Paul Dorset is a social media analyst at the advertising agency Lowe Campbell Ewald.
The Oscars are one of the most anticipated nights of the year and one of the last bastions of Appointment Television. Much like the Super Bowl or the Olympic opening ceremonies, marketers flock to social media to pounce on discussions and maximise their visibility.
Crafting a timely, pithy tweet is definitely a challenge, and here are some of last night’s best examples of real-time marketing.
One of the brands that unexpectedly stole the show early in the night was NASA. The Sandra Bullock drama Gravity was up for 10 Oscars last night, and the government agency capitalised on that by showing off their own stunning photos of #RealGravity.
Early on, while other brands focused on the red carpet, NASA shared photos of spacewalks, POVs from space stations, and sunsets while orbiting the globe. It’s no surprise that these beautiful visuals received thousands of retweets and @NASA added over 10 thousand followers, cracking the six million mark. It’s always fun to see a serious organisation have such a playful voice in social media.
JCPenney has been on a viral hot streak lately. They convinced the world that someone was drunk-tweeting on their account during the Super Bowl (when in fact it was a clever ploy to promote their Olympic mittens.)
The retailer utilized Vine to give awards for the Best Supporting, Supporting Actor. You know…the actors who portrayed a random doctor from Dallas Buyers Club or a salesgirl with minuscule screen time in Wolf of Wall Street. JCPenney gave them their #GoldenMoment where they got to give a six second acceptance speech.
Ellen and Samsung Break Twitter
Ellen was easily the biggest star of the night both in-person and online. She started the night off taking a blurry selfie, which was retweeted over 100,000 times in 10 minutes. Ellen then challenged the world to make a selfie of herself, surrounded by some of the most famous celebrities on Earth, the most retweeted photo in history.
While this interaction wasn’t exactly spontaneous (Samsung was a sponsor of the Oscars and arranged for Ellen to take those pics) the integration was seamless. The results couldn’t have been better for her or the electronics provider: the group shot quickly surpassed Obama’s 2012 re-election tweet which previously held the crown of most retweeted photo. For those of you keeping score at home, it’s at 2.6 million retweets and counting.
Ellen even tossed softballs to real-time marketers. When she asked the star-studded audience if they were hungry, brands like Pizza Hut, DiGiorno, and even Chobani, were tripping over themselves to suggest that they should be served at the Oscars. However the joke was on them: when Ellen finally brought out snacks to the starved A-listers, she went with a small North Hollywood pizza chain, Big Mama’s and Papa’s.
Oreo set the bar high for real-time marketers during the Super Bowl blackout of 2013, but Arby’s shattered that glass ceiling by poking fun at Pharrell’s hat during this year’s Grammys. In fact, that headgear made a triumphant return to social media fame as Pharrell performed his Oscar-nominated “Happy” in his now-signature lid. #PharrellsHat quickly became a trending topic.
While parody accounts were teasing Pharrell’s sartorial choices, eBay used its viral popularity to promote the hat’s sale to raise money for the charity One Hand to Another. Who ponied up the winning bid of $US44,100? None other than Arby’s, of course.
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