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And the PR Oscar Goes To...

PR pro Ronn Torossian recently offered his insights into the PR “winners and losers” at this past Sunday’s Oscars awards ceremony (read the article here: http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/PR_winners_and_losers_at_the_Oscars_4...). I decided I would offer my own PR insights to this annual celebration of women’s dress fashions, sorry, I mean, celebration of cinematic achievement.
Top Winner
There were certainly a lot of winners at the Oscars—Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o, and Cate Blanchett among others—but the biggest winner would have to be Edgar Martirosyan.
Eh? Oh, was he the director of GRAVITY?
Not exactly. Edgar was the very surprised pizza delivery dude who found himself summoned by Oscars emcee comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to deliver pizza slices to some of Ellen’s pals in the audience…you know, regular folks like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Martin Scorcese, to name a few.
As CNN reported (http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/showbiz/oscars-pizza-delivery-guy/), Edgar might now be “the world’s most famous pizza deliveryman,” and the chain for which he works, Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria, has seen their business go through the proverbial roof at all 20 of their locations.
Nothing like impromptu, comedic, national publicity featuring Hollywood’s A-listers that cost the client the price of a couple cheese pies. Imagine if Domino’s for instance wanted to do a commercial with the aforementioned stars, AND Meryl Streep, Mr. McConaughey, Ms. Blanchett, Mr. Leto and other top-grossing Hollywood celebrities. Gee, that would cost probably, about, say, AH-GAZILLION dollars.
Got the budget for that?
Top Loser
Red Carpet Pre-Awards Shows.
If there’s one word for how the vast majority of Ryan Seacrest-types behave during these “oh-who-are-you wearing” fashion show-fests prior to awards shows like the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc., it would be this: GUSHING.
Of course, let’s tip the hat to the Father of Modern Day Public Relations, the late Ed Bernays, who back in the 1920s-40s had celebrity clients wearing the fashions of other clients at soirees like Oscar night, and is also credited with being among the first to secure product placements in movies in an era when “talkies” were still a novel thing. However, after a century or so of watching very rich women wearing very luxurious gowns that cost the equivalent of the gross GNP of most Third World countries, i.e. stealth commercials for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Versace et al, watching said ladies chatting mindlessly with whatever B-lister might be interviewing them about their incredible clothes, well, I think we’re all pretty well tired of it. Heck, I'm tired of it just writing that last sentence.
What would be refreshing is to have a contest to pick a REGULAR person who buys his/her clothes at the K-Mart/Walmart do the interviews, and instead of focusing on the actors' clothes, ask them something more interesting like, “If you didn’t get a $30,000 free dress to wear, would you be here tonight?” Okay, that is still sort of focusing on the clothes, but you get the idea.
As creative and fun (albeit WAY too long, I mean FIVE HOURS, c’mon) as the show itself was, the pre-show ceremonies have become tired, repetitive (I mean, you could have run last year’s pre-show and most viewers wouldn’t have known the difference) and in tremendous need of an infusion of new ideas, new perspective.
What might you suggest?