As long as we're on the subject of unconventional marketing campaigns for awards contenders, we pass along an operative's report of how her Sunday brunch was interrupted by Fox Searchlight's frosted Oscar-pandering on behalf of its hopeful Little Best Picture:
The "Little Miss Sunshine" people are clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pre-Oscar publicity. This Sunday, my friend and I were having brunch on Third St in West Hollywood when a busboy came out with a tray of cupcakes and people started taking them. "Would you like a free cupcake, for 'Little Miss Sunshine'?" he asked us. We of course said yes and he gave us not one, but two yellow-iced cupcakes. Heath Ledger was there, so maybe it worked on him. Pretty gross, in my opinion.
In Searchlight's defense, targeting Third Street brunch spots is a savvy move, as the odds of getting a cupcake into an Academy member's hand at such a location is probably 50/50 on a Sunday. Maybe they can even take the adorable guerilla campaign a step further, planting publicists throughout the restaurants on that strip, who can spend all afternoon enthusiastically talking about how delicious the little yellow-iced treats are, hoping that the relentlessness of their endorsements might convince any nearby Oscar voters to put aside the nagging feeling that the cupcake they just finished was really overrated.