The Oscars, Hollywood’s highest-profile celebration of its collective output, is a magnet for fans and TV viewers eager to catch a glimpse of their favorite celeb decked out in fantasy frocks. But with the all of the glitz and breathless (and dare we say vapid) fawning that takes place on the red carpet–replete with its dress cams, shoe cams, and nail cams–it can be easy to overlook the artistry being awarded. For the filmmakers, actors and supporting crew being honored, a final film represents a Herculean feat of bringing imagination to life.
For the 87th Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and agency 180 LA re-focused on the imagination that goes into filmmaking with the creative campaign, “Imagine What’s Possible.”
Christina Kounelias, CMO of A.M.P.A.S., says that with each campaign the Academy tries to customize the creative to meet the current zeitgeist. This year’s campaign, she says, was informed by the fact that the Academy’s members are among the most creative and influential filmmakers in the world. “We thought ‘Imagine What’s Possible’ would work well as a unifying element across the campaign–the TV spots, the artists gallery, social media–and we liked it because it speaks to both the campaign the show itself. Especially those unexpected, unscripted moments in a live event that become sensations.”
The campaign itself has two aspects: the Oscar Art Gallery, a series of artist-designed pieces that are used in key art, out-of-home, social and on broadcast telecasts; and Oscar Moments, a series short films based on unscripted moments compiled from footage of Oscar winners throughout the years.
“When you think about the Oscars, it’s where great moments happen,” says Stephen Larkin, chief marketing officer of 180LA. “We simply wanted to shine a light on this. For the film shorts, we had access to a library of footage, which was a treasure chest. And every time we went into the treasure chest, we found a new moment. Some of these moments were seen years ago and some of them have never been seen. We really wanted people to share the winners emotions when they watched these films.”
While those moments speak to a more intimate relationship that individuals have with the awards, the Oscar Art Gallery addresses the fact that the Oscars are increasingly a global phenomenon. Fifteen artists from around the world, including Blastto of Spain, Geoff McFetridge of Los Angeles, and Pomme Chan of Thailand, were tasked with interpreting the theme “Imagine What’s Possible” around the iconic Oscars statuette.
“These are international artists that personify the imagination platform,” says Larkin. “We thought it would be nice to bring these artists together and commission them to articulate the theme of this year’s show. It was inspiring to see the range of thinking and imagination.”