Ad or Not? Junior Mints, Red Vines Rain Down at the Oscars

February 27th, 2017

Hours before “La La Land” was mistakenly named best picture at the Oscars last night, the crowd held its mouth agape for another reason: free candy.

“This is a show about the movies and you really can’t have movies without candy, it’s un-American,” explained host Jimmy Kimmel. “If you close your eyes and wish very hard little bags of Red Vines and Junior Mints will appear from the sky.”

After the bags parachuted down from the rafters, cameras captured celebrities snacking on the candy, including, most notably, three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep:

Later in the show, Kimmel walked into the crowd for a chat with Sunny Pawar, the young star of the best picture nominated film “Lion.” Kimmel asked Pawar if he’d like some more candy. Then, re-enacting a scene out of “The Lion King,” Kimmel picked up Pawar a la Rafiki holding up Simba and the boy screamed, “Lemonheads and Mike and Ikes.” And more candy rained down.

All this named candy registered strongly on our Ad-or-Not scale. After all, tens of millions of Americans watch the Oscars every year.

Kimmel had mentioned popcorn as a movie treat before the snacks floated down to the celebs, but not any particular brand of popcorn. So why the plug for Junior Mints et al?

Were any of the four candy companies in on the act? Did any of them have a hand in the production of what could be considered integrated content?

Junior Mints and Red Vines via Twitter both said that they were as surprised as anyone:

A spokeswoman for Mike and Ike also said that the company was unaware that its candy would be mentioned during the show. Nonetheless, the company sought to capitalize on the free promotion, tweeting out this image for a fictional product the next day.

TINA.org reached out to the maker of Lemonheads but have not heard back.

This type of food bit is not new to the Oscars. In 2014, host Ellen DeGeneres handed out slices of pizza from a Los Angeles-based franchise called Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria, whose name was plastered on the red and yellow delivery boxes shown during the show. The chain had previously delivered pies to DeGeneres’ talk show.

This all made us wonder, what food will be the star of next year’s Oscars?

Find more of our coverage on the 2017 Oscars here.

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