Category Archives: Op-Ed

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.





NASCAR & Advertising … getting everyone on the same page

It seems there’s quite the buzz leading up to NASCAR’s opening weekend at the Daytona 500.  In spite of the Oscars, the NBA All-Star Game and even some rain, the crown jewel of motorsports will kickoff Monday evening under the lights.  A season thus far noted as a coming out party for Danica Patrick and a renewed sense of competition for the Chase with Tony Stewart’s attempt to repeat, is also seeing revitalization in advertising.

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The End of the Kodak Moment

“I really don’t believe there’s going to be another Kodak moment.”

-Don Strickland, ex VP of Kodak Digital Imaging.

The humbled and understandably remorseful former executive told Bloomberg TV earlier today what the CEO doesn’t seem to have the stomach to below… After a storied, centurial history, Kodak is going out of business.

The real Kodak that is, the American company we all know and remember. In Mr. Perez’s words they’re using “Chapter 11 processes” and “restructuring.” There is truth to that of course. Certain of Kodak’s profitable business units in digital imaging, namely in Europe, will remain. So technically there will still be some semblance of Kodak, somewhere. But the photo company that left an indelible mark on the lives of nearly every single American in the 20th century will soon be gone.

“Kodak… was the company we entrusted our most treasured possession to – our memories,” Robert Burley, a photography professor at Toronto’s Ryerson University, told TIME.

Kodak was the pioneer in film. Everyone knows that. What most probably don’t know (what I was very surprised to learn myself this morning) is that they also invented the first ever digital camera. In 1975. They put it on the shelf because it stood to threaten their extremely lucrative business they had built around film.

The company never pursued their own industry-altering innovation until decades later. At which time they were already too late, unable to compete with the likes of Canon and Nikon. Those companies were quick to adapt, able to part ways with the past and embrace digital, around the turn of the century.

And so friends, after 130 years a real American brand has died (and there aren’t many left). A titan has fallen. Now is a moment to remember. A moment to learn lessons. A moment to, dare I say it, mourn. Those of us in entertainment, advertising, and many others owe Kodak an irreparable debt and should remember them fondly.  What we do would not be possible without what they did.

We won’t postulate on the why. Neither the time nor the place. Suffice it so say Kodak was trapped in the glimmer of nostalgia. Now let’s make sure the rest of us are not.