When it comes to awards, timing is everything.

Somehow I was able to see both The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. And while I found both to be entertaining and well-acted (I’d give both a solid ‘B’) it left me feeling a little suspicious of awards season. They are both being touted as Oscar contenders and have received multiple Golden Globe nominations. But if they had been released over the summer, or in March, would the results be the same? Are they hyped because of the time of year or are they hyped because they are award-worthy films? It’s gray to me.

We’ve become conditioned to associate releases around this time of year as Oscar contenders. And I’m as guilty as anyone, gobbling up cool trailers in the spring and summer months, dying to see these movies during awards season. In my opinion, this is just one of the many things wrong with the Oscars. It’s almost become over-marketed, which is the very thing they have been trying to resist.

That being said, three thoughts on The Wolf of Wall Street:

  • It’s a Scorsese film, we get it. I felt like Martin Scorsese was trying to prove that ‘hey, he still has it’ in 2013. He can glorify debauchery better than anyone. But, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, it was actually a little too much.
  • DiCaprio was good, as usual. Was he great? No. Well, not when you hold him up against…himself. He’s that good. And that’s not his fault. It’s not even his best performance in a Scorsese film.
  • Jonah Hill, on the other hand…He, was awesome. Did he turn in a great acting performance? No. He just turned in a great performance in a role that was written just for him.
  • And, while we’re here, three thoughts on American Hustle:

  • David O. Russell is that good. This wasn’t his best film. But he has solidified a pace and a rhythm that is his own, much like Tarantino, Scorsese, Nolan – you know when you are watching a Russell film. That being said I think he should trust that fact and not try to force slow motion set to 70s jams down our throats. One or two well-timed scenes would work. More than that and it feels lazy.
  • Christian Bale. Damn, man, what can you say that hasn’t been said? Is there anyone better right now
  • Amy Adams’ wardrobe is out of control. At one point some women in the audience were actually laughing. It was over-the-top, in a good way, and I’m sure they spent a lot of money on tape.
  • Social commerce. It’s not coming. It’s here!

    Kind of sort of. Camera manufacturer Leica is showing us how easy it can be to actually drive sales of a product through a social channel. In this case the network is Instagram.

    There is no ‘purchase’ button, as we know, so why not just create one? Arco is a Brazilian start-up company that allows you to purchase items on Instagram. To purchase the camera you will need to register with Arco, then follow Leica on Instagram. Leica started filling its Instagram feed this week with photos taken on the new camera. To purchase a camera, you simply write “Purchase” in the comments on one of the photos.

    From a marketing perspective, I love this idea. It allows you to:

  • Build a community
  • Focus on engaging with its community
  • Tie the program to a measurable element
  • From a consumer perspective…I don’t know if I love it. That’s a lot of work to buy the camera if I can just buy it directly on the site or a service like Amazon. Maybe there’s a special discount. Maybe I can get it before everyone else. I’m not sure as the promotion details here didn’t cover that.

    But no matter what, you have to pay attention to how brands are trying to gain control over how their products are perceived, received and purchased through their own channels. A lot has been written about the biggest and greatest trends of 2014 – but social commerce is at the top of my ‘watch’ list.

    You know porn when you see it. And I know a mobile revolution when I see it.

    And the two go hand-in-hand apparently. I swear, I have no personal experience with this and was therefore pretty shocked when I read how much porn is being consumed on our mobiles. (Well, not “our” mobiles as in you and me. I’m not saying you watch porn on your phone. Or I do, for that matter. I mean “ours” in the figurative, collective sense that is the United States.)

    Here, read for yourself. Or, check out this excerpt from the article:

    “The U.S. is far and away leading the world [when it comes to viewing on mobiles]. In 2012, 46% of Pornhub activity from the U.S. was still coming from desktop browsers. In just the last year, that share has dropped substantially to only 38%.

     Smartphones now account for a majority of visits at Pornhub, fully 52%. Another 10% is going to tablets. Britain come closest to the U.S. in mobile usage, with 43% of Pornhub visits coming from handsets and 15% from tablets.”

    I hate the fact that I needed porn to prove it but as I said last year, the mobile shift is in-progress. ‘The shift’ refers to how we use our phones, not what we use them for. We’re already using our phone for banking, entertainment, email, etc. – but still go home and browse, view/read, work on our desktops/laptops. That is changing as our mobile isn’t just replacing our computer…it’s now replacing the need for it. I said earlier that social commerce is at the top of my ‘watch’ list. And that’s true. But the mobile shift is a close, close second.

    It’s been a year already?

    I remember sitting down the morning of New Year’s day. It was quiet. It was early. I was the only one up, and I decided it was time to recommit myself to blogging. Like most everything else there was no perfect way or time to get started. I just had to…start. So I did. I used an old format that worked for me way back when (in the days of The Tasty Burger for those ‘older’ fans), which was just a run down of stories and my take on them.

    And now, after blogging for all but three weeks last year (thank you to my guest bloggers) I can tell you…it’s freaking hard! But a lot of fun. And if you’ve been reading and taking the trip with me, thank you. If you’re a fairly new reader – stay tuned on a regular basis. I promise you, sooner or later I’ll cover something that interests you.

    As for what I learned through the whole process? I’ll be posting that blog soon.

    Thanks for reading in 2013 and I hope you keep reading in 2014.