Reese Witherspoon channels Elle Woods on Amazon in advance

In Amazon Upfront, Reese Witherspoon appears in character as Legally blondeElle Woods wasn’t the actress’s best effort of the morning. It was about 45 minutes before the presentation ended, when I scolded her You are cordially invited Co-star Will Ferrell boasted of his romantic comedy prowess.

“I’m the queen of sleepover looks,” Witherspoon said, referring to that moment in every rom-com when one actor looks lovingly at the other with their eyes closed. This delighted the audience at the tech giant’s first-ever presentation, as many star-studded shows have done — once they got inside, of course. Slow lines stretched down South Street, delaying the Pier 36 event by half an hour.

“Thank you for everything you went through to get to this room,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon MGM Studios, when she finally took the stage. “I know it was a lot.”

But if trouble was plentiful, so was star power. Amazon cruised through the 70-minute talk with very little advertising talk and a lot of talent. Alicia Keys kicked things off with her delightful, Jay-Z-free rendition of “Empire State of Mind,” before the loudest gathering of A-list performers west of Cannes were paraded across the stage. Jake Gyllenhaal was on hand for victory Road house remake, announcing plans for a sequel to rapt audiences, ahead of action stars (albeit on TV) Alan Ritchson (The arrival) and Aldis Hodge (pass) promoted their respective series. Witherspoon and Ferrell shared a teaser for their aforementioned film, which now premieres in January. Hannah Waddingham and Octavia Spencer pitched their yet-to-be-titled action comedy series to media buyers. After the traditional film and television segments concluded, Roger Federer received perhaps the biggest applause of the morning. retirement documentary, Twelve final daysbows on the streamer in June.

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Amazon’s entry into the primary market is unique. Combined with the presentations from NBCUniversal and Fox the day before, which each included jokes at the other’s expense, Amazon’s presentation clearly did not put itself in competition with other media companies vying for advertising commitments this week. The only mentions of competitors were impressive, with Mike Hopkins, global head of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, acknowledging that Max and Paramount+ were among the countless offerings on his streaming hub.

Rather than distinguishing between film and television efforts, the two were combined and then divided by genre: action, comedy, young adult, stand-up, sci-fi, sci-fi, fantasy and sports. Young adults were a prominent point of focus with The summer she turned beautiful Showrunner Jenny Han earned the distinction of being the first writer to get stage time this week when she joined the cast of her show. The chain also had its biggest activation during the reception as women lined up to take photos at a branded booth. Maybe it was a little early in the day for “Bloody Dalton” in Road house Cabana bar.

Original content, be it A-list movies or… Thursday Night Football, garnered the bulk of attention because it was exciting and, in some cases, the talent was beholden to participating in the promotion. (The only cameo the company was unable to secure for its bid was Super Bowl champion W Are you smarter than a celebrity?? host Travis Kelsey and YouTube powerhouse MrBeast, who recently put together a competition series on the platform.) But the Everything Store presentation, appropriately, included everything — Amazon Music, Wondery, Twitch, movie rentals, all of it.

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Therefore, the ad clips were tolerably brief. The bigger point — at least outside of the sprawling subscriber base that now watches ad-supported streaming, taking interest in the platform’s January pivot — is that advertisers don’t need to sell their products on Amazon to benefit from buying ads on Amazon. . “It’s full funnel advertising at scale for everyone,” said advertising director Alan Moss. “It no longer matters if you sell on Amazon or not.”

As soon as Moss repeated the point a second time, Salk returned to the stage carrying a pink-collared Chihuahua. She was quickly followed by Witherspoon, dressed in full Elle Woods costume, who picked up a pen that Moss had dropped with a dramatic “snap bow.” She was on hand to reveal the latest in what turned out to be too many programming announcements for the morning, a Legally blonde Prequel series.

“Before she became the most famous vegetarian Gemini to graduate from Harvard Law School, she was just a regular high school girl in the ’90s,” Witherspoon said to cheers of approval.

This week may be all about announcements and open bars, but the stars are ultimately what inspire people to wait in line for an hour in the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt.

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