NEW YORK: Does huge media coverage necessarily ensure an Oscar
In most cases, it would seem, the answer is yes.
Media measurement firm Right Angle Research analyzed press, television
and radio mentions between February 13, the day the nominations were
announced, and last Sunday's event. The firm, whose clients include Polo
Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Donna Karan, correctly predicted five of the six
categories based on media coverage.
According to Right Angle, the drug-centric movie Traffic garnered the
most media coverage, worth dollars 1,961,376. Though Gladiator
vanquished the competition with most mentions, Traffic's media
placements were considered more valuable.
While it didn't take a genius to figure out that Russell Crowe and Julia
Roberts were going home with the Best Actor and Actress awards, Right
Angle also correctly predicted the outcome of the less clear-cut
categories, proving the media's muscle. It said Gladiator would be named
Best Picture ahead of the other favorite, Traffic; and that Steven
Soderbergh would win Best Director for that film ahead of his other
nomination for Erin Brockovich and Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon. The firm also correctly named Benicio Del Toro as Best
The only wrong forecast was in the Best Supporting Actress category,
which Right Angle predicted would go to Kate Hudson. The award went to
Pollock star Marcia Gay Harden.
Following the ceremony, Right Angle also analyzed mentions of fashion
designers. Taking home the award for highest number and most valuable
mentions was Italian designer Giorgio Armani, clocking up dollars
990,459 worth of coverage for having clothed Billy Elliott star Jamie
Bell and having been mentioned by presenter Steve Martin, among other
name checks. Calvin Klein received the second largest number of Oscar
mentions while Donna Karan received the second most valuable amount of
Larry Hotz, a former Hugo Boss marketing executive and now chief
executive of Right Angle, said: 'Everyone has a criticism of the media,
about whether it reflects what people are truly thinking. This shows the
veracity of the media.' However, describing something of a chicken-egg
conundrum, Hotz added that the media also leads public thinking.
And what of the media's extensive coverage of Kate Hudson, which failed
to result in a win, causing the greatest upset of the night? Hotz
explained that sometimes the media just wants to write about the best
See Big Pitch, p. 12
Julia Roberts and Russell Crowe surprised no one by taking home Oscars
for their lead roles in Erin Brockovich and Gladiator, respectively. To
the amazement of many, however, Kate Hudson was denied Best Supporting
Actress, despite a huge PR push for her role in Almost Famous. Of
course, the winners on this evening were not restricted to actors. The
Academy Awards ceremony is one of the biggest events in the fashion
world as well. Giorgio Armani, who clothed Jamie Bell of Billy Elliott,
among others, is another clear-cut victor.