Caffeinated ideas and views on marketing communications

cultural literacy

Why you should know who won at the Oscars

In case you missed it, last night was the movie awards ceremony formerly known as The Academy Awards, now known simply as the Oscars. Not sure what the TV broadcast viewership was, but it was large (very large). The Oscars are one of the most viewed, most commented and most followed awards.  The #oscars2013 hashtag certainly lit up my Twitter stream last night, proving that most major televised events are having the “second-screen” effect.

Do you know who won for Best Picture? Or for Best Director?You should, but in case you are a person who doesn’t watch TV or movies or read a newspaper or the Yahoo! home page, it was Argo and Ang Lee for Life of Pi,  respectively.

If you want to be successful in marketing communications, you need to be conversant in pop culture. You just do. Pop culture is the currency that allows you to participate in the world. It is the fodder of small talk at happy hours and cocktail receptions and what brings people together around the proverbial water cooler (even if your water cooler is Twitter). If you don’t know Ben Affleck from Quentin Tarantino, Adele from Lady Gaga,  you are out of touch with what many people share in society.

I know people that refuse to watch movies or TV shows because nothing compares to whatever they feel was the golden age of entertainment. Some people never tune in to the top 40 station on their radios. Others don’t read current bestsellers claiming nothing worthwhile is being written today. That’s fine. No one should have to watch, listen or read anything they find distasteful.  But they should know what it is they are not watching, listening or reading.  In other words, you should know who won the Oscars last night even if you didn’t watch the show or see any of the movies nominated.

Will something evil befall you if you don’t know? No, of course not.  You will just be out of step with what most people follow. If you see a reference to Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway, you won’t understand why they are being talked about.  And you may also be missing out on relationship-building conversations.  The beauty of pop culture is that it is out there, available to everyone. You don’t have to be an insider or well-connected.

So, do you know who won at the Oscars last night?

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About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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