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The Sponsor-Driven Purpose of TIFF: 'Because We're Worth It'

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Press conferences at the Toronto International Film Festival are fairly nihilistic affairs. The panel of celebrities are in town to supply one-on-one interviews to any media that matters for selling a movie — so, what the bottom-feeding press usually gets is a photo opportunity, plus a few non sequiturs.

The process of taking questions from the floor was ripe for its own kind of product placement, then. And the forum has begun to be seized by sponsors who have sent their own indefatigable brand-boosters, to exploit TIFF as an entrée for social media messaging.

A correspondent from L'Oréal Paris, who raised her hand at the cynical trio of Sarah Polley, Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman at the Sunday press conference for Take This Waltz, even prefaced the question by referencing the corporate advertising slogan.

"Because We're Worth It" is not only a phrase designed to reassure purchasers of beauty products — over time, it was changed from "I'm" to "you're" to "were" based on motivation analysis and studies into consumer psychology — but it's also the ideal overture for a red carpet reporter seeking a little bit of celebrity validation. The suburban cosmetics counter may not be as far away from Hollywood, after all.