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[THE OSCARS]

Oscars' commercials no match for Super Bowl's

February 26, 2007|Kevin Crust | Times Staff Writer

David Mamet once wrote that America has only two "legitimate" national holidays, the Super Bowl and the Oscars, defined as holidays with a "specific, naturally evolved meaning" that bring "we, the people" together in celebration.

I doubt he had in mind one of the events' more bizarre sub-rituals: the level of interest in the commercials, which sometimes threaten to usurp the main event. I'm pretty sure I saw and read a lot more about that Snickers spot than I did about the substance of the game.

In stark contrast with the Super Bowl's testosterone-fueled spots, tAcademy Awards advertising is decidedly aimed at females. But despite the $1.7-million-per-30-seconds price tag and the 40 million or so U.S. audience, Oscar advertisers don't go out of their way to create the over-the-top commercials that become water-cooler fodder the morning after the Big Game.

And unless I was a Dove-bathed, plus-size woman dipped in L'Oreal who drinks Diet Coke, eats at McDonald's, pops M&Ms, drives a Cadillac fueled by Chevron (but was considering Mercedes, Chrysler or Honda), buys Minute Maid and organic foods at Vons, shops at JC Penney and Target using my MasterCard and American Express credit cards and can't wait to get an Apple iPhone come June, I would have been hard-pressed to be enticed by any of the commercials -- many have already been airing.

Some of it was effective, but it's doubtful any of it will be argued about on "The View."

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kevin.crust@latimes.com

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