Saturday, January 14, 2006

Awkward MBA chest-bumping in Cincinnati

There is, I think, a direct correlation between an event's cachet and how many of its attendees' outfits are openly and cruelly mocked. If no one gets ridiculed, it must not have been very important. So using that formula alone, I was inclined to answer yes, the People's Choice Awards show was "one of the most gloriously stupid, implausible, and unsuccessful episodes in the history of contemporary marketing." But look. The early numbers indicate it was a ratings win for CBS. Is that possible? People love Procter-branded entertainment! They really, really love it!

That's not all. Some earnest people saw a serious lesson in it for the Oscars: "the public is applauding one set of stars and filmmakers while the critics and other key awards givers are celebrating a very different kind of group. Neither of them are right or wrong because it's all a matter of taste. Nonetheless, when awards show producers go looking for big ratings what they run into these days are problems tied to the fact that most of the films they're putting up for consideration aren't ones that the public's actually seen." You mean you can't expand the audience for the Oscar broadcast by celebrating Brokeback Mountain? Why, that's just hateful!

If the People's Choice Awards show can draw ratings, Procter & Gamble's money and even George Lucas, I fear there may be no stopping it. We're just going to have to curl up with our Pringles and accept it.

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