I love The Oscars. Every year, for a few hours, we get to celebrate the best of the film industry and peer inside the world of the ultra-famous entertainer. There will be winners and losers, both on and off of the red carpet, and regardless of the results, on Monday morning, people will be talking about the show.
Like the Super Bowl, just not quite as ubiquitous, the Oscars draws a massive audience and represents a great opportunity for marketers to connect with engaged viewers around a live event. While I can’t say who will win, at an estimated $800,000 for a 15-second spot, I thought I’d provide a preview into some of the potential nominees for “Best Brand in a Supporting Advertising Role.”
Participating for a 14th consecutive year, JCPenney will be focusing on the #PlayToGive watch party microsite and interactive game. Focused on second-screen activation, participants will reveal cards in a bingo-style game as events occur at the show. For their participation, users will will be able to direct charitable donations to one of three organizations: the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, No Kid Hungry, and DoSomething.org.
Last year’s winner, Samsung Galaxy, is once again presenting The Oscars Backstage, an online experience which lets fans select from three channels that will pull from more than 20 live cameras strategically placed on the red carpet and throughout the backstage areas of the Dolby Theatre. Providing fans with insider views into the most memorable moments of the night, popular camera positions will include the Director's Cut (including Thank You cam), Audience and Backstage.
GM’s Cadillac brand will unveil updated positioning and a new tagline, Dare Greatly, with multiple ads inspired by President Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech from 1910. Intended to set up the story to tell a new version of Cadillac, the spots will be the beginning of a campaign focused on a relaunch of the brand.
Part of a new national awareness campaign, King’s Hawaiian, the self-proclaimed No.1 branded dinner roll in the U.S., will leverage The Oscars to continue its expansion into the eastern U.S. Its key demographic, moms with kids in the house, will be highly represented in the viewership.
In addition to the above brands, long-time participants McDonald’s (24 years) and American Express (23 years) will continue to sponsor The Oscars as well as a new entrant, Netflix. The remaining advertisers include: AARP, Anheuser-Busch InBev, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Coldwell Banker, Comcast, Discover, J&J, Mars, Sprint, Sonos and The Walt Disney Co.
Personally, I expect some surprises. They happen every year. Whether they come from the awards, or the event itself, is still up for debate. Regardless, I’ll be looking to see who, or what brand, wins on Sunday.