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Diverse audiences tune in for award shows, such as the Academy Awards, to marvel at celebrity fashion and watch pop culture history take shape moment by moment. Much like the crowds of paparazzi who swarm award show venues, viewers want the experience of being close to the stars and witnessing their wins and losses in real time. Yet, the live event lasts mere hours, while a media storm of digital activity keeps the momentum building all year. Brands that want to take advantage of these valuable marketing moments must know how to stay in the conversation.
Oscar Buzz Leads to Predictable Search Traffic
The Academy Awards is one of the most popular television events of the year, drawing an average of 38 million viewers from 2014 to 2016, according to Nielsen. Unsurprisingly, fans start researching the latest Oscar news months in advance, and they turn to search engines to find out which films and celebrities have a good chance of winning nominations. Every year, movie trailer views steadily rise from nominations to awards day, while search traffic for "Oscar pool" increased by 28 percent between 2013 and 2014.
For marketers, Oscar buzz opens the door to a wide-ranging consumer group. In addition to searching for entertainment content related to the Academy Awards, many consumers are interested in red carpet fashion, celebrity gossip, award predictions and movie reviews. Oscar parties are long-awaited social events for hardcore fans, who also use online resources for party planning and buying supplies.
Oscar mania provides a timeline of predictable search volumes, which marketers can use to create themed ad campaigns and drive traffic to brand websites. As an added benefit, the Academy Awards is the undisputed king of award shows, and the Oscar season is effectively extended by the entertainment events surrounding it. For example, searches about red carpet looks typically rise before the Golden Globes and Emmys, the two most anticipated events that immediately precede and follow the Oscars.
Digital Content Keeps the Awards Season Trending
The ease of sharing media online has increased the social aspect of watching award shows. Fans look forward to the unpredictable moments of the live event and immediately start having conversations about the show as it unfolds. Nearly 50 percent of the Oscar-related searches during the 2014 Academy Awards occurred on a mobile phone. Viewers (and some non-viewers) want to get involved in what everyone else is talking about, and mobile devices offer the flexibility to ask questions, spark debates and search for content without missing a moment of the award show.
Search interest doesn't decrease in the aftermath of a major award show. In fact, traffic skyrockets the day after the event, allowing fans to read up on winners, after parties and show segments whether or not they watched the televised event. Video is the preferred medium for many fans, who can watch quick highlights and recaps to join in discussions at work or school. The show continues trending for months as the Internet fills up with related video content, ranging from memes to celebrity beauty tutorials to copycat fashion ideas.
The post-event stage offers the most versatility, giving marketers unlimited opportunities to distinguish brands by creating a wider network of topics around the award show buzz. A celebrity mishap could pave the way for memes, tips, how-tos and relevant product launches, while a heavily debated winner could lead to fan polls, spoofs and achievement reels. However marketers decide to produce content, the goal is to keep audiences positively engaging with the brand. For advice on starting a multimedia content strategy, contact the LA Times today.