February is a prime month for American brands looking to capitalise on two of the largest television audiences of the year – the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. Unfortunately for the teams behind Best Picture winner Moonlight, and the incorrectly announced Best Picture winner La La Land, Price Waterhouse Coopers' mishandling of the Best Picture Award winner envelope has overshadowed the stories to emerge from the evening's events.
The controversy means you might have missed The Receipt, Wal-Mart's Oscar-style dose of 'branded entertainment'. 2016 marked the first year of Wal-Mart's multiple-year sponsorship of the Academy Awards, and to kick the partnership off in Hollywood style, the retailer sought out four well-known Hollywood directors, Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (Superbad, Neighbors) to create three one-minute branded entertainment films. The challenge to the filmmakers was simple: take a Wal-Mart receipt and integrate the six items into a compelling narrative. The platform guiding the film's development was "Behind every receipt, there's a great story."