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Oscars ads vary from mimicry to empowered, humorous to artistic


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

March 4, 2018 | 7 min read

Nothing touches the Super Bowl in terms of advertising dollars, but the Oscars broadcast certainly comes as close as it can. At up to $2.6m per spot, the Academy Awards commands a high price, and considering the anticipation following the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in Hollywood, this may turn out to be one of the most watched Oscar nights in a long time.

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel decides to host the Oscars again

While much of the content for the Super Bowl is made specifically for that moment, Oscars advertisers haven’t put forth much original ad content, at least in advance of the evening. Still, there are a few brands and organizations using the entertainment industry’s biggest night to put forth some campaigns.

Click on the Creative Works boxes to view the videos and images from each campaign.

Her Oscar

Since the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo has grown stronger, and with it more women taking charge and trying to end discrimination and sexual harassment in the industry. Certainly, movements like Free the Bid have helped as well, and now a new push to end gender discrimination has come out in time for the Oscars.

‘Her Oscar’ is a movement to demand the Academy Awards for equal representation of genders. The movement points out that only 4% of the top films in the last 13 years have been directed by women, and women are underrepresented at all levels, with 22% producers, 11% writers, 7% directors and 1% composers. The movement states that the ones who do make it still have to deal with fewer roles, less speech time on screen, the struggles of obtaining higher positions and an existing unfair pay gap between genders.

A release stated: “The world is not looking away anymore, and a team of creatives who fight against social injustices identified the Academy Awards Ceremony as the best opportunity to put gender injustices in the spotlight, by turning their most iconic symbol, the Oscar statue, into a woman.”

An accompanying promo for – which has a petition to demand the Academy Awards nominate films with at least 50% women participation either on or off screen – shows Angelina Jolie talking about inequality in the movie business, and then shows a female-shaped Oscar and a plea to make every voice heard.

Her Oscar: advert-body-1

By Her Oscar

Overall Rating 5/5

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Kimmel Hosts Again

There is no doubt that last year’s Oscars ceremony ended on a very weird note, with Warren Beatty reading the wrong movie, La La Land, as the winner of Best Picture, when the real winner was Moonlight. Turns out, the actor was given the wrong envelope, which led to one of the most awkward moments in Oscar history.

With last year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, back again for the 90th Academy Awards festivities, ABC decided to have some fun with it. In a 60-second promo, Kimmel recalls all the piles of mail in response to the night as he appears to be on a couch at a psychologist’s office. As Kimmel claims he’s losing his mind, especially since they’ve asked him back to host again, and asks what appears to be the doctor what he should do, it cuts to Beatty, who tells him, “I don’t care what you do, just get out of my house.”

ABC: advert-body-2


Overall Rating 1/5

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Shutterstock’s Oscar Pop!

Each year, stock photography and art company Shutterstock has its designers reimagine the Academy Award Best Picture nominees in the style of an artist who inspires them, using the company’s collection of photos, vectors, and illustrations. Now in its sixth year, the Oscar Pop! challenge is one of their designers’ favorite ways to experiment with new styles and see what’s possible with Shutterstock content.

The artists worked with a diverse set of nominees, from war films and coming-of-age dramas, to a nostalgia-laden monster flick and a rare horror film entry, and styles used range from pop art to minimalism, typographic to psychedelic. Inspiration came from artists like Keith Haring (Get Out) to Takashi Murakami (Dunkirk) and Richard Hamilton.

Shutterstock: advert-body-2 by Shutterstock

By Shutterstock

Overall Rating 4/5

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Three Billboards Over Ohio

While this stunt by a Philadelphia area home remodeling company may not be directly associated with the Oscars, it certainly mimics one of the most nominated movies of the year in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Power Home Remodeling, a Chester, Pennsylvania company, put up three billboards outside Cleveland, Ohio, trying to convince NBA star LeBron James to come to Philadelphia to play with the 76ers. One sign features James’ #23 in maroon with a crown, on a court with four blue numbers of 76ers starters. Another says ‘Complete The Process’ while a third says ‘#PhillyWantsLeBron.’

“Our people are our most important asset at Power and we thought this would be a fun way to engage our employees across the country while also supporting our hometown, Philadelphia,” said the company in a statement, adding they hoped the billboards would get the company entered into a national dialogue in a fun and creative way and continue the city’s winning ways after the Super Bowl.

The stunt has been a success, with employees pleased and plenty of coverage in the media and on social channels. “The hashtag #phillywantslebron has gone from zero mentions to more than 12,000 on Twitter alone,” said the company. “If you search LeBron and Billboards, Twitter returns an audience of more than 80 million reached.”

Others have tried the stunt as well, with an artist named Sabo putting up three billboards against sexual misconduct in Hollywood with sings that read: “And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to…” and “We all knew and still no arrests” and “Name names on stage or shut the hell up!”

Another in London called attention to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy with a traveling billboard trio stating “71 Dead, and Still No Arrests? How Come?”

Power Home Remodeling: advert-body-1

By Power Home Remodeling

Overall Rating 5/5

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Carl’s Jr Hosts ‘The Thickies’

Carl’s Jr. is celebrating its fans by hosting its own social media awards show on Twitter (@CarlsJr) leading up to, and during, the Oscars. Named after the chain’s Thickburgers, those on the internet will be vying for the Thickie Award (#TheThickies).

Carl’s Jr. will recognize fans across a variety of categories including Best Tweet, Best Food Selfie, Best DM, and Best Food Review, Best Carl and even Best Hater.

The burger chain will engage fans on Twitter, and it states that while anyone/any content from the past year is eligible, they give a helpful hint to put up something fresh leading to Sunday’s award show. All award winners will be announced on Sunday, March 4. Prizes include a trophy and $25 gift card to Carl’s Jr.

Carl's Jr.: advert-body-3

By Carl's Jr.

Overall Rating 0/5

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For more Oscars coverage by The Drum click here.

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