The BP State of the Union?

Well, I didn’t get asked out for Date Night. So I guess I’ll be alone Inside the Beltway tonight as the State of the Union address plays out not far from my hotel and I search for presidential insights, context for the big issues and a triple Jameson. Not necessarily in that order.

And if the previews of Prez O’s remarks are accurate, he is going to focus on jobs, spending in key areas — let’s hope education is one of them — to strengthen the economy and cutting the federal deficit.

All big fish that need to be fried like, uh, right now.

The question is how — since it appears that spending (watch for the new Inside the Beltway buzzword, “investments”) and cutting the federal deficit are at odds.

So why not use the State of the Union as a money-maker? Why not sell the naming rights?

The BP State of the Union.

C’mon, admit it. That has kind of a neat ring to it.

Or have VP Joe decked out in a suit loaded with product labels — like the NASCAR folks — featuring Starbucks, Pepsi, GM, McDonalds, maybe even Goldman Sachs. I don’t know. I don’t have all the details worked out as yet. But you get the picture.

And actually, I got this idea from a new film by Morgan Spurlock that he previewed at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

Here’s from the story in USA Today:

After the premiere of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, corporate sponsors featured in the film trooped up on stage to join director Morgan Spurlock, who wore a suit emblazoned with their brand names and logos.

The documentary by Spurlock, best known for 2004’s Super Size Me, is an exploration of product placement. And it’s financed entirely by product placement.

Jumping off a point made by academic experts who said advertisers try to make consumers feel they can’t be happy without a certain product, Spurlock announced: “I’m 40% happier.”

And he has something else to be happy about. The film was purchased for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics, the first acquisition of the 10-day Sundance festival. It’s scheduled to open in theaters in April.

The sponsors represented included Pom juice, JetBlue, Ban deodorant, Mini Cooper, Hyatt hotels and the island of Aruba.

“We tried to get money from everybody,” said Spurlock. “We called 500 to 600 brands. Ultimately we ended up with 15 in the movie.”

Some wouldn’t even entertain the idea of being in the film.

“We tried to get BP to come and sponsor us,” Spurlock said. “Because if anybody needs a brand makeover, it’s BP.”

See, maybe I’m on to something here. The congressional and administration pooh-bahs are missing out on a significant revenue-generating opportunity. No wonder the USA is sucking the economic tail-pipe. I digress.

The BP State of the Union.

Now that’s something that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle — and those sitting holding hands tonight in the middle — can jump up and cheer about.


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