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TICKER VIEWS – Who Wants to Win an Award?



While viewers are fleeing TV Awards shows, advertisers remain.

Remember the old days of getting round the TV with your family, turning on the TV and watching the Academy Awards? You might have organised a fancy dress party where everyone comes as their favourite 1930s Hollywood character from the golden era.

Or perhaps you had a tipping competition for who would win Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Actor?

For decades, awards shows provided a front-row seat to TV viewers’ favourite performers.

But over the past year, awards shows struggled to gain eyeballs even though people were stuck at home watching countless hours of Hollywood content.

Both the CBS telecast of the 63rd Grammy Awards (9.2 million viewers on March 14) and NBC’s presentation of the 93rd Golden Globe Awards (6.9 million viewers on Feb. 28) dropped more than 50% from 2020 levels.

That’s bad news for awards shows and especially for the mother of all awards shows – the Oscars.

If the ratings of TV awards shows don’t bounce back after pandemic restrictions ease, the events will be an expensive problem for the networks carrying them.

In Australia, the TV industry’s Logie awards is essentially propped up by government funds and tourism bodies.

Despite the declining ratings, TV networks thus far persist with the shows.

The reason is simple, if not a bit demoralising for the TV industry: Even with mediocre ratings, these major events are still among the most-watched of any programming on linear TV, outside of sports.

And just like the TV industry, the ad industry is scrambling too.

US broadcaster ABC has sold out of commercial time in the telecast, with sales in part driven by a huge number of first time Oscars advertisers.

Oscars advertisers include: Google, General Motors, Rolex, Verizon, AARP, Adidas International, Apple, Corona, Eli Lilly, Expedia, GSK, Honda, Kellogg, Keurig, Mars, Procter & Gamble, Power to the Patient, and Subway, among others.

For them, the Oscars provide one of the only platforms to connect their brand to luxury and everything Hollywood glamour represents.

But the question is – how much lower can the ratings go before advertisers see no value. Increasingly, advertisers are looking for “return on investment” over “brand awareness”. That’s why cheesy jingles have been replaced by targeted commercials focusing on part of the brand’s target market.

The Oscars, and other awards shows, are big and bold, but are they still relevant? With the public, less so, but with paying advertisers, they are still providing bang for their buck.

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Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood



Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media

Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?

Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.

These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.

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Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase



Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death

Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.

The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.

The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.

“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.

Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.

Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.

Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.

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Tom Hanks open to continuing career with A.I. help



Despite the crackdown on A.I., one famous actor has raised the prospect of his career continuing after his death by using the technology

‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Cast Away’ actor Tom Hanks says new tech could be used to recreate his image to appear in movies “from now until kingdom come”.

Hanks was asked about the legal ramifications of A.I. on a recent podcast with Adam Buxton.

He says talks are being held in the film industry about how to protect actors from the effects of the technology.

Hanks told the host: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on.”

The award-winning actor acknowledged that tech developments could lead to an AI-generated version of himself appearing in films he may not not normally choose.

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