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The Oscars are one of the most anticipated events of the year. The combination of Hollywood glamour and fashion attracts the biggest collection of stars in the world. This also attracts a huge audience, 34 million people tuned in to watch the 2016 edition. It is not without controversy however with an often-cited lack of diversity in nominations.

Despite the controversy, the Oscars are still an unbelievable opportunity for marketing. This comes at a premium cost on television though. 30-seconds of TV ad time will cost around $2m. Obviously for those who don’t have a global marketing budget this is outside their means, but it doesn’t mean small companies must miss out. In digital marketing there are ways of creating opportunities from the Oscars without breaking the bank.


Planning is the key to exploiting the Oscars for your campaigns. After 88 Oscar ceremonies, we can see what has worked and what hasn’t. Utilising what other brands have done and succeeded at is vital to understand how to move your own campaign forward. Their strategies can reveal what has worked and what hasn’t.


Be Ready to React In Real Time

Marketing online during the awards ceremony is all about making sure you are reacting with real time marketing. Choosing the right moment to create and publish the right content is vital to capture as large an audience as possible on the night. Oreo is a good example of this. In 2013 during the Super Bowl they jumped on an opportunity when the floodlights went out on the game. Oreo tweeted during the period ” you can still dunk in the dark”, the message went viral because of the topical nature and earned 10,000 re-tweets in one hour. This kind of performance cannot be bought. In only a few minutes the team at Oreo designed, wrote and approved the ad to become the real winners of the night (well alongside the Baltimore Ravens!).


Exploit Social Channels

Social media is always a key player with calendar events like the Oscars. Everything that happens during the Oscar will likely be picked up by the billions of users interested. Take advantage of this to gain visibility. For example, when Leonardo DiCaprio won the Oscar for best actor it was common knowledge that it had been a long time coming. Everyone was glued to the screen to see if his sixth nomination would be the lucky one. This was a perfect opportunity to jump on the chatter that would be inevitable from his win. His speech was heavily influence by his passion for climate change and the environment. Greenpeace therefore were quick to use a quote from the speech and exploit it to get thousands of tweets and exposure.



Use Your Own ‘Moving Pictures’

Once films are nominated and announced there will be a clambering of activity online in terms of video. it is vital that marketers jump on any opportunities early. Searches for the nominee’s of Best Film trailers will dramatically increase. Match the film that you think will most likely attract your target audience and utilise In-Stream advertising. Although these types of ads on YouTube can be potentially skipped and have a higher lack of engagement, the opportunity thanks to the huge number of impressions is still very much there.


Connect Your Brand With A Specific Film

If there is a film that is very relevant to your product or service it should be utilised. Develop a social media campaign revolving around that film. For instance this year qualify products as “from another world” can be intertwined to the Oscar nominated ‘Arrival’. A company that specialises in musical instruments or dance accessories can take advantage of the interest surrounding La La Land by using copy such as “do not be the only one who is not dancing this year” or “Buy a piano and start the journey you have always wanted, Jazz is in fashion!”. This text evokes the image of the films. Although they are not named, it is obvious what you are alluding to.


Set Aside Some Budget for the Special Occasion

The Oscars are only once a year and the opportunities might not be there if your niche does not fit in with any of the nominees. So when a chance does arise go the extra mile and try creating something with a bit more production value, like an infographic or interactive study. When ‘The Revenant’ was picking up huge traction betting company Unibet took advantage to create an infographic about the Native Americans involvements with casinos. The infographic looked at the history of how Native Tribes ended up in the gambling industry. This is because the tribe represented in the film now were running a casino on their reservation. It worked and got traction alongside the film because writers could mention a ‘where are they now?’ feature.