CAMPAIGN FRIDAY: Academy Awards Ads for Diet Coke and Hyundai--a Winner and a Flop.

The Grammy’s, the Super Bowl, and the Academy Awards are what we call “Event TV”—those tent-pole programs which draw millions to gather around their television sets to watch live broadcasts. 

For advertisers, these programs are time to bring out the best they have to offer. Consumers and media critics swoon, celebrate, and slam the ads that run during these shows.

Sometimes advertisers will create ads tailored specifically to the one-time event.

With the Academy Awards telecast coming up this weekend, we thought we’d take a look at two such ads that were created for the Oscar telecast. One is from last year—an ad for Diet Coke. The other is from this year’s telecast from Hyundai. One works, the other is a flop.

Hyundai has nine ads running on Sunday night’s Oscar telecast. Three have a Hollywood theme: "Equus the Trailer," "Paparazzi," and "Elevator Pitch." None of the ads will win any awards for creativity, cinematography or as a successful marketing pitch. The ads are trite, and seem to stuff the Academy Awards theme into an otherwise boring running shots of the car.

On the other hand, last year’s Diet Coke commercial “Credit," did a fantastic job of celebrating the behind-the-scenes heartbeat of Hollywood: the unsung heroes, such as the writer who crafts a great screenplay, the stunt performer who puts the action in "action movie," and the sound effects artist who creates memorable audio experiences for the big screen.

I want to watch the Diet Coke ad over and over—and hope for a sequel during this year’s broadcast. As for the Hyundai ads—I think they should go straight to video.

Academy Awards image courtesy Featureflash /
blog comments powered by Disqus

The Featured Five