Sacha Baron Cohen “newsjacking” the entire 2012 Oscars

February 28, 2012

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 17

Have a read of “How One Comic Genius NewsJacked the Entire 2012 Oscars” and see my comments below. By the way, I won’t repeat much of my discussion of the stunt which you can read and watch video clips here. [HT Chris Brogan]

The writer made some interesting points re the newsjacking in the Sacha Baron Cohen, Ryan Seacrest, and Kim Jong-il’s “ashes” incident although I wish he has supported his claims differently.

First of all, has the writer heard about Borat and watched any of Cohen’s marketing and PR stunts 6 years ago in 2006 when he promoted Borat? Oh no? Sacha didn’t just “become” PR Genius at Oscar, he was one long time ago just on different scale. In this case, his Hugo Oscar invite presented an opportunity and he took full advantage of it.

Are we (viewers, commentators, and even press) so forgetful that we all forget theSacha’s butt in Eminem’s face incident was totally a prearranged publicity stunt? I am not Sacha nor Seacrest so I may never know for sure, but if I were a betting man which I am not, I would bet a dollar that there were two comics on Oscar’s red carpet and their names are Sacha & Seacrest.

And for the record, how many times exactly did Sacha spill the ‘ashes’ of Kim Il Jung on Oscar night? Most people watched only one incident, the Seacrest one. I watched TWO separate incident, once in front of an empty red carpet (via AP live stream) and then the second time with Seacrest! In the first spill, the one most people didn’t see, Sacha had at least 3 male ‘Security Guards’ around him and one of the male ‘Security Guards’ actually handed him the urn of the ‘ashes’ of Kim Il Jung.

I want to reuse a line in my post “Fun with Sacha Baron Cohen, Ryan Seacrest, and Kim Jong-il’s “ashes””

It is troubling to see a world where so many people have opinions (including the “press”) and so few people care enough to find more facts to support or contradict their views.

Update: Here is my reply to an insightful comment under Chris Brogan‘s post (emphasis added),

“[…] good point in asking can it be newsjacking if the original “news” was planned in the first place. Oscar itself is an entertainment show, meant to be “entertaining”. As an aside, the sad part while I respect Billy Crystal, his Oscar opening number and jokes felt flat, dated, and boring. And Sacha’s stunt was more fun. Heck, even Angie’s Right Leg was a breath of fresh air!

May be it is a new human condition that we, through our time and energy spent in the social network, end up spending way too much time on something we can jump to conclusions and immediately share our “opinions”. Important news to our country (crime bill, election fraud, etc) take way more time to understand and read so ends up getting much less time and energy from us.”

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 22

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Fun with Sacha Baron Cohen, Ryan Seacrest, and Kim Jong-il’s “ashes”

February 27, 2012

Lets have some fun with Sacha Baron Cohen, Ryan Seacrest, and Kim Jong-il‘s “ashes”. Looking at my time-stamped screen captures from AP feed (see below pix and the flickr series), looks like Sacha “first” dumped Kim‘s “ashes” on the red carpet at around 7:21pm EST with nobody as the target of the “ashes”.

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 17

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 19

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 21

Oscar 2012 - Sacha Baron Cohen - The Dictator - pix 22

And then we have the staged dumping of the “ashes” on Seacrest, I call the second dumping! :) Have a watch of the clip.

Live From the Red Carpet: 2012 Oscars: Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Ryan Seacrest

[Update: THR article, “Oscar Red Carpet ‘Cremaining!’: Sacha Baron Cohen as the Dictator Dumps Ashes of ‘Kim Jong Il’ on Ryan Seacrest“]

It is funny to read Sun Times reporter writing “Ryan Seacrest put on a brave face as Sacha Baron Cohen dumped an urn full of pancake mix on his tuxedo, but my sources say his immediate reaction was major anger.” Really? It looks to me the “security guards” standing besides Sacha were there to help handing him the urn and execute the stunt. Look at the “security guard” that is holding a giant pot of flowers walking behind Sacha after the “ashes” got spill on Ryan, he went to pick up the lid!

Win-Win-Win

To me, Sacha‘s stunt may look distasteful or disrespectful to some but it is on the red carpet only and not in the main show. And after watching the show tonight, I think this stunt is sadly way more entertaining than almost all of the jokes told and Billy’s musical number. So marketing/PR win for Sacha‘s upcoming film. Got some curious viewers to watch Oscar so thats a win. Finally, Seacrest got some buzz so it is also a win as well.

The one lose-lose case

The one lose-lose situation is the public and the press seem to have gotten so lazy and immediately jumped to whatever preconceived conclusions they may have. Well, may be everyone knows this is a PR stunt and have safely discounted all the hype/”facts”/”news report” but then we don’t really know.

It is troubling to see a world where so many people have opinions (including the “press”) and so few people care enough to find more facts to support or contradict their views.

P.S. More reports from WaPo, Sky.

Feb 27 Update: From his own official channel, “Ryan Minutes After Oscars Red Carpet