Commercials at the Oscars Play It Safe and Play It Again The #1 Site about Academy Award Broadcast Advertising and Commercials The #1 Site about Academy Award Broadcast Advertising and Commercials

The Oscar show on Sunday was predictable, dull, formulaic and repetitive.

And that was just the commercials.

For the third year in a row, most of the sponsors of the Academy Awards broadcast on ABC played it safe rather than broke new ground. For instance, many spots were recycled from other live television events this month, like Super Bowl XLV; some even made their debuts last year.

The Oscars were once known as a showplace for new commercials, much as the Super Bowl. But as Macy’s declared decades ago, “It’s smart to be thrifty,” and even as the economy recovers, advertisers seem to believe it cannot hurt to be prudent and rerun spots that have already been produced.

For McDonald’s, it was a repeat of a repeat. Last year, both commercials the company ran had been seen before. This year, there were also two spots, neither of which was new.

All three commercials from AT&T on Sunday had run before on other programs. Other examples included spots for the movie “Super 8” coming from Paramount Pictures, M&M’s, Stella Artois beer, Sprint and several products sold by Johnson & Johnson, among them Acuvue contact lenses and Zyrtec Liquid Gels.

There was a further echo effect when sponsors like American Express and Sprint ran the same commercial more than once during the broadcast.

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