Category: Offline Marketing

Advertising During the Academy Awards

I am a huge movie fan and so, of course, tuned in to the Academy Awards last night. The program garners mammoth ratings, with many viewers transforming it into a fanciful event with formal viewing parties.

This year national advertisers spent upwards of $1.8 million for each 30-second commercial. Because of this high viewership, advertisers have used the show as a platform to release new ad campaigns in a way reminiscent of how the Super Bowl is utilized.

If you’re familiar with the event, you know the show itself begins long before the celebrities take their seats. Red-carpet coverage is the pre-game to this three-hour extravaganza, and just another opportunity to set the stage for the fantastic night to come — an opportunity that is also extended to the savvy marketers who’ve chosen the awards show as their vehicle of choice.

To that end, there were several strong efforts last night. But the ones that stood out most for me were those that drew inspiration from the whimsy and magic of the event. Apple’s “Lights, Camera, Action,” Diet Coke’s “Credit” and JC Penney’s “Yours Truly” all struck the cord of exactly what we look for in movies — hope, escape and a little bit of inspiration.

Of these three, the new JC Penney campaign was definitely my favorite. The concept of the Yours Truly effort is presented as a letter from JC Penney to its consumers. The overriding message is that Americans deserve to look and feel better — and these new spots are spot on.

Much like using the subject matter to your benefit, audiences too will always respond to messages that are native to the medium with which you are running. Seems like common sense, but a promoted tweet should feel like a tweet, a company’s Facebook post should be as engaging and topical as something their “real” friends would post, and email marketing should never read like a one-way communication.

The Oscars are the Super Bowl of awards shows. It’s no longer just about who’s wearing what or who takes home the statue. More and more, it’s about what’s happening between the breaks that steals the show.

Because people pay attention to things that entertain them, and sometimes those things just happen to be ads. But if they’re entertaining, relevant and native to the medium, your audience will probably pay attention just a little bit more.