The Ads of the Oscars

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Budweiser "Snowball Fight"
Oscar viewers were treated to a mix of old and new advertising last night during ABC's telecast of the Academy Awards, which -- at $1.6 million per 30-second spot -- commanded the highest media prices ever for the awards spectacle. There were familiar commercials, like Diet Pepsi's "Guy Watcher" and Cadillac's "Elope" -- both of which aired on Super Bowl Sunday -- alongside new offerings from JCPenney, Sierra Mist, Budweiser, Pepsi and MasterCard, among others.

JCPenney had a substantial presence in the telecast with a series of ads -- from DDB/Chicago and Reactor Films director Thomas Kloss -- spotlighting specialty lines by Nicole Miller, Michele Bohbot, and Chris Madden while introducing a new copy line: "For all the sides of you."

Sierra Mist "Rock Paper Scissors"
In addition to its tribute to Spartacus, Pepsi introduced new work for both Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist, the latter of which signaled the launch of "The Mist-Takes," an episodic campaign featuring recognizable comedic players.

Anheuser-Busch broke a new spot featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales at play -- this time, they get into a snowball fight -- and a follow-up to a Super Bowl commercial that featured an overly protective parrot.

MasterCard "Cashier"
MasterCard, meanwhile, introduced two new "Priceless" commercials, one of which brought longtime voiceover Billy Crudup in front of the camera for the first time. In the spot -- from McCann-Erickson/N.Y. and Hungry Man director Bryan Buckley -- Crudup stars as a convenience store cashier who tries, unsuccessfully, to guess the fate of a pair of patrons.
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