The Oscar For ROI

by , Feb 24, 2010, 5:00 AM
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The Academy Awards are called "The Super Bowl for Women," often coming in as the second-most viewed annual TV event. But these days if you're looking for winners, it's better to bet on engagement than it is on the number of eyeballs watching.

Last year the Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes, and Grammys all posted modest viewer gains after years of steady declines. The Oscars bounced back to 36 million viewers last year, and we're predicting an even bigger jump this year as consumers, still disheartened by the economy, continue to seek some glamorous, escapist entertainment that doesn't cost them a dime.

It does, however, cost advertisers. A 30-second ad is running between $1.3 and $1.5 million, a range that tracks about even with last year's prices even as a newly expanded pool of best-picture nominees might bring broader audiences. But while we wait for the numbers to come in, we'd like to point out that the investment of millions of dollars doesn't have to be done in a vacuum. Engagement metrics can advise advertisers whether they're making good or bad investments, can be done for any brand, for any media, and, most importantly, before you spend your money.

Last year we offered up some odds on who would win the Academy Awards based on the loyalty and engagement assessments we use to measure brand and media options. They managed to predict -- with 92% accuracy -- the recipients of the various Oscars. So here are the odds we came up with for the "big" categories this year. These calculations are for entertainment value only. If you're making real bets on the outcomes, you're on your own.

Best Picture

Avatar: 1:3
The Hurt Locker: 8:1
Inglourious Basterds: 15:1
Up In the Air: 10:1
Precious: 25:1Blind Side: 40:1
A Serious Man: 50:1
Up: 50:1
An Education: 50:1
District 9: 75:1

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges: 7:2
George Clooney: 4:1
Colin Firth: 10:1
Jeremy Renner: 12:1
Morgan Freeman: 15:1

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock: 2:1
Meryl Streep: 8:5
Carey Mulligan: 6:1
Gabourey Sidibe: 12:1
Helen Mirren: 25:1

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Waltz: 7:2
Woody Harrelson: 9:1
Stanley Tucci: 10:1
Matt Damon: 18:1
Christopher Plummer 25:1

Best Supporting Actress

Anna Kendrick: 8:1
Monique: 9:1
Penelope Cruz: 12:1
Vera Farmiga: 12:1
Maggie Gyllenhaal: 30:1

Best Director

James Cameron: 1:3
Kathryn Bigelow: 1:5
Jason Reitman: 15:1
Quentin Tarantino: 20:1
Lee Daniels: 30:1

We wish all the nominees and advertisers "good luck." Actor/Director Clint Eastwood once noted, "There's a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven't. You just do the best you can."

With engagement assessments, advertisers can do better than that.

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