Last night’s 89th Academy Awards will be remembered more for what went wrong than what went right. Broadcast live on ABC, the program included the photo of a living producer in the “In Memoriam” segment and proceeded to mistakenly present the Best Picture award to “La La Land” instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.” But there was a winning element of the show that deserves recognition: the advertisers.
According to Kantar Media, advertisers reportedly spent between $1.9-2 million on 30- second spots during the broadcast and viewers at home saw several ads that were decidedly political in tone. The highly anticipated ad from The New York Times was joined (and out-shined) by spots from Cadillac and Hyatt Hotels, among others, that put a spotlight on today’s political climate of distrust and division and turned them into positive messages of empathy and hope.
Some detractors may argue that airing these ads during a program celebrating the Hollywood elite is preaching to the liberal choir, but the fact that brands are taking a stand during one of the most watched television events of the year is worth noting. And dare I say, worth celebrating.