PR push: Marketers vie for exposure at Oscars

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The Academy Awards, held this year March 23, is a hotly contested venue for marketers to get their products exposure via handouts to celebrities and other trend-setters.

"You are conspicuous by your absence if you are not doing something around the Oscars," said Doug Piwinki, senior VP at Interpublic Group of Cos.' entertainment PR shop Bragman Nyman Carafelli. "It's a great way to get a business message to the international press," said Ted Kruckel, president of PR firm Ted Inc., New York.

This 75th anniversary will, approrpiately, be a diamond-studded affair. The Diamond Information Center plans a slew of related events and tie-ins, including the creation of a so-called Diamond Cadillac to deliver the rare rocks to celebrities.

The center, operated by WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co., linked with General Motors Corp. to create specially retro-fitted Cadillacs to transport jewels to the rich and famous. The "diamond white" vehicles will have professional jewelry cases fitted inside and be accompanied by studio lighting and a makeup counter.

postal service

Omnicom Group's Ketchum Entertainment Marketing is promoting two clients, Estee Lauder and Absolut. Estee Lauder is bringing its mobile-spa concept to actors' homes for the second year, while Absolut will deliver Oscar-themed Absolut Vanilia cocktails to the directors of nominated films and studio heads.

Even the U.S. Postal Service is getting in on the act, creating special commemorative stamps in time for the mailing of the final ballots.

Companies wanting to get their products into the winners' Oscar baskets might be surprised to know that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' selection team shut the basket in December. However, Distinctive Assets, a Los Angeles promotion firm, is creating a basket for nominees who don't win. It includes Burberry luggage, Vera Wang sunglasses, a Philips micro stereo system and Taryn Rose mink slippers.

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