Best Original Song nominees Jud Friedman and Allan Rich are hoping for an Oscar-in-the-box. In one of the year’s most gimmicky, grass-roots promotional campaigns, the songwriting duo has mailed out thousands of popcorn boxes stuffed with gold foil and small cassette players. At the push of a button, the cassette players will regale listeners (Oscar voters) with Whitney Houston’s recording of ”Run to You,” the pair’s song from The Bodyguard. (Much of the materials and all the packing power were donated by friends; the final cost will be split four ways among the duo and their respective music publishing companies.)
”We had to do something,” says Rich, 41, who has teamed with Friedman, 33, to write songs for James Ingram, Ray Charles, and Natalie Cole, among others. ”There was no video, no single, and the song is used for a total of two minutes in the film,” adds Friedman.
So the two are counting on the popcorn to do the trick. After all, they might never even have been nominated if they hadn’t sent out 170 similar popcorn boxes to members of the Academy’s music branch back in January. ”We know what the realities are,” Rich says. ”But we also know that miracles happen. It happened to us once already. So it could happen again.”