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What Adland Can Learn from Oscars 2017



Laura Swinton congratulates MPC and considers the stories from the night

What Adland Can Learn from Oscars 2017

Well Oscars 2017 proved to be packed with more talking points than we might have otherwise predicted. There’s Mahershala Ali’s historic win, the digs at Trump, Asghar Farhadi’s victory in the Foreign Language category as he stayed away from the ceremony (and the whole US) in protest at the controversial travel ban… oh, yeah, and like, apparently there was some wee mix up with the Best Picture winner. But amidst all the drama, the category we had our eyes on was Best Visual Effects, where MPC took home a little gold man for wild work on The Jungle Book.

Speaking to one friend who works there, the whole team are bound to be celebrating all year. And well they might. The hyper real CG environment and characters had many describing this largely digital film as a ‘live action’ version of the classic Kipling tale – when in reality, Mowgli aside, the movie is as animated as the 1967 version. It’s a testament to the skill of those involved. At MPC specifically and across the industry, advances in technology and artistry mean that the experts are now capable of levels of realism that are quite breath taking. (Back when The Jungle Book launched, we spoke to MPC and others about what it takes to turn pixels into believable creatures.)

Because the next best thing to winning an Oscar is having a tangential relationship with someone who has, the award is also worth celebrating by those across the advertising and production community. It shows what can happen when worlds collide and ideas mix. 

And there’s a few other key pointers that adland could do with taking away from this year’s Academy Awards.

The first is that opening yourself up to different perspectives and voices can lead to ideas and stories that are fresh and new. Moonlight is one of those films that defies categorisation or expectation – it doesn’t fit into an easy pre-conceived genre or formula, which frees it up to tell a story that’s truly original. Diversity=creativity. Who’da thunk it. (That said, Casey Affleck’s win might be somewhat less edifying for the awards body.)

And, coming just a year after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, the diversity of the nominees was really refreshing this year. It also meant that no film or actor had the weight of shouldering a whole demographic – and without tokenism each film could be judged by its own merit. 

The second is that, while the advertising holding companies are eyeing up big consultancies nervously… maybe they don’t have so much to worry about after all. PWC, who have handled the vote counting for 83 years, admitted to the accidental La La Land/Moonlight switcheroo. If it had been an ad agency… well… you can sort of get away with a bit of scatterbrained eccentricity in the name of mercurial creativity. Big old serious consultancies that do big old serious things like accountancy and bang on about their big data capabilities… not so much.

So, like I said, an interesting old year. Congrats again to MPC for their win!

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LBB Editorial, Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:55:09 GMT