Oscar campaigns arrive early -- The annual awards advertisement glut kicks off sooner than expected

We always love early Oscar prognosticating, but this is a little over-the-top. On Sept. 27, Sony Pictures Classics took out a two-page advertisement in Variety touting its acclaimed indie Junebug and its breakout costar, Amy Adams. That’s right, a bona fide For Your Consideration ad in September — more than two months before the first critics awards are announced in early December and more than five months before the Oscar ceremony on March 5. Past contenders like last year’s A Very Long Engagement have banged the drum early, but only very rarely have ads at this stage explicitly courted votes in specific categories as Junebug‘s does. ”To wait until Christmas, when there’s so much competition — it may be difficult to be heard at that time,” explains SPC co-president Michael Barker. ”It’s playing in theaters now. We want to draw attention to it now.” Still, a double-truck ad for a film that’s barely grossed $2 million? Says Barker: ”A unique film like this really does need an unconventional strategy.” In that case, it gets our vote.