The choice to support DOTM is a bit interesting considering Paramount's Hugo (with 11 nominations total) is competing against TF3 in all three categories. Deadline theorizes the move is in part a show of support to Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and the movie's other producers. From Deadline:
Although the individual peer groups made the nominations, everyone in the Academy gets to vote for the final award. ”As you know the Academy is comprised of many branches representing the various disciplines in the filmmaking arena. Because not everyone may be an expert in sound or visual effects, we hope that this spot will encourage voters to carefully consider their choices and take into consideration the craftsmanship of each category when voting,” the spokesman said. “This is the culmination of years of hard work creating cinematic sounds and images that are now iconic — we wanted a form of Academy outreach that did that work justice and we simply felt that to see and hear it was very important.”
It’s definitely rare that a studio will put lay out big TV ad bucks specifically for below-the-line craft categories (some people don’t even want the Acad to keep them on the main show). It’s certainly true that the Academy at large is probably not as sophisticated when it comes to judging the merits of sound and effects, so this primer from Paramount is a novel approach to educate them.