You probably always knew that the For Your Consideration campaign for Hairspray would be one of, if not the most colourful ones of the year. Awards Daily is always the best place to go for FYC ads and so far they have three ads for Hairspray, which you can view below (and clicking makes them grow).
Several things become instantly apparent. One is that they're really going to be pushing John Travolta hard (no fat suit jokes, please! Okay, just one "they're gonna need to push him hard if you know what I mean.") Second is that they are campaigning for every single main performer from the movie including the likes of Zac Efron and Brittany Snow even though there is, quite literally, no chance in hell of it ever happening. Third is that they're are idiots for only campaining for closing credits song "Come So Far (Got So Far To Go)" when they also have the original "Ladies Choice" - a song that is actually incorporated into the movie. It's not hard to see how Dreamgirls got three original song nominations last year, or why "It's Hard Our Here For a Pimp" won two years back, is it? And who wouldn't wanna see that performed on the Oscar stage? Even if it is Zac Efron.
Lastly, and most importantly, they are going for the "fun" vibe. They are trying to make people remember the great time they surely had in the cinema (grouchos excluded). The tagline of their campaign is "CONSIDER THE BEST FEELING YOU'VE HAD ALL YEAR" which could really be misconstrued as something far more crude than they actually intend, but I still think it works. I wonder how many Academy members are going to pop their DVD screener of Hairspray into the plater when faced with the option of it or a plethora of downbeat hardedged dramas. I know what I would choose.
But will it work in the long run? I am currently predicting Hairspray for nominations in costume, art direction, make-up, supporting actor (Travolta) and I think it's right on the edge for stuff like editing and sound, but is best picture really that farfetched? Dave Poland doesn't seem to think so although and I'd tend to agree with him... not that I think it will happen, but in the realm of possibilities I think it has a shot. However, if Sweeney Todd hits the way people are expecting then it's chances are all but eviscerated. And unfortunately it's not the 1950s when even terrible musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers can make the Oscar shortlist. It really would be a kick though, wouldn't it?