Ron Perlman and Autodesk celebrate fictitious filmmaker ‘Otto Desc’ during the Oscars
B2B platform Autodesk plans to introduce audiences to a new kind of auteur in a mockumentary during The Oscars telecast this weekend.
Cinephiles tuning in to The Oscars on ABC this weekend may encounter an ad lauding what appears to be a seminal filmmaker named Otto Desć. (Spoiler alert: if his name sounds oddly familiar, it’s because the commercial is actually for Autodesk, a B2B visual effects software platform.)
In the ad, film industry legends – like Hellboy actor Ron Perlman, Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks and Elvis cinematographer Mandy Walker – muse on this so-called “Hollywood legend,” “world-builder” and “visionary,” giving thanks for Desć’s incalculable contributions over the years.
The filmmaker appears like various 20th-century auteurs, like Alfred Hitchcock, seen from the profile in black-and-white, and John Ford, when he shoots a film in what appears to be Monument Valley.
The spot then cuts to the awards show itself, where a plot twist is revealed. Otto Desć is not a human being at all, but rather a software platform whose name is phonetically identical: Autodesk.
The work aims to shed light on an unsung hero of the film industry, Autodesk, which is often used by filmmakers to create visual effects.
“We’ve had an outside impact in the media and entertainment industry for years … Almost every Visual Effects Oscar winner since 1997 has used our product,” says Dara Treseder, chief marketing officer at Autodesk. “[With] The Oscars coming up, we thought, ‘Autodesk has been a part of it in the background. This is an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on what our customers can achieve with our software.’”
Treseder brought on Ryan Reynolds’s creative agency, Maximum Effort, to develop the campaign’s three separate spots. The Oscars campaign comes on the heels of Maximum Effort’s #WalkingDeadvertising series that featured Autodesk, Deloitte, DoorDash and Ring during The Walking Dead finale in November of 2022.
Treseder adds: “They’re a great creative partner for driving business value, because they help put us in the cultural context, in an organic way that celebrates our consumers.”
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