The controversial decision of the Oscars 2023 that nobody understands

    The decision to introduce the trailer for the new version of The little Mermaid in the middle of the 2023 Oscar Awards gala, lengthening the ceremony unnecessarily, with a presentation by Melissa McCarthy and Halle Bailey included, has sparked a new controversy around the awards. And it’s not because the Oscars are oblivious to product placementBecause if you think about it, all the actors, dressed from head to toe by dressmakers and brands to promote their products on the red carpet, the ceremony and the parties that follow the awards ceremony, are walking advertisements, a version cool of buying gold of a lifetime. The controversy is not in the what, but in the how and when. The Oscars could reserve the announcements between the gala to include movie and series trailers perfectly, just as the Superbowl does, making this new appointment coincide with a hype shot for the products most anticipated by the public, but introducing them at the gala is a much more ambitious strategy to ensure public attention. In fact, during the Oscar publicity breaks, the first images of season 3 of Only murders in the building. Let’s see, everything has an explanation.

    The ABC chain is currently the winner of the broadcasting rights for the gala (it is now being negotiated to jump to another chain or platform or communication group, because one no longer knows what to call these things), ABC belongs to Disney … and end of explanation. There’s no more. Disney wanted to ensure global attention and has succeeded. Because he could perfectly have put the trailer in the form of an advertisement during the breaks and it would have cost him the same because, apart from accounting entries, everything would have stayed at home. Let’s see, the Oscars are the most expensive advertising space on American television, only behind the Superbowl: an ad during the Oscars gala costs around 1.8 million dollars. Yes, even in the days of social media and, yes, even after Ellen DeGeneres and her selfie stick forever changed the formula for product placement at the Oscars in 2015 (it was a selfie with a Samsung mobile).

    There have been sponsors of all kinds at the Oscars, such as when a Californian pizza chain, Los Angeles-based Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria, delivered pizzas to nominated actors and actresses like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale or Jared Leto. And soft drink brands go to great lengths to get the attention of 43 million viewers around the world. It was the year that PepsiCo replaced Coca-Cola as the exclusive sponsor of soft drinks at the Oscars. So that’s not where the controversy is. We already know that the Oscars want to ‘sell’ us (don’t forget the movies either, which is what the awards are for, not to recognize the work of professionals, which is something, ahem, collateral). Even the United States Air Force has had its product placement this year (the first delivery of top gun caused a boom in applications to join the Army and is expected to Top Gun Maverick had a similar impulse):

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    The controversy is, on the one hand, that if the gala was already long, if Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes talking about how long the gala was were, in themselves, long (read: heavy), why dared to lengthen it even more? And, on the other, in deceiving the viewers: above all because they made us believe that the meeting between Melissa McCarthy and Halle Bailey was to present an award, not to slip it through the squad and put on one of those trailers that we see so richly on YouTube . It was even weirder than seeing Morgan Freeman and Margot Robbie doing live promotion for Warner and Barbie. Anyway. As the CEO of a multinational soft drink company repeated: “everyone goes about their business, except me, who goes about my business.”

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