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Will Promos Make a King of 'The Queen'?

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NEW YORK With Oscar balloting almost closed, movie marketers are working overtime to woo votes.

Take, for example, Trailer Park CEO Tim Nett, who said he has cut some 60 spots for The Queen, and is still cutting. (Thirty alone have hit TV screens, with the Web catching much of the balance.)

Like other Oscar contenders getting the royal treatment, The Queen calls for advertising that speaks to the age and expertise of its jury at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"Music and imagery are tailored specifically to the Oscar voter, who is typically older," said Nett.

In creating the campaign, "we tended to use scenes of the queen looking more introspective within her settings," Nett said. "The goal was to show the depth of the role as written, directed and acted, and to show the subtleties not usually highlighted in general advertising."

Whereas most features run the lion's share of their advertising nationwide and prior to release, Oscar contenders concentrate their campaigns in New York and Los Angeles, after opening. The ads air throughout awards season, mostly on morning and evening news shows.

Nett explained that Oscar advertising plays up "imagery of strong acting, directing and cinematography moments," likely to impress the craft-savvy Academy. And unlike the ads for a lay audience, which peddle a film's entertainment value, those intended to sway Oscar balloters feature reviews lauding the production's craftsmanship.

The principle extends to radio ads, which aim to promote a film's composer. "Radio ads use the composer's score from the feature and quote reviews about the score and the feature," said Nett.

The push for The Queen includes a video billboard on Sunset Boulevard trumpeting the movie's awards and critical praise.