52 Fridays is an ongoing series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations stories, ideas, tips, and resources shared here each Friday.
Equestrian Oscar nominee WAR HORSE lost out on taking home even a single statuette despite a respectable six nominations for the Steven Spielberg film.
However, the evening wasn’t a total loss for the horse world, since horses were featured on not one, but TWO major American networks that night.
Horses usually get supporting role status in film and TV productions, since they’re treated more like ‘silent film stars’ and background than the lead:
- This ‘book versus movie’ analysis of WAR HORSE from Huffington Post clearly shows how the two stories stack up, and how the point of view was changed from horse to human for the movie.
- An excellent ‘deep dive’ into WAR HORSE from Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch lists the horses as Most Valuable Props (but then adds that they are the real stars of the movie, and that they and the trainers deserve Oscars of their own).
Still, it’s a good thing when horses ARE featured in typically mainstream media outlets, since it gets them smack dab in front of other horse lovers and potential horse owners, riding lesson students, or equestrian event supporters and attendees.
- This article at Horsetalk.co.nz (which also has the full Oscars nominations/winners list) mentions that Yahoo! searches in the U.K. for WAR HORSE were more than any other Best Picture nominee, including three times the amount of searches for actual Best Picture winner The Artist.
- The New York Times reported in late January that once the movie was released, more books were sold in Britain within the next two weeks (60,000) than in the first 25 years after the book was published (50,000).
So despite WAR HORSE not getting an Academy Award®, even having the film made, and having its imagery as part of the Oscars broadcast was a coup for the horse world. Add to that the jokes and monologue mentions, and it all adds up to the overall WAR HORSE mystique, which will continue with upcoming theatrical productions. Plus, there’s now a behind-the-scenes coffee table book; if you loved the movie and want more, check out this article about the book (with pictures!) at the WAR HORSE Blog written by Fran Jurga at Equisearch.com.
By now you might be asking, where was the SECOND example of horsey primetime programming? It was courtesy NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice, where jousting wasn’t the only drama taking place at Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
The two teams were tasked with creating an original show for Medieval Times patrons; the episode ran directly opposite the Oscar telecast. If you missed the show, you can watch the full episode here until June 4, 2012. Or, you can ‘Like’ the Medieval Times Facebook page to be entered for a chance to win a trip to attend The Celebrity Apprentice finale in New York City.
It will be interesting to see how much mileage Medieval Times gets from this media placement, and whether it translates into additional sales for them. As with any horsebiz, the actual mileage may vary, depending on what’s done to reinforce and build upon the media mention.
Please note: Requiring a ‘Like’ on Facebook as a qualifier for a contest entry is generally against their Terms of Service and can result in termination and loss of your Facebook Page, unless you run the contest on another application. Please exercise caution in running contests involving your Facebook page, and be sure you are abiding by their rules.
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