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Academy Awards And Commercials Don't Mix According to Nielsen, 91 million people saw the Super Bowl last year, compared to 39 million who watched the Oscars. Still, the Academy Awards is one of the most tuned-into TV events every year. And ABC charges for the commercial time dearly: $1.7 million for 30 seconds. That's not a huge bargain, considering Super Bowl advertising spots sold for $2.6 million on CBS last month. If you do some quick math, Oscar viewership is about 43% of what Super Bowl viewership was but Oscar advertising time cost 65% of what Super Bowl viewership cost. A logical assumption might be that Oscar viewers are more attentive, making them a more valuable audience, commanding a higher price per impression. Realistically, we all know in our guts that this isn't at all the case! Super Bowl ads are watched, critiqued and are an event in themselves, gristed over for days afterwards, while Oscar commercial breaks are less talked about than the actresses' gowns. It's simply an advertising non-event. In fact, common advice to hosts and hostesses of Oscar parties: when the commercials come on, it's a prime time to do something other than watch them! The best Web-given advice on what to do during the Oscar's commercial breaks: . Play movie trivia games . Take a cigarette break . Talk (because you really should not talk during the Oscars) In fact, one well-trafficked site simply stated, "Commercials can drag down an Oscar party." Spike Lee's commercials advertising the Oscars were far more interesting than any of the commercials that aired on the show itself. His vignettes of real people reciting famous movie lines were funny and poignant, reminding us why movies are important and, therefore, why the Oscars are worth watching. Seek them out if you haven't seen them. Looking at the commercials on the show itself -- even as a fan of advertising -- I suppose I would advocate talking through them as well. There were some launches like iPhone, and some ads with big build-up, like the consumer-generated Dove Cream Oil. But in terms of entertainment, memorability, and even some attempt at the theatrics of the subject matter of programming? Completely absent. It was a night of everyday advertising. For $1.7 million a pop! Next year, let's throw down a gauntlet. Let's have a two-sided experiment: for the industry to create unique communication that plays to its environment and for the networks to charge appropriately for the time. Maybe then consumers will reward us with their attention. Michelle Edelman is vice president/director of planning at NYCA, a full-service marketing agency that grows businesses with inspired ideas.

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