Monday, February 25

Oscars 2013 Best in Show

Ready ... Seth ... Go!

I may not be in the majority here, but I thought that Seth McFarlane rocked it last night at The Academy Awards, and I thought that this was one of the best award shows in years, starting right at the opening number.  I loved the dresses, the performances, the surprises ... and definitely all the banter on my Twitter party at #OscarExp.

We certainly learned that there are no coincidences in marketing, and certainly not on television.  There were many a well-timed ad placement and "product" mention, and a lot of brands trying to capitalize on the "news" on Twitter, much like Oreo did during The Super Bowl.

Disney is about to release their new film Oz - Disney who BTW owns abc and who featured the ruby slippers on the red carpet and did an awards show number "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast.  Hmmm.  The lovely little munchkin Kristen Chenoweth was one of the interviewers on the red carpet, with many a well timed spot from Royal Caribbean, her latest brand endorsement.

But honestly the night wasn't about marketing, since I would say that no one brand really stood out (generally not the case though).  Many other things took center stage, including Anne Hathaway's dress and her two very well placed "pleats" or darts as I was corrected on Twitter.

The night belonged to the icons ... Shirley Bassey (what a WOW!), Barbra Streisand (heartfelt tribute to her friend Marvin), Jane Fonda (I guess yoga works) and Adele (a new icon in the making).

So with all that action, who gets Best in Show?  It wasn't a brand, I'm afraid to say.  I barely remember any of them in the sea of activity.

Honorable mention goes to Jaws for the use of its theme song to shuffle people off stage.  All it takes is four bars and you know the brand and away you go.  Great use of iconic sound and then the instant imagery that comes along with it.

I want to say Best in Show belongs to the cast of Les Miserables, whose tear-jerking performance along with Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones gave tribute to the show stopper.  I would have picked that for Best in Show until:  Michelle Obama.

The girl stole the show, with a jaw dropping surprise appearance via video with Jack Nicholson.  Politics aside, you gotta love her message of inclusion, "No matter who you are, no matter who you love."  Very consistent messaging, time and time again.  Her tribute to the industry, and all its creativity and imagination, was spot on.  She is Best in Show, hands down, and THE icon of the night.

What did you think ... what is your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

PS - doesn't anyone shave anymore?  I mean the men!  I'm all for a little stubble once in awhile, but c'mon.  These full beards just are not becoming.  This is the Oscars!  Show a little blade, please.


  1. I think you may be in the minority with Seth but my 3 boys would be right with you. They were crying they were laughing so loud at his opening (I was too. From that point on, while not a complete snoozefest, pretty standard Academy Awards (err, I mean Oscars). Sit through over 2 hours to get to the last 10 minutes and the 3 major awards. Albeit with the few performances you note. The end (with Michelle & Jack) was worth staying up for though.

  2. They need to reinvent, but at least for me the show felt a little fresher with Seth and some of the performances. Jim.