Why do recent movie ads make a point of saying "awards eligible"?
August 16, 2021 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Recently, many ads that I see or hear for movies and TV shows include the description "awards eligible." Why do they say this? When I'm deciding what I'd like to watch, I don't consider whether or not the film is "awards eligible." I don't care. Do they think I care? Should I care? There must be someone important who does care. Who? Why? Does the assertion help establish eligibility? What do they gain by using that second or two to say the words "awards eligible"?
posted by Corvid to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Best answer: It's for the people who vote for nominations and awards. It's become especially important in the age of COVID-limited releases and streaming services; stuff that wouldn't have been eligible 5 years ago is eligible now.

We've had similar advertising in LA for as long as I can remember: "For Your Consideration" ads targeted specifically at members of the various guilds and academies.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:22 PM on August 16, 2021 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding mr roboto. It's not aimed at you. You don't care. Most people don't care. But people who are eligible to vote for those awards? They might care!

(And a separate note that "nationwide" ad buys are way cheaper per view than targeted ones, even just regionally targeted, so it might just not be worth it to the company to pay an extra 25% or whatever to target those ads to LA & NY, where 90% of the people who care are.)
posted by brainmouse at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: mr_roboto covers off the main reason, but there's also a general suggestion of quality in the statement that something is "awards eligible" because it follows implicitly that the show could or should be considered. So a normal schmo who is flipping through options might be more inclined to give it a shot.
posted by AgentRocket at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2021

Best answer: As another data point, my father can vote for awards, and, at least in NYC back in the pre-COVID times, he could see nominees for free by showing his guild membership card. A lot of movies came on dvd screeners, but it’s good to see live with an audience in a theater. When the ad tells you a movie is in contention and you can go for free, you would be more likely to watch.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:53 PM on August 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'll sleep much better now without this naggy question itching at the back of my brain!
posted by Corvid at 3:05 PM on August 16, 2021

Best answer: If you live in LA (especially Hollywood/etc area, as I did for a long time), you'll even see billboards specifically saying "Vote for {insert show name} for {insert award name}!". Even here, a tiny percentage of people who see the billboard are eligible to vote, but apparently studios believe its effective/worth it.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:22 PM on August 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: apparently studios believe its effective/worth it.

it is worth it because the act of spending money on outdoor advertising demonstrates that the studio values the producer, star, and creative team. the studio will take out ads even when they know the film/show doesn't have a chance in hell of winning anything because they don't want to sour those relationships.

source: two decades working in entertainment advertising
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:31 PM on August 16, 2021 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding what roger ackroyd says. The majority of those buys, especially outdoor advertising in LA, are about the distributor's relationship with the talent. (Source: my way-too-many years working in the industry + my parent's lifelong career.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:27 PM on August 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: To roger ackroyda and blahlala's points: People I know who are film studio execs often laugh about how the billboards near their houses always have ads for their films. The marketing department does it on purpose in order to keep the development execs happy and ease tension between the departments. (It does not work because the development execs know they're doing it, but they apparently keep doing it anyway.)
posted by branca at 6:27 AM on August 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

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