Oscar Campaign Spending Picks Up

By Robert Marich

   Dec. 19, 2008 – Columnist Nikki Finke details some extravagant spending on Oscar marketing campaigns in her Deadline Hollywood online postings, which is an indication some are tossing around big bucks for hope-for Academy Awards payoffs.

   Paramount took out seven full-page ads in the New York Times for Revolutionary Road, which is the oddly-named 1950s martial drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The studio’s Paramount Vantage is the actual distributor. Separately, Paramount commissioned a fluffy “making of” book for Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Finke sees the book’s main attribute as a goodie that is now being given away by the studio to Hollywood big wigs.

   Disney inserted books for Wall-E in the Los Angeles Times, which Finke estimates was a $675,000 media cost. Dateline Hollywood quotes an unnamed industry insider saying the Wall-E 


effort is simply to flatter Disney animation czar John Lassiter, since Wall-E is a shoe-in for animated film Oscar.

   Finke takes a dim view of such spending, as her story is headlined “Layoffs Be Damed! Oscar campaign Spending from Reverse to Overdrive.” Marketing to Moviegoers: Second Edition notes that often spending by films thought to be frontrunners for Oscars is simply defensive—marketing brass don’t want to be accused of dropping the ball if they don’t win.

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