When the president of your agency says he wants you to live-tweet the Academy Awards on behalf of your entire agency, you say “yes!” and figure things out later. And that’s exactly what I did.
It wasn’t my first time live-tweeting an event like the Oscars, but it was my first time “flying solo” to share my thoughts, 140 characters at a time, to almost 2,000 followers. Gulp. Fueled by Peanut M&Ms and kept warm by a space heater AND an electric blanket, I came, I watched and I’d like to think I conquered, just a little bit.
To be honest, I thought it was an evening peppered with missteps, flubs and jokes that landed somewhat awkwardly (sorry, NPH, but it had to be said). But, casting aside the whole prediction box shtick that went on entirely too long, there were a lot of really great moments, too.
If you didn’t make it through the show’s almost four-hour runtime, or felt like you missed a few things along the way, no worries. I’ve got you covered with some of my Oscar-night favorites:
Best Speech of the Night: To me, this one HAS to go to J.K. Simmons, who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor early in the evening. While some winners use their moment at the microphone as an opportunity to read a long list of key Hollywood players, producers and publicists, J.K. made his acceptance speech a touching tribute to his wife and children. Something about him is just so darn relatable. It could have been anyone’s dad up there, accepting that Oscar, and for me, that made the moment just a little bit magical. Then, when J.K. closed his speech by reminding us all that if we’re lucky enough to “have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ‘em,” he had me nearly in tears. “Don’t text. Don’t email,” he urged. “Call them on the phone. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.” It was, essentially, a love letter shared with the whole world: heartfelt, real and relatable. He killed it.
Honorable Mention to screenwriter Graham Moore, whose “Stay Weird” speech was just about as brilliant and beautiful as his screenplay for The Imitation Game. It was one of my favorite moments of the whole evening, amplified by the simple fact that, hours earlier, most of us had probably never even heard the name “Graham Moore.” Now, it’s the name on everyone’s lips (and Twitter feeds).
Best Integrated Social Campaign: Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign did just that. It spoke beautifully on the power of positivity when it comes to social media, challenging us all to transform the way we think, talk and tweet about beauty and body image. The social movement, driven by a powerfully simple TV spot, reminded us “it only takes one positive tweet to start a trend.” What I loved more than anything about #SpeakBeautiful is that Dove, a brand so well known for empowering women, is still finding new and innovative ways to do so.
Honorable Mention to #AskHerMore, a Twitter campaign that challenges red carpet reporters to dig a little deeper on Hollywood’s biggest night. The movement, created by The Representation Project in 2014 and championed by Reese Witherspoon, aims to shift the media’s collective focus away from actresses’ appearances and more on their careers, goals and achievements. Tweeters could even use #AskHerMore to suggest questions to reporters live on the red carpet. The power of social media, put to good use.
Best Product Placement: Hands down, this award has LEGO written all over it. While many were upset The Lego Movie didn’t receive a nod for Best Animated Feature, the brand still managed to walk away a winner last night. How? By capitalizing on what could only be described as the most… eccentric (?) musical performance of the evening. After all, the “Everything is Awesome” performance did actually have a little bit of everything: Dancing possums, Tegan and Sara and the Lonely Island, for starters. There were also construction workers, and Will Forte in a Batman suit. There were astronauts too, because… why not? The highlight, however, was when the dancers clad in cowboy garb ran into the audience, passing out LEGO-made Oscar statues to everyone from Oprah to Emma, Hollywood A-listers who happily held up their prizes throughout the night. And Oprah’s face when she was handed that award? Everything was awesome, indeed.
Best Unpaid/Unexpected Product Placement: Hats off to Farmers Insurance, who unintentionally scored a HUGE win along with J.K. Simmons. Sure, Farmers had nothing to do with the Academy Awards themselves, but J.K. is arguably most widely recognized as the star of Farmers’ TV commercials. And when the host of the Oscars sings your company’s jingle to the estimated 34.6 million people watching, and you didn’t pay a dime for it? You are winners… Bum-ba-dum-bum-bum-bum-bum!
Best Commercial: A simple format + an attention-grabbing premise… it’s McDonald’s “Ingredients” spot, all the way. I was completely engrossed by this commercial way before I knew what it was advertising, guessing the movie being hinted at in each frame and genuinely enjoying the experience of watching it. By the time the “two all-beef patties…” message came up, I was totally hooked.
Best Surprise Moment of the Night: This award goes to Adele Dazeem and Glom Gazingo for embracing the awkwardness and laughing at themselves. Well, mostly laughing at Glom, really. But still. Loved it.
Best #Oscars Tweet: Seth Meyers, you nailed it, as far as I’m concerned.
Honorable Mention: Very rarely does a tweet make me laugh out loud, but this one did.
Jess Forrester is Senior Copywriter at AKHIA and Co-editor of The Brew.