So if last night's ceremony, presenter banter, and Jon Stewart had us yawning in our
seats, at least the marketing plugs were there to wake us up! In fact, we might go so
far as to say that marketing was the real star of the show.
Things kicked off with some good designer plugs in the women's dress category. Headline news: Cotillard up, Kidman down. For a more comprehensive breakdown, check out our previous Oscar post, here. (Or, er, scroll below!)
But we left one of those ladies out of the line-up, because she was just such a good piece of marketing collateral that we thought her more appropriate for this part of the wrap-up. Drum roll please: Heidi Klum in that gorgeous red dress by John Galliano, a philanthropic tie-in for Coca-Cola, which ran its Red Dress campaign spots during the event. The dress (pictured, with Klum, below) will be auctioned off on MyCokeRewards.com, with proceeds going to the charity Heart Truth, which raises awareness about heart disease in women.
Then there were the commercials, and I have to say that the fashion set more than represented. The new J.C. Penney ads for the "American Living" collection seemed to translate well (at least, among our viewing audience last night in a cramped Brooklyn apartment), and everyone seemed pleasantly surprised by the American Express ads with Diane von Furstenberg. Both ads got some prominent sponsorship play before the commercial break had even commenced.
So for the fashion marketers, it seemed like the night sailed on smoothly, unlike Cameron Diaz's attempt to pronounce such difficult words as "cinematography" (again, we still don't understand why she gets Galliano's Dior dresses!).
And then there were these weird product plugs.
Here's Jon Stewart bemusedly futzing with his iPhone. If ever there were a completely smooth pitchman, Stewart's not one of 'em. In a lame segue, he talked about getting to catch up on all of the year's great films right there at the podium. (Because, you know, the square inches of the iPhone really help to communicate the Old West grandeur of "There Will Be Blood." Seriously, has Stewart even used this device?). Then of course, he announces that they're better viewed in widescreen. He turns the phone horizontally and the camera pans in for a great shot of the iPhone and Apple logo. In the end, it's not a bad plug, it's just, well, kinda shameless and we're sure that even those who aren't marketers recognized this little bit for the sham it is. Kind of like the Bluefly.com "Accessories Wall" in Project Runway or the numerous mentions Coke gets during American Idol.
And then there was this COMPLETELY SHAMELESS PLUG for the Nintendo Wii. Coming back from commercial, Stewart and the little girl from that Gospel choir, were engaged in a heated game of Wii Tennis, projected on enormous screens for the whole audience to see. No joke followed, no setup really introduced the plug. It was suddenly just there. Check out the video below.
Do marketers seriously think the American public is this stupid that they wouldn't know a complete corporate shill when they see it? Why not give away sponsorship titles for the awards at this point? And the Oscar for the Coca-Cola Best Actress goes to... Marion Cotillard! Just think of it! She could thank Diet Coke, of course, for all of those days on set when she needed a fizzy drink that calmed her stomach but didn't contribute to any stress-induced weight gain. Well, that's if San Pelligrino doesn't get the award sponsorship first.
Now that we're mulling it, is this a bad idea? Everyone knows these shows are rigged shams anyways, I don't care how many staged videos I have to see of Frank Pierson being denied at the doors of Price Waterhouse Cooper.