5 brands were deliberately political with their Oscar ads this year

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This year's Oscars was set up to be a politically charged night but it was brands, not actors, who made the biggest statements.

The awards show is the second biggest live television event in the United States, after the Super Bowl. This year, brands paid up to $2.1 million for a 30-second spot during the film industry's biggest annual event, according to Variety.

From uniting the nation to championing women, these were the most politically charged ads from the 2017 Oscars.

1. Cadillac - "Carry"

The automotive brand aired four ads during the Oscars but its most powerful one called on people to unite a divided nation.

The ad included footage of Mohammed Ali, Marilyn Monroe, and Dwight Eisenhower to show how different people have the power to unite the country.


2. GE - "Millie Dresselhaus"

GE's Oscars ad called for more women in engineering roles.

The theme of the ad echoes Audi's Super Bowl commercial, which called for gender pay equality, but takes on a more fun approach by asking what would happen if scientist Mildred Dresselhaus was treated as a celebrity.

The scientist, who was known as the "Queen of Carbon" thanks to her research into the properties of the chemical element, died two days before the awards ceremony at the age of 86.


3. Hyatt - "For a world of understanding"

To the tune of the well-known Burt Bacharach song "What the world needs now is love," Hyatt highlighted human connections across different cultures.

The ad opened with a Muslim woman and then ran through different scenarios of people from different cultures traveling around the world and forming friendships, before ending on the tagline: "For a world of understanding."

The commercial is part of Hyatt's new brand platform "World of Hyatt."


4. Audible - "1984"

Amazon-owned ebook company Audible went with a sober ad, with a quote from George Orwell's 1984.

The star of the ad, "Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto, reads out the quote: "If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate."

Users on Twitter came out in support of the commercial's message:


5. New York Times - "The truth is..."

The newspaper used the Oscars to launch its first brand campaign in over a decade and it didn't shy away from confrontation.

The minimalistic ad describes the different definitions of truth to show the difficulty and importance of the NY Times' reporting.

The ad even got a reaction from US President Trump, who has frequently labeled the newspaper as part of the "fake news media."


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