Oscar Actors: Pickford, Mary–Coquette, Did She Deserve to Win?

Ad campaigns are used by both studios and filmmakers to call the Academy voters’ attention to “worthy” achievements.  These campaigns have become extremely elaborate and expensive over the years, reaching their zenith in the 1990s.

But it would be a mistake to believe that promoting and advertising is a recent phenomenon. There have always been efforts to persuade members to vote for a particular film, though they were not as explicit or expensive.

The studio for which artists worked and their position within its power structure have always played a role in the Oscar race.

For example, there was a clear link between Mary Pickford’s Best Actress for Coquette and the fact that her husband, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was then the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Besides, Pickford may have conducted the first obvious campaign, when she invited the members of the Central Board of Judges to tea at her mansion, Pickfair.