Oscars, Jimmy and the Jet Ski

Other people found the jet ski prize in Oscars only “entertaining”. The people who are sitting on the Oscars are rich, they could buy their own (even a better color that neon green).

But on the contrary, it made sense.

Host Jimmy Kimmel activated the Principle of Reciprocity, one of Robert Cialdini’s Persuasion Principles.

Cialdini is an expert in persuasion and marketing. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he presented the reasons why we say “yes”.

Here’s how Jimmy Kimmel used the jet ski to making people say YES:

1. As an introduction, he mentioned that the first Oscars was 15 minutes long! Unbelievable? Check out this Medium post from the Academy. As decades went by, the show went long. So as Kimmel said, people still complained.

2. Kimmel mentioned for the winners to give the best speeches: say whatever you want to say. Thank whoever you want to thank. Speak for your causes. (Hollywood’s backing up Time’s Up and #MeToo movements for women, as well as gun control and school safety)

3. Then, Kimmel drops the bomb: whoever gives the shortest speech wins a jet ski.


In the Principle of Reciprocity, people are obliged to give back to others in the form of a behavior, gift, of service that they have received first.

The host encouraged the winners to give the best speeches that they could give at their winning moment (This is the thing that they are receiving, well, presumably if they win).

Another thing that they would receive is a shorter Oscars show! Everybody, not only the winners, would benefit from it!

And so with that, it is easier to ask people to shorten their speeches. Well, the show’s still long, but I think the jet ski got a good recall:

1. Jordan Peele (Best Original Screenplay) wanted people to stop clapping because you’ll mess up my jet ski

2. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Best Song) said they wanted the prize even if they live in Brooklyn

3. Gary Oldman (Best Actor) had a long speech, he had to say he’s not “obviously” getting it

4. Sam Rockwell (Best Supporting Actor) asked Kimmel to run the clock.


The jet ski went to Mark Bridges (Costume Design). His winning speech lasted for 36 seconds.

Too bad Dame Helen Mirren’s not included.

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