Last night was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to watch the Oscars in their entirety. Normally, I somehow forget about them and catch the very end or watch the red carpet recaps next day. Not this time. It was fun to see all the celebrities, what they were wearing and keep up with trending #oscars2014 tweets.
Brands and the Oscars: Samsung’s Selfie and iPhone’s Sneak Attack
Whether you watched the Oscars or you’re catching up online today, no doubt you’ve heard the buzz about how Ellen used her Samsung phone to create the most retweeted post ever.
This, combined with Ellen’s careful placement to ensure that a Samsung phone was with her several times on screen and Samsung’s ads within commercial breaks, generated major buzz for the brand during and after the show.
However, unfortunately for Samsung, Ellen also shared some backstage selfies using her iPhone during the event. Whoops!
Why Twitter Wins the Brand Oscars
Aside from going offline for more than 20 minutes due to the number of retweets generated from Ellen’s celeb selfie stunt, Twitter was the brand Oscar winner last night. Where were the Instagram and Facebook references and calls to action from media leaders? They were noticeably absent. Twitter dominated the Oscars as the social media tool to use by celebs, media and brands.
One example of a brand’s creative use of Twitter was how the Oscars Red Carpet Show incorporated the social media platform as a way for fans to have their photos taken with a star at random. Prior to the award ceremony, fans could tweet a photo of themselves using the hashtag #MyOscarPhoto for the opportunity to have their photo featured next to a star.
Hits and Misses in Real-Time Marketing
Since Twitter was the place to be online during the show, brands tried their best to tap into buzz and be relevant through quickly customized images and attempts at humor as the evening’s events unfolded.
Although, in theory, events like these have great potential for real-time marketing, many attempts by brands fell flat with a few exceptions. One exception was that of Miller Lite, which after being mentioned in Matthew McConaughey’s speech, nailed it with this tweet:
Miller Lite. The official beer of award winning actor's dads.
— Miller Lite (@MillerLite) March 3, 2014
The search for real-time marketing opportunities by brands really picked up in 2013 when Oreo nailed a touchdown in the 2013 Super Bowl. Since then, brands have been more open to experimenting with real-time marketing via social media.
I’d Like to Thank the Academy …
A word of warning for brands and communication professionals: Although there’s great potential to tap into current events and breaking news, proceed with caution. Real-time marketing does involve risk for brands and that can go beyond simply falling flat and quickly move into outright offensive. Be wise and think through how your messaging and images could be interpreted by fans and critics. Take the time to share the idea within your team and poke holes in it before going live.
After all, you don’t want to pull a Jimmy Kimmel and offend everyone.
What were your favorite Oscar 2014 moments? Did you use a social media platform other than Twitter during the show?