by Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
There has been quite a lot of buzz around this year's Oscar nominees and this Sunday we'll be able to pull up a seat to watch the 81st Annual Academy Awards on ABC and see who get to take home a coveted Oscar. We have some favorites back this year, as well as some brand new names, with a first time host, Hugh Jackman.
As with the Super Bowl there will be some memorable ads broadcast during the telecast. Here's a few of this year's interactive promotions associated with it.
First off the film academy is adding a "Project Runway" element to the Oscars this year by asking the public to vote on which dress the trophy presenter will wear. Fans were able to vote online for their favorite gown up until yesterday, Feb. 17, with the winner of the "Oscars Designer Challenge" being announced during the red-carpet show preceding the Feb. 22 Academy Awards.
The academy invited seven emerging designers to create gowns for the competition. They unveiled their entries earlier this month during the annual Oscar fashion show at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' headquarters.
The winning dress "will be seen on Oscar night probably more than any other gown on the red carpet," said Oscar fashion coordinator Patty Fox. She and show producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon selected the competing designers.
Moire Conroy, Alan Del Rosario, Sam Kori George, Marianne Kooimans, Maria Pinto, Nicolas Putvinski and Robert Rodriguez each had about three weeks to design their dress.
Maria Pinto, famous for making Michelle Obama's Inauguration Day dress, called her Oscar entry "modern Marie Antoinette." The strapless silver column pictured here "is a study of control and release," she said, noting that pleats at the waist shape a makeshift bustle in back.
Del Rosario, who already counts Michelle Pfeiffer and Debra Messing among his clients, said he was inspired by "old Hollywood glamor" when creating his strapless silk-and-lace mermaid gown. "The Oscars is all-time glamour," he said. "It's one of those events when a woman can go all out."
A big sponsor of this year's Oscars is Diet Coke who will be promoting their Red Dress Program. Diet Coke has joined forces with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health to raise awareness about women's risk of heart disease -- in support of NHLBI's The Heart Truth campaign. To help celebrate American Heart Month in February, Diet Coke will tie-in with high-profile events such as the Academy Awards as well as The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection fashion show at Fashion Week 2009.
Throughout March and April Diet Coke will spread the heart-health message to communities by taking the show to these six U.S. cities.
* Minneapolis, MN: March 6-8
* Houston, TX: March 13-15
* Los Angeles, CA: March 20-22
* Charlotte, NC: April 3-5
* New York, NY: April 15-17
* Atlanta, GA: April 24-26
Diet Coke has also unveiled new packaging and programs featuring The Heart Truth and Red Dress logos and messages on heart health. They also are sponsoring the Charmed Sweepstakes and giving entrants the chance to win a limited-edition diamond and ruby Diet Coke Red Dress charm designed by Heidi Klum.
TrueNorth Snacks is a new brand of 100% natural nut snacks made by Frito-Lay. They have sponsored a consumer-generated-content contest which will result in them airing the most extraordinary "True North" story in a 60-second commercial directed by Helen Hunt during the Oscars. They invited participants to submit a "True North" story in 300 words or less which they defined as something amazing, something that makes the world a better or more interesting place or simply a passion that inspires you to get up in the morning because you know it’s your purpose on earth.
There are currently 5 extraordinary True North stories featured as finalists here on their website that you can check out. One of these stories will be the winner who will also receive $25,000 in cash beside having their story turned into a commercial. So check it out.
Now I've only seen a couple of the films this year that have been nominated for some of the top categories. We're all anticipating Health Ledger to take the Best Supporting Actor category for his role as the Joker in the Dark Knight. He won the Golden Globe and I think he'll also be awarded this one. Unfortunately it will be his first and last. The big question is will Slum Dog Millionaire walk away with Best Picture? I haven't seen it, so I can't say. Any opinions please share them with us.