Oscar Night: Did Marketers Miss Out?

Ellen DeGeneres' legendary Oscars 2014 selfie garnered a lot of traction on Twitter. The viral celeb-filled selfie (which Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy said was sponsored by Samsung for $1 billion, Ad Age reported) seemed to be the success story that marketers needed to rev up their brands for awards season.

Will marketers make the most out of real-time ad opportunities during this year's Academy Awards?

Ariane Gut, head of insights and analytics at video ad software company Tremor Video, said real-time marketing for the Oscars, which aired Sunday night, is still in an experimental phase. Still, she said, marketers could definitely do more, especially in terms of creating a strong cross-channel video strategy.

People don't really care about which screen they're watching, said Gut. "They care about the content... They like to feel like they're part of the show."

In the spirit of finding out who's watching the Oscars (as well as the potential benefits of using the event to promote a brand), Tremor Video used its Playback Panel to look at the Oscar viewing-tendencies of 350 people (representative of the U.S. Census from an age and gender perspective) who completed the survey. 

Here are some other highlights:

-- Over half of those surveyed plan to tune in, and 62% of those watching will be using their mobile devices during the event. "That's something we observed for the Super Bowl.... The live event is on in the background, but [viewers] are watching with smartphones in hand," Gut said.

-- The night’s biggest winners could be the brands that opted for cross-screen and cross-platform buys, according to Tremor Video's findings. "Whether people watch live or not, they will watch video during and around the event," Gut said.

-- Ninety percent of respondents will be active on their devices during commercials -- somewhat shocking because a 30-second spot during the show will set marketers back about $2 million, Tremor Video found.

For the Oscars, advertisers may take the route of some Super Bowl brands that strayed from broadcast TV ads and focused on digital strategy, Gut said. For those who spend big on TV, make sure you extend the experience across channels, especially mobile, she added.

-- Millennials are 71% more likely than the general population to live-stream the event. Gut said millennials care most about the red carpet, musical performances and acceptance speeches: all fodder for brand content across channels.

-- Viewers who watch the show live are 40% more likely to also watch video clips surrounding the ceremony.

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