Samsung has promoted itself during the broadcast of the Academy Awards before. For this year’s show, however, it took a different tack. Instead of helping to promote big Hollywood movie making, it put the spotlight on YouTube creators who have a massive audience, but who only have a smartphone and tiny budgets to capture their videos.
The commercial featured popular YouTube video maker (and now CNN employee) Casey Neistat. The clips shows him decked in a traditional Oscars-style tuxedo, but he makes the case that people like himself are now making videos, and reaching a new generation of fans, not because they have to but because they want to make things that no one has ever seen, and all of that with little money and smartphones. He added, “When we’re told that we can’t, we all have the same answer: watch me.”
It’s a message that flat out goes against the huge budgets and major movie actors and creators that were celebrated at the Oscars on Sunday night. You have to wonder if some Hollywood executives were happy that a commercial was telling movie fans that they were old and YouTube is the new way to create film content.
Neistat used his own YouTube channel, by the way, to show how the new Samsung Oscars commercial was made. Ironically, the commercial that celebrated low-budget filmmaking by internet creators actually had a huge budget, took months of planning, and had major Hollywood talent behind the scenes (Neistat mentions that the cinematographer of the ad did the same for Fight Club). However, some of the clips in the commercial were filmed with a Samsung S7 and the Samsung Gear 360 camera.
What did you think of Samsung’s Oscar ad? Do you feel that it slammed big Hollywood studios while still having its own huge production values?