Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

Academy Awards ad lineup falls way short creatively

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PX038_7412_7.JPGWhere was the buzz? Granted the talk about the ads heading into the Super Bowl earlier this month was less than usual. But the hype about the commercials slated for the 81st annual Academy Awards telecast was even more low key, if that's possible. Sure, we're in an economic tailspin. But why should that keep the ad world from at least trying to generate some excitement about their work for a big television event like the Oscars.

Of course, when we finally saw most of the TV commercials that ran during Sunday's Oscar telecast, we fully understood why the talk was minimal. Except for True North nut snacks' mini-documentary spots (including a nice tribute to Chicago's Lisa Nigro, founder of the Inspiration Cafe), the commercials were hugely underwhelming. MasterCard, which has impressed before with some story-driven spots, sought to emulate its successes of years past, but didn't quite. And the Coca-Cola work totally fizzled, especially in comparison to the delightful "Heist" spot on the Super Bowl.

But for us, there was much to take note of in the multiple J.C. Penney executions. If what we saw on the Oscars is any indication, the retailer seems to be returning to formulaic stand-and-model advertising -- this after the retailer's ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi/New York tried to push the department store chain's advertising in a phony, pretentious high-concept direction. We didn't think that nonsense would last long, and sure enough, it appears the company is shifting towards something far more pedestrian.

Blame it on the economy, but this kind of advertising, as mundane as it may be, probably speaks to the core Penney's shopper more effectively than that weirdo revolving house commercial Saatchi foisted on the world when it took over the Penney's account from DDB/Chicago.

1 Comment

Viana Nildes I've been through this, to describe my utter disappointment, the Oscar academy, always accompany the delivery of the prize, and I'm always disappointed by movies and by artists that are not even listed to receive the prize.
I do not know what kind of criteria or concepts you follow, but certainly I know that there is a large bias in doctors' atores.Por such a great artist in my point of view as a spectator is the best, Jim Carrey, has never indicated and the guy is good enough to be perfect in any kind of character he will play, he has the natural gift of acting, the film may not be very good, but he can, he has the gift to turn a bad movie in a perfect job, I think what you do with this artist is a great dirty, full of prejudices, limitations, inadequate, lack of professional recognition, contempt, concepts eradicated,
and worst of all the value of human beings because before he was a professional he is human and that you do not avaliam.Esta time for you to review the concept and criteria to indicate their artists.
Congratulations to you of the Organization of the Academy's Oscar you are a big farce and deception.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on February 23, 2009 2:20 PM.

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