by Robert Liljenwall
After being bombarded by friends who had just seen The Artist, I was still not that excited about seeing a black and white, silent movie. When I walked out of the theater, I couldn’t stop raving about it. The movie title, the actors, the director – were fast becoming almost the most talked about movie of the season – everything they did in this film was totally the opposite of what movies are today – a true step back in time. And can you imagine how the other Best Picture nominees felt that there was this groundswell for this throwback to early Hollywood? The genuine, enthusiastic, almost cultish support for The Artist must have been unnerving to many – it was train that just kept coming at you, faster and faster – even though, there was only modest support at the box office. After all, you don’t have to build a huge audience to win the Best Picture prize – you only have to win the highest number of votes with the 6,500 members of the Academy.
Brand-building is not about the brand itself; it’s about the experience. The Artist quickly became a larger-than-life brand in Hollywood, which is one of the toughest, most cynical, jaded towns in which to build a brand. And so The Artist takes Hollywood by storm and sweeps the top awards.
Perhaps it was because the movie was so differentiated from anything else that moviegoers were seeing. Perhaps it was the sentimental, cliché formula “star-is-born” storyline, or perhaps, the fact that there was no sound, no tricks, just story telling in a very simplistic, easy-to-understand style.
And who can forget Jean Dujardin? A new brand for the world of movies – not just in Hollywood but everywhere movies are seen. The Oscar brand and his brand will be linked forever. That is the ultimate co-branding for Hollywood every actor, producer, director, writer would love to have on their Facebook page.
In the end, social media users are inspired by what they see, hear, and read – and with the immediacy of social media technology in the palm of their hand, we are finding that these mediums are playing an ever-critical role in brand- building. And Oscar knows all about it. Yes, silence is golden. — RJL
- Silence Is Golden … Just Ask Oscar (debbiebarth.wordpress.com)
- Harvey Weinstein: French film’s golden age is now (pbpulse.com)
- National News: Silence reigns again in Hollywood (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Oscars 2012: How The Artist turned silence into gold – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)