(Photo Courtesy of ZDNet)
By Kyle Austin
Hollywood returned last night, the writer’s strike firmly placed in the rear view mirror. It was a night to reconvene and celebrate; as host Jon Stewart paraphrased “Welcome to the makeup sex.” It was certainly an interesting night of making up and most of the critics weighing in this morning seem to have come to the same conclusion: There were some makeup jitters.
With the event seemingly rushed together after the Hollywood strike ended; the producers of the show were rushed into putting together a program that seemed somewhat aloof and all over the map. Stewart, who was one of the few stars on-hand that appeared to bring his “A” game, shined during his opening monologue but seemed to vanish behind a long-list of video montages during the rest of the telecast. It was evident that the producers had planned to go through with the show sans-writers and didn’t have time to re-work the show once the strike ended. The rest of the night was mostly unmemorable with little known actors and even less appreciated movies (at least among the general public) accepting awards with less then memorable speeches.
However, one person who did shine, even without appearing, was Steve Jobs. Not only did his Pixar created film Ratatouille take home best animated film, he also scored the best product placement of the night for that other company he runs. In a spoof on popular culture and technology, Stewart joked about how great it was to watch Lawrence of Arabia on his iPhone and even maneuvered the device on its side so he could joke about the ability to watch it in widescreen; which got Apple the close-up of the logo that most product placement specialists would die for.
At Racepoint Group we’ve had some great success with product placements including stints for NeuroLogica on Grey’s Anatomy and ER (The CereTom should be up for an Emmy). We also understand the complexities of making it happen. Obviously it is much easier for a brand and product like Apple and the iPhone, but a win for their folks nonetheless.