Learn from the Best: Award-Worthy Marketing from Oscars’ Past

Find out how to steal the spotlight on awards season’s biggest night

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While today’s fractured media landscape can make it difficult to be a part of global, trending conversations, there are still a few cultural tentpoles that provide marketers with the opportunity to connect with users in this way.One of these tentpoles, the Super Bowl, gets a lot of thought and attention from marketers, but the Oscars can also generate big results for marketers, too. It’s not just movie makers who put on a show each year at the Academy Awardssavvy brands know how to take advantage of the second secreen experience during this major TV moment to deliver winning Oscar campaigns.

Here are some of the brands that have impressed us with standout digital, social, and mobile tie-ins to the most-watched award show of the year.

1. Samsung — Ellen’s Selfie

Ellen’s celebrity-packed group selfie at the 2014 Oscars quickly became the most retweeted tweet of all time, shattering the previous record held by President Barack Obama’s four more years tweet from 2012.  Even though the tweet didn’t mention the brand of smartphone behind the famous snapshot, the company, Samsung, was mentioned 40,000 times on Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels during the show. According to AdWeek, Samsung was the most-mentioned brand on social media during the 2014 Academy Awards, reaching 37 million people worldwide (compared to the 43 million broadcast viewers).

Samsung spent an estimated $20 million to sponsor the 2014 Academy Awards, but with Ellen’s tweet is now valued at $800 million to $1 billion, they got more than their money’s worth.

2. Dove — #SpeakBeautiful

Dove Ad

During the 2014 Oscars, there were more than 5 million negative comments about women’s bodies on Twitter. In 2015, Dove decided to chime in on the conversation. In line with its brand positioning around “real beauty,” Dove launched a Twitter campaign to shift the negative sentiment related to women’s bodies during Oscar evening tweets to an uplifting conversation driven by the company’s #SpeakBeautiful hashtag. The result? More than 50,000 tweets contained the brand hashtag and the number of negative tweets dropped nearly 37% to 3.4 million in 2015.

But this hashtag wasn’t just a one-off. It has become a year-round conversation, used 168,000 times and earning 800 million social impressions. Dove committed to this conversation by utilizing community management to engage with over 3,000 negative tweets, resulting in a positive sentiment shift in  85% of those interactions. Overall sentiment for the brand itself improved by 17% as well, according to Twitter.

3. Google  — Real-Time Advertising

Google real-time ad

Big events like the Oscars and other cultural tentpoles tend to attract the best in real-time marketing, the always-on social campaigns that respond to large-scale trending conversations in the moment. In 2015, Google took their real time marketing to another level, applying these important insights to their Oscars campaign:

  • About 84% of smartphone and tablet owners watch TV on a big screen with their smaller screens in hand
  • Google Trend data shows that searches for Oscar winners spike within 15 minutes after each award is announced

During the broadcast, after each award was announced the company launched nearly real-time display advertising placements directing viewers to rent or buy the award winners on Google Play. The results? Click-through rates were 19% higher for real-time ads than for control group ads.

4. Pepsi — “Sip Like a Star”

With big-ticket events like the Academy Awards, traditional broadcast advertising and earned and paid social campaigns tend to get most of the marketing focus. In 2014, however, Pepsi’s “Sip Like a Star” campaign took a different approach, leveraging the power of mobile marketing.To drive fan engagement with customers who drink Pepsi at movie theaters, the soda company teamed up with Regal Entertainment Group to feature a “text to win” contest on soda cups in movie theaters. The prize? A grand prize trip to Los Angeles for the 2014 Oscars.

To round out the mobile campaign, Pepsi launched a mobile-friendly website as well as mobile ad spots. A campaign like this could continue to grow in 2017 by utilizing email and other mobile messaging options, such as push or in-app updates, to round out the campaign into a full-fledged multichannel promotion.

Is your marketing campaign red-carpet ready?

Want  to join the conversations around the most-watched entertainment broadcast on television in ways that will resonate with your customers?  Check out  our Oscar campaign mobile marketing cheat sheet to learn how to  drive engagement based on customer preferences, strategic insights, and campaign best practices.

Big Show Cheat Sheet

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