement.
At least the city is getting paid for what you could argue is self-belittlement - which mirrors Spurlock's self-belittlement in the movie, in which he sells out everything to sponsors, including Pom Wonderful and Sheetz Corp.
For the temporary move, Altoona is getting $25,000, which is going for a serious purpose - the police department.
Another Mirror article tells us that Sheetz, a regional chain of remarkably clean convenience stores, is mentioned 20 times while Altoona is only part of the background.
I liked Spurlock's big movie, Super Size Me and his TV series, 30 Days. I really liked his GF, now wife, Alexandra Jamieson, who runs a blog Healthy Chef Alex and probably earned Super Size Me an R rating for blithely discussing the effect of McFood on Spurlock's McPenis.
Anyway I will try to report from POM Wonderful for the next several weeks - if anything actually happens. I might even drink some of the POM stuff when I rent the DVD.