Disney and ABC have sold out advertising for this year’s Academy Awards, and the ceremony will do something rare for the Oscars by premiering three exclusive trailers during the broadcast.
Among the three trailers will be for 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” directed by Steven Spielberg, which will be the first look at the film after it was delayed from release at the end of last year. They’ll also premiere a new look at “In the Heights” based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical and a trailer for “Summer of Soul,” Questlove’s documentary that premiered at Sundance and will be released by Searchlight Pictures.
The details come according to an interview in Adweek with Jerry Daniello, SVP, entertainment brand solutions and Disney Ad Sales, who explained that the trailers will run 30 to 90 seconds each and will reinforce this year’s theme that the Oscars will feel more like a movie rather than an awards show.
What’s more, presenters at the Oscars will introduce each of the spots as well as discuss their favorite movie going experience. “West Side Story” will be introduced by Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita in the new film. Miranda will introduce Warner Bros.’ “In the Heights.” And Questlove, who is also the music director for this year’s Oscars, will introduce his documentary “Summer of Soul.”
It’s not uncommon to see trailer premieres during the Super Bowl or other big sporting events, but it hasn’t always happened at the Oscars, with rules in place that you can’t advertise for the films nominated during the show, among other restrictions. But it’s something that Oscars pundits have been harping on as a way to boost ratings for the show and make it more of an event. This year in particular, Chloé Zhao is nominated for Best Director on behalf of “Nomadland,” but she’s also the director of Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster “Eternals.”
This year’s Oscars were delayed by two months. Ratings have been down for all awards shows during the pandemic, but Adweek says ABC was still able to sell out ad spots, including bringing back last year’s “proud sponsors” and securing an average of $2 million to $2.2 million per 30-second ad, which is on par with last year’s rates.
The Oscars air this Sunday, April 25, on ABC.