“If you ain’t 1st your last.”

“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” stars Will Ferrell as a famous driver. This movie takes a comedic look at the world of Nascar, a sport heavily driven by its corporate sponsorships and endorsement deals. The film was packed full of brands! In the beginning I tried to keep track of how many I saw, but quickly realized that this would be pretty difficult.

Sponsors pour into just about every part of this characters life. His wife even gets angry with him when he plugs a sponsor during one of their arguments, and this is also repeated during a prayer at a dinner provided by Domino’s Pizza and KFC. The movie pokes fun at Nascars excessive commercial breaks.  

The most noticeable brands found in the film are Wonder Bread (Ricky Bobby’s sponsor), Old Spice (Cal Naughton Jr sponsor) and Perrier (Jean Girard sponsor) who are all teammates but also opponents. According to brand channel, these three brands can be seen about 90 times throughout the film. Other obvious brands were Chevrolet, Ford, Applebee’s, Shake n’ Bake, Sunoco, Rally’s Hamburgers, PowerAde, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Coors. For a complete listing of the brands found in the film check out brandchannel.com.

After Ricky Bobby get into a serious accident his father puts him in a car with a live cougar. His father tells him he must conquer his fear of the cougar in order to overcome his fear of driving. The drivers in this movie can be seen wearing puma shoes. In the conclusion of the movie Ricky Bobby defeats his opponent with no large sponsors. I was left wondering if his success was due to not having to please sponsors.

This film makes a statement about the hyper-consumer culture in which we live and the rise in mainstream popularity of NASCAR racing. This movie beats us over the head with advertisements, from the large Fig Newton windshield sticker to the most hostile advertisement ever “Hi, this is Ricky Bobby. If you don’t chew Big Red, then f*@# you!!”


About John Barr

Double Major Student @ Towson University
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