Full text of The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold by Morgan Spurlock at TED conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold – Morgan Spurlock
I have spent the past few years putting myself into situations that are usually very difficult and at the same time somewhat dangerous. I went to prison — difficult. I worked in a coal mine — dangerous. I filmed in war zones — difficult and dangerous. And I spent 30 days eating nothing but this — fun in the beginning, little difficult in the middle, very dangerous in the end.
In fact, most of my career, I’ve been immersing myself into seemingly horrible situations for the whole goal of trying to examine societal issues in a way that make them engaging, that make them interesting, that hopefully break them down in a way that make them entertaining and accessible to an audience. So when I knew I was coming here to do a TED Talk that was going to look at the world of branding and sponsorship, I knew I would want to do something a little different.
So as some of you may or may not have heard, a couple weeks ago, I took out an ad on eBay. I sent out some Facebook messages, some Twitter messages, and I gave people the opportunity to buy the naming rights to my 2011 TED Talk. That’s right, some lucky individual, corporation, for-profit or non-profit, was going to get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — because I’m sure Chris Anderson will never let it happen again — to buy the naming rights to the talk you’re watching right now, that at the time didn’t have a title, didn’t really have a lot of content and didn’t really give much hint as to what the subject matter would actually be. So what you were getting was this: 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. But that being said, it’s a very good media opportunity. You know how many people watch these TED Talks? It’s a lot. That’s just a working title, by the way. So even with that caveat, I knew that someone would buy the naming rights.