Oscars commercials totally weak

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the swanky function room of the Waterford Tower, I got together with a bunch of my fellow Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) to watch the 79th Academy Awards.

Not a bad production, though the most interesting categories were the most predictable. Hats off to Martin Scorsese, who was called by his nickname "Marty" by the presenters who gave him the award twenty seconds later. Nice to the ol' boys club is still intact in Hollywood. Seinfeld also added the funniest line of the night, when he pegged the documentary nominees as "these five incredibly depressing films."

But I spoke with regular Dispatch contributor Margaret Quamme, and we decided that the commercials were awful, especially considering that the advertising rates are second only to spots during the Super Bowl.

I remember, I think, a Wendy's fish sandwich, an iPod cell phone and many automobiles. None of the products stood out, and I made regular trips during breaks to grab beers. Speaking of, where was Bud Light in all the hooplah?

Several of my colleagues mentioned that the Super Bowl audience is mostly male, that of the Oscars mostly female. But everyone loves creativity, man or woman, and companies throwing down fat checks for spots should put a little effort into it.

Yes, throw down some cash and don't follow Dove beauty products, who tried to copy Frito Lay's with a fan-produced spot. This one featured a brunette everywoman in the shower, singing into her hairbrush and talking about how a shower is a woman's sanctuary.

Weak. Gender-specific and weak. Generally, trying to copy the potato-chip company isn't a great start.

A critic from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer agreed with me about the ads' overall quality. [Check it]