Friday, February 27, 2015

Real-time Marketing at the Oscars

Award shows are increasingly dominated by social media and the second-screen experience, allowing brands to connect with users via real-time marketing and online conversations. While Twitter is typically regarded as the central platform for real-time online conversations, Facebook came out on top at this year's Academy Awards: 21 million people discussed the Academy Awards on Facebook, generating a total of 58 million related posts while only 5.9 million Oscar-related tweets were found on Twitter. 

In fact, Facebook's social activity had increased more than double from last year as there were 11.3 million users who posted, liked, or commented about the Oscars in 2014. On the other hand, the number of tweets fell from 11.2 to 5.9 million this year. The decline is somewhat inevitable considering how popular Ellen's selfie was - that selfie alone accounted for more than 20% of the tweets about the 2014 event. Without anything like the photo, Oscar-related tweets experienced a dramatic decrease this year. Additionally, preliminary Nielsen figures revealed that this year's show was seen by an audience of 36.6 million,  which is a 7 million decline from last year and the lowest since 2009.

Regardless, the event presented a great opportunity for film studios behind this year's nominees to drive engagement and brand awareness. The following blog post analyzes the Facebook content from the film studios responsible for this year's Best Picture nominees:

According to the author, Focus Features distributed a congratulatory post while Eddie Redmayne was accepting his Best Actor award, reaping 23.5K interactions with a single post simply "by playing into the real-time suspense and excitement of the awards with their Facebook content". In contrast, Fox Searchlight's top-performing posts that were posted 5 minutes after their awards saw only 1.7K interactions. In a live event like the Oscars, the speed of posting becomes exceedingly important as evident from the engagement difference between the two film studios that were just mentioned. Once the opportunity to break the news is missed, engagement will necessarily suffer as the show moves on to the next trending topic.

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