Rolex Had The Best Oscars Commercials With James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow & Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Millions of eyes were on the Academy Awards last night, and even though the live broadcast of Hollywood's biggest event doesn't pull in as many viewers as the Super Bowl, it's still a hot spot for advertising. While there were some TV spots for the likes of Captain Marvel, The Lion King and Rocketman, the one set of commercials that stole the show came from a collaboration between the Oscars and the watchmaker Rolex.

Rolex is one of the many sponsors and supporters of the Academy Awards, and this year they delivered a series of commercials featuring James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Each of the Oscar-winning directors wrote an open letter to filmmakers of the world in order to inspire them on a journey that just might take them to the Oscars someday. Watch the Rolex Oscars commercials below.

Rolex Oscars Commercials

The first commercial introduced what would become a series of advertisements where each filmmaker got a full minute of airtime for their own letter to filmmakers around the globe. It has quick snippets from each of the letters and a montage of shots showing off each director and some of the work they've become famous for over the years.

Below, we've highlighted each of the individual commercials, written out their letters, and because this is a commercial, highlighted the watch that each of the filmmakers represents on-screen.

Martin Scorsese

The commercial flashes around Martin Scorsese's office, showing film cans for movies like Gangs of New York, Mean Streets, and The Departed, not to mention the model of a beat up old cab from Taxi Driver. There's even a shot of Scorsese in a cinema as red flashes from the projector to the screen, a great nod to the filmmaker's prominent use of the color in many of his films.

Here's Martin Scorsese's letter to filmmakers:

To you, the filmmaker of a future generation,

I have no idea how you've come to cinema, but you have. And that means that you and I, we're already speaking to each other from across time.

I don't know what cinema is for you. What it is for me, from the way I see and experience movies to the way that I make them, it's changing.

At this moment in our history, absolutely everything is shifting. The way that you're telling stories with moving pictures is probably a world away from what I know.

And I thought I'd share this thought with you: If you're burning to tell this story, if you're seeing images and passages in your mind's eye, you have to make your movie.

Now you keep up your end of the conversation, and I'm looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

Yours, Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorese's watch of choice is the Day-Date 40, and the 18 ct gold time-piece only costs $34,850. Learn more here.

James Cameron

This commercial features James Cameron standing proudly among the silhouettes and models of his most famous creations, ranging from Aliens to Titanic and from The Terminator to Avatar. Projections of the film surround him as he walks around the warehouses and offices of the Lightstorm production house. Here's his letter to filmmakers:

To a future filmmaker,

For every thousand that read this, one will become a filmmaker. And you will do it because you can't not do it.

Your film must speak to many with a singular voice. Ask yourself what you have to say, then say it in ways that are unique to you.

Let your film surprise you. Enjoy the twists and turns. Recognize when lightning strikes, even if it's not what you planned. Be quick to bottle it.

Every film is a singular vision and a great collaboration. Always stay humble before the craft. On your 100th film, there will be much to learn.

And the most important thing – pick up a camera and get going. Make a film, and put your name on it. Now you're a filmmaker.

Jim Cameron

It should come as no surprise that James Cameron's watch of choice is the Rolex Deepsea, which costs $12,550. You can learn more about it over here.

Kathryn Bigelow

Next up, Kathryn Bigelow is featured among script pages, storyboards and projections of films like The Hurt Locker and Detroit. However, her commercial is only 45-seconds long while the others are each a minute. Maybe it's because her letter is a bit shorter and more succinct. Here it is:

Dear filmmakers,

Use your gifts to reach beyond your wildest imagination. Make a difference in this world.

Always be learning. Give back. Teach others. Compassion is your best friend.

Say what you believe. Your voice matters. Take action.

I ask, if not you, who?


Kathryn Bigelow's watch of choice is the Datejust 36, which costs $20,900. You can learn more about it right here.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Finally, Alejandro G. Inarritu delivers his letter in Spanish as sketches from movies like Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Amorres Perros appear. There are also plenty of wilderness shots, referencing his work on The Revenant. Here is his letter to filmmakers:

Dear future filmmaker,

Make your movie without asking for permission.

There are movies that could have been made by anyone, but there is one that could only be made by you.

When you explore and share your own human experience through images, you'll share with the world the mystery of those things that can only be felt, but not said.

Transcend reason. Follow your intuition.

Making cinema is a journey that will take you from your head to your heart. It is a battle and an act of love.

I wish you a great trip.

Alejandro González Iñárritu

Alejandro G. Iñárritu's watch of choice is GMT-Master II, and it costs $14,050. Learn more about it over here.


Hopefully, this series of commercials is something that happens again next year. It would be nice to have one featuring recent winners like Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, and Spike Lee at some point.