Warner Bros. is pushing Steven Seagal for a best actor Oscar with ads in entertainment industry trade publications. That the support relates less to his acting ability than the fact he was CAA exec Mike Ovitz’s Tae Kwon Do instructor is typical of the logic behind who the studios decide to support with trade ads for Academy Award nominations. Studio execs, many of whom declined to talk on the record, maintain that their primary goal with trade ads is to remind the 5,000 Academy members of their films when it comes time for nominations. But behind closed doors, everyone knows that the classic Hollywood ego-stroke is the purpose of this pursuit. Consider Tri-Star’s Best Film campaigning for Candyman and Warners’ Best Actress support for Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. ‘With the ads, not only are they trying to generate awareness for award consideration, but sending a message to the industry – the filmmaker and the star – that their studio is a good place to work,’ said an entertainment trade magazine source.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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