Was Oscar Night Really About the Oscars?

Madi Miller | @madi_millzie Everyone remembers what happened last year at the Oscars. Ellen DeGeneres took the most famous, star-packed selfie to ever be taken. She and the Oscars took over social media with that one photo.

Within the past few years, the Academy’s social media following has grown from 400,000 to 7 million followers on their social media channels. In that time, Josh Spector, the digital media director for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said that social media has been a big priority.

No doubt that they used the name Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) to gain viewers and followers this year, but the Academy was not the only one using social media on their special night to promote themselves.

NESCAFE Coffee even used the “Legend-wait for it-dairy” phrase popularized by NPH’s Barney character to promote their coffee. Did it work? Not really — with just two retweets, four favorites and one comment.

They even attempted to use coffee mugs to recreate the Ellen selfie moment. It seems that they focused their tweets from that night distinctively on the Oscars by using the hashtag #goldmoments, but unfortunately others were already using the hashtag and it never took off for them. Throughout the month, going back to the Super Bowl, the brand has continued to try to seize the real-time marketing moment, but with limited results. By far their most successful tweet in recent weeks was a clever, short video.

Using the new Twitter TV ads platform, NBC tried to leverage NPH’s hosting gig to spotlight his new show debuting on their network this fall by using their Promoted Tweet throughout the night.

M&M’s was a big winner by using their social media platforms to, instead of hyping themselves up, congratulate stars and their accomplishments. This was a great example of real-time marketing at its best, resulting in increased buzz and attention because social media users enjoyed seeing what the M&M’s had to say about different stars’ wins.

In addition to social media advertising, companies created TV commercials specifically for release during the Oscars. This type of program-specific advertising is usually reserved for the Super Bowl and other sports events.

For example, American Express debuted its heart-felt celebrity ad campaign during the night. It featured Mindy Kaling’s journey as an actress and ended by saying she has been an American Express member for years now. They used their social media platforms to reshow the commercials and created a specific channel for the series.

Other celebrity American Express ads featured Aretha Franklin, founder of GoPro Nick Woodman, and a restaurant owner and chef Natalie Young. You can see more via their Twitter profile @AmericanExpress.

Apple didn’t hesitate to do the same thing with Martin Scorsese doing a voice-over for their iPad commercial. This also seemed to be an inspirational drama with its coining of the phrase, “If you’re dreaming, you’re sleeping.” It encourages people not to just dream, but to do. They, however, did not advertise their commercials on any social media platforms (Cadillac did essentially the same thing), but that could be because Apple doesn’t have any.

Who do you think did social media right during the Oscars? Is this the future of advertising? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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