Nuclear Submarines Torpedo Oscars Coverage

Nuclear Submarines Torpedo Oscars Coverage

In a matchup that would make Oppenheimer himself proud, the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine pact was advertised between award categories during the 2024 Oscars.

With all the hallmarks of an 80’s sci-fi film paired with uplifting music, an inspiring monologue, and dramatic images of Virginia-class submarines being built at US shipyards, the campaign felt more like a preview for a new film – with just a sprinkling of propaganda.

“It’s a new day, one where our shared values propel us towards a more secure future,” the narration said.

“Through AUKUS, a partnership built upon cutting-edge American, Australian and British technologies, we’ll develop state-of-the-art next-generation submarines and build something stronger together – securing decades of peace and prosperity for America and our allies”.

The 30-second TVC appeared during the US prime-time coverage of The Oscars and, given its quality and placement, undoubtedly came with a hefty price tag.


The campaign includes a powerful image of the Australian, United States and United Kingdom flags hanging side by side. It concludes with a call to action that directs viewers to an AUKUS website run by BlueForge Alliance, a non-profit entity that says it was created to build the US defence industrial base.

The website directs interested parties to 100,000 open roles with 15,000 suppliers across the US, including welders, 3D printers, forklift drivers, plumbers, and marine biologists.

AUKUS is a deal between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, with a price tag of up to $368 billion. The trilateral security partnership was announced on September 15, 2021 and will see Australia buy at least three nuclear-powered Virginia class submarines from the US in the early 2030s. We will then build at least five new, nuclear-powered submarines, likely in Adelaide, beyond 2030. The deal also involves sharing technology in areas like quantum computing, artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles.

As expected, the deal has received significant backlash in terms of cost and fears surrounding the risks of nuclear power.

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