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Travolta Oscar mistake goes viral

Published March 13, 2014 at 6:43 am

Marketing tools allow brands to take advantage of current developments in lightning-fast ways, including mistakes. And it doesn’t even have to be your mistake for you to profit off of the resulting trends. One example is the instantly infamous mispronunciation made by actor John Travolta while introducing a musical number at the recent Academy Awards ceremony.

When Travolta, surrounded by bright lights, delivered a speech meant to introduce singer and actress Idina Menzel, he accidentally called her “Adele Dazeem,” which led him to waves of Twitter ridicule and media commentary, as the Washington Post notes.

However, while this would seem to simply be a minor flub, days later the mistake still holds some weight with audiences. The Los Angeles Times has reported that fake playbill notices are circulating online for a fictitious performance of the musical “If/Then,” in which Menzel’s part will “be played by Adele Dazeem.”

For the moment, we appear to be in the grips of “Dazeemania.” Fake Twitter accounts have popped up proclaiming to be Adele, taking another dig at Travolta.

Slate has even posted a “Travoltify Your Name” widget that rearranges different names into similarly mangled versions. It goes to show that, once again, no cultural moment is too small to harness the public’s imagination and make its way through various forms of media.

As the New York Daily News reports, Travolta has apologized for the mix-up. But he probably doesn’t need to: the “Dazeem” slip-up seems to have been one of the most talked-about moments in this year’s Oscarcast, and will probably be making its rounds through social media for at least the rest of the week. That might not seem like a long time, but it’s long enough to make an impression on the world.

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