Advertising in the Oscars

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ellenscoolkids-400x198Unless you’re in advertising, chances are you don’t see dollar signs when thinking about social media. If you’re like the rest of the world, you saw the famous “Ellen Selfie” which was taken at the 2014 Oscars and had familiar faces like Bradley Cooper, JLaw and Brad Pitt. The photo gained popularity instantaneously, so much that it BROKE Twitter. Samsung only bought 5 minutes of ad time for $20 million, but due to the right product placement and the Internet, this photo taken on the Samsung Note 3 has been seen by millions. Talk about advertising done right.

Now of course, Samsung is far from a small or even medium business but there is a lesson to learn from the famous Oscar selfie and Samsung. The use of the Internet is what created so much hype for the photo. Many people can use the Internet and social media sites, but it takes more than uploading a photo for it to gain popularity, unless you’re Ellen DeGeneres.

Another major advertiser for the Oscars was PepsiCo. Pepsi debuted their mini-cans during a 60-second slot, followed by commercials for Lipton, which is a partner company along with Aquafina. This is the first year Pepsi had exclusivity during the Oscars, so Coca-Cola was slated to have a zero presence at the awards. Unfortunately for Pepsi, the unexpected happened and there was not much to do about it.

Remember when Ellen ordered pizza? Not only did the pizza delivery guy get airtime at the Oscars, so did Coca-Cola. How so? The pizza boxes oddly enough had Coca-Cola branding on them which was a big FREE prime placement score. In short advertising during the Oscars was a total freebie.

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Aside from the initial brand awareness and post-award media coverage from the impromptu placement, the “pseudo-Real Time” results from social media mediums were tremendous. According to AdAge “Coca-Cola managed to garner 4,978 mentions on social media related to the Oscars between midnight Friday and Monday morning, according to Salesforce. In comparison, Pepsi had 5,018 social mentions in conjunction with the Academy Awards during the same period.”

If the Coca-Cola logo had been blurred out would that have help protect the shows sponsors and advertisers? Would checking the boxes or “un-scheduled” guests have helped the shows sponsors and advertisers? Will these censoring activities curb the shows creative spontaneity? Most likely, but this goes to show that giant global advertisers like Coca-Cola are simply unavoidable.

On the positive side the local Los Angeles pizza place Big Mama’s & Papa’s surely didn’t mind having their pizza brand personally delivered (pun) to the sea of stars and Ellen’s selected popular kids.

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