Oscars 2013. Hooray for Hollywood?


It was the best of times (for the winners). It was the worst of times (“here’s to the losers.”). It was an evening of wretched excess and an excessively wretched host. A salute to art and a celebration of commerce. It was, in short, the 85th Academy Awards and it made for a long night.

Even the commercials were a disappointment (although sadly not enough of them to block out Seth McFarlane). A few stand-outs (in a good way):

– Chobani Greek Yogurt “goes real” in a night of make-believe.

– Ronald McDonald House. An accident-prone little boy pays his “lucky penny” forward.

– Hyundai “thanks” the Academy in the voice of Oscar-award-winner Jeff Bridges.

– iPad apps are Hollywood-themed and just as magical.

Commercials aside, much of the appeal of award shows—at least for the audience—is poking fun. At the stars, the opulence, the self-reverence.  But for the underwriters (the advertisers), there’s a lot more at stake. This year’s Oscars telecast showed in dramatic fashion a brand in trouble—unsure of its identity, its audience and its message. For marketers paying nearly $2 million for a :30, that’s bad news and an even worse trend for the future. The Oscars should take a page from the Chobani playbook and play to what’s real, simple, honest and true.

Now that’s entertainment.

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