The Oscar Effect

Coming off the buzz around the Oscars, the Monday after, people gossip, critique, and blog about three things…

Best and worst dressed, the host and who won.

Now, since that noise is fading out, lets talk about the “OSCAR EFFECT”.

For years, brands have been leveraging the “Oscar Effect” as a means to launch new campaigns, garnering a large, mass reach (more than 39 million tuned in this year) with a heavy woman-concentrated audience (70%).  Brands like JCPenney, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and McDonald’s are a few of the brands that spent an estimated $1.7 million per: 30 second spot, compared to the superbowl at $3 million for a: 30 second spot.  Brands are utilizing these platforms not just for the large reach but also for the continuous effect that it has.  Viewer’s tune in live and brands hope they discuss their commercials real time with their family and friends through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.   Additionally, there are brands also leveraging content around the Oscars- from pre-shows, Live From The Red Carpet, digital advertising, celebrity interviews, etc.  For weeks prior, brands are trying to tap into the buzz of what the Oscars bring.  I guess you can’t go wrong associating yourself with celebrity royalty, right?

But is it worth $1.7 million to air during the program?  Are viewers too consumed with the social buzz around the Oscars that brands are over shadowed by it (unless you make the content relevant)? I know I’d rather tweet about Angelina’s and JLo’s dresses.

So what was the social buzz?

What stood out to me was the Oscar iPhone/iPad app.  Oscar, although 84 years old, caught up with the times and attempted to engage with viewers beyond 360.  The best feature was “My Picks” which made it easy to choose winners and connect to Facebook or Twitter to see what others selected.  This updated in real time and kept track of your results versus your friends (I got 9/24 right).  Although I was not watching the Oscars with all my friends, I felt connected to them.

The app also included backstage features and behind the scenes content, but nothing as engaging.  I felt they missed an opportunity to bring more real-time interactivity that viewers crave.  Real time is what fueled the social sphere.  The app could have tied better into Facebook and Twitter capabilities by adding thumbs up/down while on the red carpet or the stage, agree or disagree with results, or commentary on the host.  Maybe next year…

Viggle, partnering with Bing, encouraged users to “check in” to the Oscar show to receive rewards points that can go towards gift cards for Amazon or iTunes.  Once there, you can play trivia or fill out a ballot with your picks.  The more you engage, the more points you receive.  Other apps also leveraging the “Oscar Effect” to create a unique experience were Yahoo’s Intonow, and GetGlue.

As the “Oscar Effect” continues to evolve and grow, brands need to find other ways to leverage the content to make the experience more engaging for the viewer.  Airing during programming isn’t enough.  It will be interesting to see how these high impact awards shows continue to evolve to bring the experience to a multi-dimensional level.





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