The real winners of Oscar night revealed

NEW YORK: Does huge media coverage necessarily ensure an Oscar

winner?



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

Supporting Actor.



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

placements.



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

story.



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.



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