"I'd like to thank the Academy and the amazing immune-boosting power of Airborne!" Wait. What?
It is possible, though perhaps not likely, that we'll hear such a line from the podium of the Kodak Theater on Sunday during the 81st Annual Academy Awards. The vitamin supplement has put out a call to all Oscar nominees offering a fat $1 million payday for the ultimate brand-integrated acceptance speech. (The offer appeared as this full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter.) The Oscar winner has to hold up the product for five seconds, not say anything nasty about it ever, and the cash gets doled out to the charity of his or her choice.
The Oscars are no stranger to product placement, given that every celeb is a walking advertisement for clothing designers, jewelers, hair stylists and the like. (And remember that chick who wore the dress made of AmEx gold cards? Priceless!) There's no Academy rule against saying a brand name during an acceptance speech, but let's just say it would be mightily frowned upon, even if it is for a good cause.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley