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October 08, 2008

Your brand here; entertainment ensues


Mega-blockbuster action flicks that spring from toy lines, TV reality shows financed by men's grooming products, and Hitchcockian black-and-white webisodes that hawk champagne -- winners, all, at the One Show Entertainment awards last night.

So now you know that those deeply embedded product placements, better known by buzz term "brand integration," are being rewarded. And you know what that means? More, more, more!

What we hope it means: fewer klutzy cases of "Lipstick Jungle" wedged repeatedly and mind-numbingly into an episode of "Project Runway" (NBC Universal synergy at work!) and more "My Name Is Earl's" Randy going on an amped-up goofball binge to prove what he would do for a Klondike Bar.

Top dogs in the first-of-its-kind award show included "Transformers," the $700 million worldwide boxoffice hit that grew from Hasbro-manufactured 'bots, "Gamekillers," about Axe-fueled dating and mating, and "The Key to Reserva," a Web short from Oscar winner Martin Scorsese that makes a bottle of Freixenet a major character in a mini-noir.

Scorsese was a ringer, right?

So were the 7-Eleven stores remade as Kwik-E-Marts that served up some darn good Squishee as part of Fox's "The Simpsons Movie" hoopla.

More on the awards here. Full list of winners here.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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