Why the Overlook Hotel From The Shining Got an Ad on the Oscars

W+K's fun, sneaky work for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Headshot of Tim Nudd

The one hotel in the world where you really don’t want to stay got a high-profile commercial on the Oscars telecast tonight—38 years after it first terrified people on the big screen.

The Overlook Hotel, which was the setting for Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror movie The Shining (based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name), was the ostensible advertiser behind the 30-second spot—which invited you to enjoy a “quiet, remote family getaway” at the “newly renovated” property, where “there’s a surprise around every corner.”

Creepy scenes play off plot points from the movie, including a hotel manager inspecting a door that’s been shattered to smithereens (from an axe by the looks of it). The faux spot faux-wraps with the number (833) 888-0237.

Check out the spot here:

A few seconds at the very end of the ad reveal the true advertiser—the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a new museumdedicated to the art and science of movies that will be opened in Los Angeles in 2019 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (which runs the Oscars).

As it turns out, the spot is part of a campaign for that museum by Wieden + Kennedy Portland.

If the Overlook Hotel looks authentic in the ad, it should. W+K tells us the commercial was created with original film footage from the Kubrick Estate, supplemented with the performances of hotel staff.

As for the (833) number, we don’t want to spoil the surprise, but suffice it to say some people will get a recorded message while a lucky few will actually reach a live person—who will have lots of interesting things in store for you.

W+K also made a fun series of print ads for the campaign inspired by products and services from famous films—including an Amity Island charter boat rental from Jaws, Sal’s Famous Pizzeria from Do The Right Thing and Soul Glo hair care products from Coming to America. See them here:

Those ads will appear in social and were in the official Academy Awards program handed out to all attendees of tonight’s show.

“The Academy is creating something very special with this museum, and it was our goal to deliver to them a multi-dimensional campaign that was as surprising, crafted and smart as the museum itself,” says Jason Kreher, W+K’s creative director of entertainment and editorial. “It’s not often one gets to work with clients and talent of this caliber; we’re thrilled to help them launch their campaign on Hollywood’s biggest night. Look for me at the ceremony … I’ll be all the way in the back, wearing a rented tuxedo and sobbing.”

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum will be located on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles and will be “immersive, experimental, educational and entertaining,” says W+K. “More than a museum, this dynamic film center will offer unparalleled experiences and insights into movies and moviemaking.”

Client: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Project: Academy Museum

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Creative Directors: Jason Kreher
Copywriter / CD: Erik Fahrenkopf
Art Director / CD: Max Stinson
Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Matt Dilmore
Partner/Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Head of Production: Mercedes Allen-Sarria
Head of Production: Rachel Glaub
Producer: Nick Shandra
Director of Photography: Chris Soos
Production Designer: Josh Locy

Editorial Company: Joint
Editor: Nick Davis
Post Producer: Chris Girard
Post Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

VFX Company: KEVIN
VFX Supervisor: Tim Davies
Flame Artist:
VFX Producer: Samantha Hernandez

Music+Sound Company: Extreme Music
Sound Designer:
Song (if applicable): Dreamin’ Easy

Mix Company: Joint
Mixer: Noah Woodburn

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.