Wednesday, January 25, 2006

BRIT Awards Publicity Blitz

Promotors of the BRIT Awards, the UK's music industry awards, are in publicity overdrive at the moment ahead of the awards event on February 15th. This year's event will be held at London's Earl's Court venue and will be televised on ITV on 16th February. We reported on the publicity ahead of last year's 25th annual BRIT awards show, which included a tie-in with BBC Radio 2 along with a Nomination Launch party. The launch party for the 2006 BRIT awards was held at London's Riverside Studios on January 10th, and this event was reported on in the BRIT Awards 2006 blog. The introduction of the blog allows the BRIT Awards publicity team to release new items on a daily, if not hourly, basis. So far these have included interviews with nominated acts, opinions from music industry figures, details of acts appearing on the awards night, and promotion of the BRITs compilation album. The BRIT Awards 2006 blog also contains a section dedicated to awards sponsors Mastercard. The company uses this opportunity to showcase its Priceless Evenings promotion, which includes a chance to win VIP tickets to the BRIT Awards and a trip to the GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles. Nice move by the BRIT Awards organisers to give their sponsors such prominence, and nice move by Mastercard to follow up their sponsorship with related promotions. Smart moves all round.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Academy Concern Over Globes Bad Publicity

A publicity storm is brewing over the antics of one TV presenter at last week's Golden Globe Awards. Outrageous fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi was commissioned by the E! entertainment channel to conduct 'red carpet interviews' outside the venue for the prestigious awards. Mizrahi shocked viewers by groping and asking intimate questions of female stars, including Scarlett Johansson, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria. Comments made by the presenter - who is gay - to actress Charlize Theron about her character in the film 'Monster' have been criticised by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who have submitted a formal complaint about the item. These antics were just what the TV channel had expected from Mizrahi. E! Networks President and CEO Ted Harbert told Associated Press: "I've hired Isaac because I felt the red carpet work on television, not just on E!, had become predictable, staid and frankly boring. What I wanted is someone who would bring surprise." Where it now gets interesting is that Mizrahi has also been lined up to present the carpet interviews for E! at the Oscars in March. While some people believe there is no such thing as bad publicity, others at the Academy are less certain. "I have no idea what plans E! has on Oscar night. If they're suggesting they would do something similar on our red carpet, we would have some good discussions with them," said Academy spokesman John Pavlik. "I can predict we would be extraordinarily angry if that happened on our carpet. I cannot predict what we would do afterwards." Of course, the pre-publicity about the possible bad publicity does the Oscars no harm at all!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

B&Q 'You Can Do It' Awards

DIY chain B&Q has announced the launch of its 2006 'You Can Do It' awards scheme. These community awards are available to organisations such as charities, sports and youth groups, disability and environmental groups and others. Since their launch in 1995 the B&Q You Can Do It awards have donated over £1m worth of products to over 200 community groups across the UK and Ireland. For the 2006 scheme, twenty awards worth £5,000 each will be presented to the successful organisations. Entries are invited up to the deadline of 17th March 2006. What we like about these awards here at Winners Podium is the tie-in with the sponsoring brand - its all about doing it yourself - and the reach of these awards. By targeting such a wide range of community groups, particularly sports, B&Q is getting its name promoted in a very positive and brand-enhancing manner before a huge audience. Nice one B&Q.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What Car? Awards 2006

Motoring publications group What Car? held its annual awards ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel venue last week. Top honour of Car of the Year went to the new BMW 3 Series while the Skoda took two awards - Best Small Family Car (Octavia 1.6 Ambiente) and Best Hot Hatch (Octavia vRS). The What Car? Awards are selected by a panel of judges from the magazine group, though one particular prize - the Reader Award - is judged by votes cast on the whatcar.com website and by readers of the magazine Eve. The What Car? Reader Award 2006 went to Jaguar's new XK model. As we have often noted here at Winners Podium, running an awards scheme is a tried-and-tested successful strategy for media groups to increase their profile within a sector, to boost the exposure of that sector, and to build significant relationships both with their own audience and with key figures and bodies within each chosen sector. With the advent of website polling software it is now even easier for a publisher to involve its audience in the selection or voting procedure for their business, corporate or industry awards schemes.

Friday, January 20, 2006

2006 Laurence Olivier Awards Announced

Nominations have been announced for the 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards, the UK's most prestigious stage and theatre awards. Dubbed 'London's equivalent of the Tony Awards', the 30th annual Laurence Oliver Awards will be announced in a ceremony at the London Hilton on Sunday, 26th February. The Hilton UK & Ireland hotel chain are sponsors of the awards. Awards will be presented in over 20 categories including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best New Musical and Outstanding Musical Production as well as fields such as Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. The awards are organised by the Society of London Theatre, the trade association which represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London. Established in 1976 as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, the awards were renamed in 1984 in honour of legendary British actor Laurence Olivier.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Golden Globe Awards 2006

The 63rd annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this week in a lavish ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. The event, broadcast live by NBC television in the USA and syndicated globally, is one of the largest and most glamorous awards ceremonies in the world. For full details of the winners and photos of the event, we recommend the official Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes website. The 2006 event featured no fewer than 45 Hollywood stars as presenters of awards, with figures ranging from Penelope Cruz, Tim Robbins, Pamela Anderson and Dennis Quaid to Drew Barrymore, Mariah Carey and Catherine Deneuve. It is a measure of the sheer scale and momentum of these awards that they can attract such a large number of high profile actors and artists to present awards. As we commented last year regarding the 2005 awards (Golden Globes Set Shining Example), what really impresses us here at Winners Podium is how these awards manage to sit comfortably alongside other A-list film and TV awards ceremonies such as the Oscars. This mutual respect - deference? - was set at the very establishment of the Golden Globe Awards, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPAS) decided to hold their event in January so as not to clash with the Oscars ceremony later in the year (see history of the Golden Globe awards). One final item we would like to note regarding the Golden Globes - the HPAS has donated over $5.5m to entertainment related charities over the past 11 years thanks to the revenue raised by the awards ceremony. In 2006 the donation was over $1m, with an additional $250,000 donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.