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Brief Published: 1 Mar 2016

Adland Oscar Winners

Television viewership for the 88th Academy Awards ceremony was down 6% from last year, according to preliminary data from US ratings firm Nielsen. Nonetheless, advertising revenue was up from 2015, with around $120m pulled in compared to $104m last year. Significantly, despite lower TV ratings, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Best Actor win generated a record-breaking 440,000 tweets per minute, with Twitter reporting 24.2 million Oscars-related tweets during the evening of the event.

This data reflects a continuing shift in the consumption of entertainment, where media is accessed across an evolving variety of devices and platforms at different moments. Millennials and Gen Z film fans who accessed the Oscars ceremony via Twitter will have considered themselves just as involved in the event as those who watched it on TV. So how can marketers reach both sets of audiences?

Brands looking for an exemplar of cross-platform, moment-centric, big-event marketing should study US department chain Kohl’s Oscars campaign. The centrepiece was a series of TV spots that cannily tapped into the lip-syncing craze we explore in our Five New Channels For Social Media Marketing report. As AdWeek comments, the ads – in which ordinary people in everyday situations lip-sync to famous Oscars acceptance speeches – are “engineered to focus on the ‘universal feeling of gratitude’ in big moments as well as everyday ones”. The trend of building campaigns around ‘everyday moments’ is something we look at in more detail in Get Real.

Alongside the TV campaign, Kohl’s hosted an Oscars viewing party on live-streaming app Periscope, and teamed up with Facebook for a pre-event Oscars Challenge competition.

For more on social media marketing, see our Live-Streaming Strategies and State of Mobile: Winter 2016 reports.