Oscar Wild!

This coming Sunday is the annual Oscar night. Although I have written about my anti-celebrity stance and distaste for the fuss around the Oscars before (see Oscar Fright, February 2005), I’ve only recently researched how much the whole affair costs.Based on 2005/6 figures, with hundreds of events happening around Los Angeles in the days surrounding the Academy Awards, it all comes with a combined price tag of approximately $150 million.

A giant mobilization of event producers, marketers, and vendors yields hundreds of events, from small scale to massive run constantly during Oscar week.

For example, some of the top events include:

* Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences’ Official Governers Ball
* Vanity Fair’s Exclusive party
* AIDS Project LA’s
* Elton John AIDS foundation benefit
* The night of 100 stars

These top five events may cost $10 million

Imagine what it must be like in LA with execs running around in the top hotels, all booked in for what appears to be limitless luxury! Research based on estimates provided by event producers and suppliers reveals that the 100 biggest events in the days surrounding the Oscars will generate at least $150 million in revenue for the city’s event and hospitality industries.

Other costs include:

Suites in West Hollywood costing between $3000-£3500/week
Gift bags* at approx $80,000 each ! – (Typically consisting of cars!? Jewelry and high cost branded items)

Although one could suggest that informal meeting take place at these events between marketers,should we not be questioning this behaviour ? Especially as there appears to be no boundary or sense of what is fair in life’s balance. I’m certainly not suggesting that we do not enjoy ourselves or being jealous but there does need to be a sense of proportion.

I tend to be a fan of the company that makes a movie on a budget. Maybe it is because I want to prove that we all have the power to be creative and although home made movies may not have the gloss of Hollywood, they ‘make it’ on their sheer determination and rising above the mayhem of hype.

What about the cost of advertising?
A new report from research firm TNS Media Intelligence, shows annual advertising during the Oscar broadcast has more than doubled during the past 12 years to greater than $80 million in 2006. Further analysis reveals that total advertisers revenue is up 168% since 1995 and 28% alone during the past five years of available data.

The average 30-second spot price only fell once from 1995-2006 period, i.e: in 2001 when it fell from $1.45 million to $1.29 million in 2002 – due probably to the dot-com bust and the Sept. 11 attacks. In 2007, the average 30-second spot on TV (American Broadcasting Corporation – ABC) will cost approximately $1.7 million, up 5% from last year.

What does this tell us about the state of the industry.
Bottom-line – We fuel Hollywood when we really should not be giving it so much importance.

Categories: 2007, Anti-Poverty, Corporate Responsibility

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