Is this a new strategy?

Posted by · 12:36 am · February 12th, 2009

I’ve been flipping back and forth between Leno and Letterman and so far I’ve seen four Oscar TV spots: two for “The Reader,” one for “Slumdog Millionaire” and one for “The Wrestler.”  Instead of the usual 30 second trailers, there is interview footage edited in.  Rourke from “The Wrestler,” Boyle from “Slumdog” and besting the lot, Daldry, Winslet AND Hare (dropping the names of Pollack and Minghella) for “The Reader.”

Is this a new strategy?  I can’t seem to recall late night television buys in recent Oscar past, but I certainly don’t recall commercials such as this, bringing the talent out in the open so formally.  It’s kind of brilliant, really.  Now instead of watching Amy Adams giggle about how unprepared she is for her wedding, you’ll be treated to other interviews during the advertising break that you weren’t expecting at all.

Adams is a good call for this moment, especially being in a race some perceive as wide open and others say is ripe for her taking.  But all things considered, Rourke could have brought it all home with an appearance here instead of in late December for the film’s release.

Or does it all…really not matter?

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6 responses so far

  • 1 2-12-2009 at 1:54 am

    Jake said...

    I’ve noticed that as well. It seems to have started out with “The Reader.” During the early awards shows (BFCAs, Globes, etc.), the ads seemed to be all interviews with some footage. Personally, I don’t like it, but I guess I’ll have to see. Many people I know don’t really care who is behind a film (with the exception of popular directors), just that the film itself is worth seeing.

  • 2 2-12-2009 at 2:17 am

    Mike V. said...

    Harvey Weinstein is such a manipulative person. He’s now playing the Pollack/Minghella card to push The Reader up. I’m sick of those campaigns! In the end, the Academy gives the Oscar to the one with the “best” campaign. Anyway, I will be happy if The Reader wins over Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, two of the most overrated and overestimated films of all times IMO.

    At least The Reader has better perfomances.

  • 3 2-12-2009 at 2:56 am

    Jake said...

    Interestingly enough, from my perspective, these are the films that seem to be advertising the most for Best Picture, in order:

    -Slumdog Millionaire
    -Benjamin Button and The Reader (tie)
    -Frost/Nixon (way in last place)

    I don’t watch much T.V., but of the little I do I see about the same advertising for Slumdog and The Reader. On the internet, however, I see Slumdog and Milk everywhere. I guess the T.V. ads reflect which films have grown the most since the announcement of the nominations. I seriously have only seen a couple of ads for Frost/Nixon. Oh, and I completely agree with Mike V’s comment, that Weinstein is really dirty in his methods. I hadn’t realized that he had a Best Picture nominee for nine years in a row until I read an Entertainment Weekly article by Dave Karger about it. This makes me more pissed off that The Dark Knight and Wall-E were shafted. Hell, even Revolutionary Road deserved to be in over The Reader.

  • 4 2-12-2009 at 4:18 am

    Mike V. said...

    I agree with Jake too. The Dark Knight deserved a Best Picture nom and a Best Director nom too. But I also think The Curios Case of Benjamin Button didn’t deserve those nominations so I would leave The Reader [or Revolutionary Road or In Bruges], take out Benjamin Button and include The Dark Knight. My picks for Best Picture Noms would be: Milk, The Dark Knight, Frost / Nixon, In Bruges and The Reader.

    For Best Director: Van Sant, Howard, Daldry, Nolan and Eastwood [Changeling].

    No comments about Slumdog Millionaire because fanboys will be upset.

  • 5 2-12-2009 at 10:30 am

    Peter said...

    I think it’s kind of ironic that one would call ‘Slumdog’ appreciators ‘fanboys’ when they’re championing ‘The Dark Knight’. Not that there’s anything wrong with it- just a bit ironic.

  • 6 2-12-2009 at 3:47 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Oh, as it turns out, Rourke is on Charlie Rose tonight. Perfect.