MediaRadar Blog


The Oscars 2018: Best Picture Advertising

With the arrival of this year’s Oscars ceremony, we thought we’d take a look at the best trailers and advertising from this year’s best films.

The Oscars 2018 will be held this Sunday, March 4th, at 5pm on ABC. Host Jimmy Kimmel will be joined by members of the industry, their families, and millions of television viewers, as they give out awards and tributes to celebrate this year’s best in cinema.

The annual event, held in Los Angeles, celebrates the best acting, directing, screenwriting, and so on from the year most recently passed. Represented, are a variety of artists, a variety of filmmakers, and a variety of genres.

Despite the variety of the movies present at the ceremony, however, each and every Oscars 2018 nominated film, actor, director, and on, has one thing in common – they all had to be seen first to be liked and nominated.

So that got us thinking… What is it that makes people want to watch a movie in the first place?

The simple answer, is that there are a ton of reasons.

Regardless of whether someone likes a movie after watching it, there could have been a number of reasons that got them to decide to watch it. Perhaps the movie had an actor or director that they love. Perhaps the story line seemed compelling. Maybe a friend with similar preferences recommended they watch the movie.

Also amongst the many reasons that may have drawn them in, are the trailers and advertisements that ran prior to the movie’s release.

As we’ve seen, very notably on Snapchat, new movie advertisements play a large part in initially connecting with the masses. It is the general public’s first interaction with the film.

Come Sunday night, however, there won’t be any awards given for the great film trailers and advertisements that ran throughout the past year. So, we’re taking matters into our own hands, giving an unofficial nod to this year’s best in film advertising.

In the spirit of the Oscars 2018, we’re going to look at the trailers and advertisements from all of this year’s Best Picture nominees. Due to the “For Your Consideration” nature of advertising leading up to the Oscars, however, we’ll just be looking at how each film was promoted before being nominated.

After all, the success of these films had to start somewhere.

So, with that, here are the nominees for Best Trailers and Ad Campaigns of films nominated for the Oscars 2018 Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”

Official Trailer:

We first considered simply writing the name of each movie, then following the name with a clip/trailer/advertisement for the film, just as they do during the actual Oscars.

For blog-sake, however, it’s best we give a little context

“Call Me by Your Name” is nominated for 4 Academy Awards in total. Clearly, the trailer relies on the emotional pull that makes the movie itself so enjoyable. It’s a breakthrough story with a breakthrough actor.

The story was adapted from the 2007 novel of the same name, written by André Aciman.

“Darkest Hour”

Official Trailer:

How did they film Winston Churchill with such clarity, you ask?

No, no, that’s just Gary Oldman done up mighty successfully as one of Britain’s most prevalent historical leaders, and one of the most notable people from World War II.

In fact, other than it’s compelling trailers, the main point of advertising for this movie was, in fact, the fact that Oldman was playing Churchill:



Official trailer:

Unsurprisingly, Christopher Nolan delivered another powerful flick with “Dunkirk.”

Often times, it seems that Christopher Nolan trailers are, in and of themselves, films.

The continuous background ticking and restless nature of this trailer are enough to put anyone on the edge of their seat.

Christopher Nolan films are always packed with extremes, as well. The same could be said for Dunkirk, as evident by their online display ads.

Some, action-packed


And some, not so much…


“Get Out”

Official trailer:

Anybody remotely familiar with the movie “Get Out” is very familiar with the terrified, teary-eyed face of actor Daniel Kaluuya.

In this trailer, and in many of the movie’s still-ads, Kaluuya’s terrified face rings as the expression that best explains the uneasy nature of the film. Upon seeing the look in his eyes, it’s hard for one not to wonder what he may be looking at.

“Lady Bird”

Official trailer:

The directorial debut of Greta Gerwig has settled in as quite the success, nominated for Best Picture, and 5 Academy Awards in total.

One of the original ads for “Lady Bird” proved to be one of the most creative that we saw from the year. They ran a 15-second online video ad, using the repetition of the same critic line of, “I love Lady Bird.”

They must have seen the line a lot, because the sources are numerous:

“Phantom Thread”

Official trailer:

The official trailer for “Phantom Thread” speaks to the elegance of the film, and impressively shows the many stages of the relationship of the characters in the film.

In fact, all of the advertising for the film stayed close to the elegant, clean themes of the film, with some display ads, from a distance, even looking like modern day clothing ads with a 1950s fashion sense.

For example, check out this Phantom Thread takeover of an IMDB page:


“The Post”

Official trailer:

Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks… Enough said?

These three powerhouses often appear in roles recounting history. They also like to win lots of awards.

Despite only being nominated for Best Picture and Best Lead Actress, combining the likes of Hanks, Streep, and Spielberg could seemingly work as a 3D printer for film industry trophies. We’ll see how they fair come the real Oscars 2018.

“The Shape of Water”

Official trailer:

This trailer, and the movie itself, truly present a world of their own, presenting one of the most unique relationships we’ve seen, that certainly goes “beyond words.”

Here, we make one exception to acknowledge ads directly related to Oscar consideration. “The Shape of Water,” in its online advertising campaign, clung to a tag-line perhaps more than any of the others present on this list.

We found this to be an interesting tactic. It’s a way for them to give some context about the movie, sell the movie, and nudge Oscars voters in the right direction.

Instead of using the title of the film, or the many talented actors in it, promotions for the movie instead focused heavily on the word, “Embrace (love, wonder, strength, etc.).”


“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Official trailer:

Last on our list is “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Other than the fact that most of us would never expect “Ebbing, Missouri” to appear in a movie title, this trailer does Frances McDormand’s character justice in showing her on-screen quest for justice.

This movie has seen some scrunity, both positive, and negative, but sparks a salient conversation relevant to our country today.

Overall, watching a movie trailer while knowing that it’s been nominated for an Oscar is an interesting occurence. It shines a light on the true advertising power that trailers can have, and how much can still be left to the viewers imagination.