The Golden Globes lose their luster

13.01.2014

Alchemy may be quack science, but the reverse was on full display last night at the Golden Globes Awards. The show was leaden (a pity since 2013 featured so many wonderful movies and memorable performances), the jokes and speeches (for the most part) sank like a stone and the commercials (which is the only reason I watch) were pretty uninspired. A few golden exceptions:

– Intuit TurboTax. By far the best spot of the night. By focusing on “you” and the landmarks of your life in the past year, it re-framed the whole notion of paying taxes (an intimidating chore) and turned it into a celebration, putting lovely production values in the service of a concrete, benefit-driven message.

– Apple iPad Air.  A close second (although just a little pretentious), capturing the “poetry” of everyday life and putting the notion of storytelling on a higher plane.

– Sony seeks to move viewers by saluting the serendipity that results when artists and engineers collaborate

– Cadillac CTS. Dad, lad  and General Motors shoot for the moon in a GRAVITY-inspired spot.

Even though they’re not new, Sprint (James Earl Jones and Malcolm MacDowell) and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Misfit. Right. In.) continue to enchant and P&G hits the right note in its “thanks, mom” Olympics spot.

But the Target everyday collection commercial was a questionable choice. First, what’s up with the whispered VO? What does that get you? And the piñata itself may have cut a little too close to how 110 million cardholders feel about their financial security right about now. As marketing director, I would have pulled that.

Still, let us be grateful for small delights: Alfonso Cuarón won for “Gravity,” Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, for “American Hustle” and, at long last, “12 Years a Slave” received the honor it deserved as best picture.

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