Monday, January 25, 2016 5:54:38 PM

The Oscars, Hollywood’s most important night, is an exciting time of anticipation as we wait to see who will go home with the gold – the Oscar statue, that is. The weeks leading up to the big event are filled with predictions and speculation. Then the big night arrives and the red carpet is rolled out. The lights dim and the show begins. People at home are tuning in, having Oscar parties, and entering Oscar pools. And while the awards ceremony is indeed the main attraction, there is another show going on at the same time. It too is met with great anticipation and excitement – the advertising.

Brands begin throwing their hats in the ring for the next awards show almost as soon as the lights go up on the current one. It’s big business and everyone knows it, with spiking viewership and Oscar buzz prior to the event. Brands get to put themselves before many, many eyes so the message has to be good. It better be good because those sacred moments of airtime cost a pretty penny.

Half minute spots are said to be going for more than $1 million. Then again, this is one of TV’s biggest audiences and Disney owned ABC is rapidly selling out of its slots for the 2016 Oscars broadcast. Now, with Kohl’s tossing its hat in the ring replacing J.C. Penney as the Oscar’s marketing sponsor things just might get interesting. So let’s take a look at some Oscar highlights – or marketing, that is.

Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign started with a simple enough idea. According to a study that Dove referenced, four out of every five tweets (around 5 million) on Twitter that were of a negative nature regarding body image and beauty are made by women who are putting themselves down. The campaign’s mission was, basically, to combat negative tweets on Oscar night with positive, uplifting ones – and they encouraged others to do the same. Apparently it worked. Dove closed out Oscars night with more than 51,000 tweets with the campaign hashtag #SpeakBeautiful along with almost 46,000 responses to the brand.

Marketers can take a lesson from this. Interacting with consumers is a great way to build a brand, but it is a very fine line to walk. Case in point, both McDonald’s and Coca Cola ran engagement campaigns similar to Dove’s but the outcome wasn’t nearly as warm and fuzzy. It takes careful planning to get it right. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to be a mega brand to cash in on some Oscar’s night glitz and glam. With the prevalence of social media and SMS marketing there are plenty of opportunities to market to your customers.

The biggest takeaway from this is that major events present prime opportunities for businesses to take advantage of high viewership rates and significant public attention. You don’t have to pay a ton of money to ABC for an Oscar spot; you can get plenty of attention from the Oscar buzz through other channels. You can follow our coverage to reach the same engaged, affluent, and Oscar interested readers on the LA Times. With all eyes turned in one direction, finding the message that will resonate with a wide variety of diverse audiences, marketers can make a significant impact. Combine that with consumer engagement and you have a winner. The three keys: get people talking, get people thinking, and get people doing. Then you will have a campaign that makes a difference.

At the Los Angeles Times we know the Oscars and we cover them like no one else. After all, Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. On February 28, 2016, The Los Angeles Times editorial department is sending more than 50 journalists and photographers to cover the event – no other event in the world is so widely covered! We're here to get brands ready for the Oscars! Won't you get ready with us?

Categories: Marketing Trends

Tags: Oscars, news coverage, marketing tips