Award in Edgewise

Broadcast Date: Oct 23, 2008 (Originally aired April 26, 2007)

Try Googling the phrase "Award-Winning". Go on; we'll wait. See? 71 million hits. Join Terry O'Reilly - wait- the "award winning" Terry O'Reilly - as he explores the persuasive power of those two little words in our culture. He'll play- yes- award-winning ads, and examine the self-congratulatory side of our culture.

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)

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Previous Comments (10)

I'm interested in learning more about how people are targeted through social marketing. I'm particularly concerned about men's health issues. When we see (or hear) a commercial about fast food that has a lot of health risks it's primarily aimed and at men and very unfortunately children. It seems that marketers of fast food have figured out that women won't go for the double cheese burger (usually). I think that goes for steak too!
So what can be done about this not so subtle approach to marketing that is putting our health at risk!

Seymore Applebaum, April 5, 2008 6:25 PM

I just cane across your show today. Ilove it. ever since High school having read Vane Packard's , "The Hidden Persuaders"I have been an ad junkie. later I came across "Lateral Thinking" By Dr Edward de Bono, related to ads in that it is about creativity on many levels.
A couple of years ago i saw an interview with kevin Roberts, a self made man who is now CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi a 7 billion a year ad agency.

Your show is right up the alley I want to travel ( Convoluted metaphore there :) ). I will either listen live or check it outon the net. Count me as anew fan :)


Dr Michael Pilon, April 5, 2008 7:34 PM

I listened attentively as always to Terry O'Reilly this morning on his exposition of "Award" winning media.

What jolted me was his statement that "only one comedy movie has ever received an Academy Award" to show that comedy is not appreciated by award givers.

I don't know if this was just a test to see if we were paying attention, but 'It Happened One Night' (1934) with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert immediately came to my mind. Not only did it receive Best Movie, but it was the first to win all five categories.

In going to a listing of past Academy Awards, the following comedies have also received Academy Awards for Best Movie:

Anchors Away - 1945
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer - 1947
City Slickers - 1991
A Fish Called Wanda - 1988
Full Monty - 1997
The Great McGinty - 1940
Mash - 1970
Men in Black - 1997
Moonstruck - 1987
Papa's Delicate Condition - 1963
Pillow Talk - 1959
Princess O'Rourke - 1943
The Producers - 1968
Roman Holiday - 1953
Some Like It Hot - 1959
Swing Time - 1936
Tootsie - 1982
A Touch of Class - 1973
Woman of the Year - 1942
You Can't Take It With You - 1938

So, Terry, at least 21 movies in the comedic vein have won best picture Academy Awards.

...Egregious error?

Carol Herrmann, April 5, 2008 11:20 PM


Okay, hold it, everyone. Calm down. Neutral corners. Deep breath: in through the nose, etc.. Let’s see if we can sort this out.

First, Carol, thanks very much for the note. And we regret any jolting we may have caused. We don’t like jolting. We’re not jolting people. Ask anyone.

Here’s what Terry said: “What strikes me about Ad Awards is that it may be the only creative competition where humour routinely trumps drama. Compare that to, say, the Academy Awards. Over the past half century, only one comedy: “Annie Hall” has been honoured as ‘Best Picture’.”

For the sake of making a point, we did cheat a bit, excluding some films. such as Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment”, which straddle the line between comedy and drama.

So far as we can tell, only one film on your list, “You Can’t Take It With You” (by the great George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart) actually won a ‘Best Picture’ Oscar. And like “It Happened One Night”, it doesn’t fall into our ‘past half-century’ category. In fact, many of the titles listed- please correct us if we’re wrong- weren’t even ‘Best Picture’ nominees.

Granted, it would’ve been quite a story if both “Pillow Talk” and “Some Like it Hot” had prevailed over “Ben Hur” in 1959, if “Princess O’Rourke” won instead of “Casablanca” in 1943, or if both “Full Monty” and “Men in Black” had won over “Titanic” in 1997.

Hey, we’ve proven a number of times that we’re capable of our share of boo-boos, as so many eagle-eared listeners have pointed out. In this case, though, we stand by our point: that advertising is one of few disciplines in which humour almost always prevails in awards competitions.

Mike Tennant, April 7, 2008 11:07 AM

Oh my, that is a strange list... The most notable standout being "Men in Black" which, while admittedly an entertaining movie, would have to have been in a pretty weak year of films to be considered "Best Picture".

I think the list you found was Oscar nominees or winners in ANY category. "Men in Black", for instance, won the award for Best Makeup in 1997. That category, and others such as original song, costume design and sound editing, are awarding without real consideration to a film's genre. On the other hand, awards for acting, directing and writing are ultimately based on the "art value" of the film, and therefore, are naturally awarded more often to dramas.

Besides that, an excellent observation by Terry, and another great show!

Sean Anderson, April 7, 2008 12:48 PM

As the author of a book about the Victoria Cross ("Valour Reconsidered" published by Robin Brass Studio - and this is a shameless plug) I was taken with the concluding remarks which have broader application than advertising, words to the effect that "Awards are a good means to recognize and a poor way to measure". I also agreed that awards are debased by the sheer numbers of catergories, nominees and recipients. The show stopped short of pointing our the presence of "anti-awards" - lists of the "worst dressed" celebrities and "Razzies".

Having no i-pod and very slow internet connection, how can I obtain the text of this programme (even if I have to pay for ir).

Hugh A. Halliday, April 9, 2008 6:45 AM

Carol Herrman has listed 2 Best Picture Award winners for the same year - Men in Black and The Full Monty in 1997. In my world, Best Picture is a singular term, not plural. Please get your facts straight before you post.

Andy Paquin, April 10, 2008 11:05 AM

The expression is....getting a word in edgeways;what does edgewise mean?

noel, May 9, 2008 8:16 PM

Brilliant as always Terry, as a student in advertising I have learned much more from your shows and seminars than any college prof. can deliver!

I believe,"Edgewise", for those who haven't a modicum of creative, implies intelligent discernment of awards...


Mackdknife +}--

Gerald Mackintosh, May 27, 2008 8:46 AM

This is the episode that gets me hooked onto this show... Interesting sidebar - I just typed in "Award-winning" now and yield 94,300,000...

That and extra 2 million results!

janice law, February 4, 2009 4:04 PM
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