On the night between Sunday and Monday, the 94th Academy Awards was held, a film award that went beyond its limits and became a symbol of glamor and prestige. Although the numbers related to this event have been constantly decreasing in the last few years, the ceremony remains the most-watched non-sporting TV program.
Things have significantly changed, the award itself seems to have lost its relevance (and maybe it’s just a reflection of less interest in the film, due to the hyper-production of the serial program). However, it still remains important, and the award ceremony, and everything that accompanies it, still manages to attract a global audience. What can we learn from the Oscars? How can this parade of high fashion and celebrities help us advertise our brand?
We said that the numbers are decreasing, last year a negative record was broken when it comes to television ratings, and again, in the past few days, we have a feeling that people are only talking about the Oscars. Unfortunately, this time they are in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The conflict between Will Smith and Chris Rock went viral. People watch the video over and over again, search for the history of their relationship, and of course, make mimes on this topic, and the Oscars’ publicity is only growing.
In the age of social media, creating content with viral potential can bring great visibility to your brand with little investment. So, the ultimate goal is to create content people want to talk about and share with their followers. Unfortunately, there isn’t a proper formula for success in this case, as the Oscars themselves prove. Over the years, various things from this event have gained great popularity on social networks: the famous selfie published by Ellen DeGeneres; Leonardo DiCaprio’s honest reaction at the moment when he did not win the expected award; awarding the wrong film during the 2017 ceremony …
Real-time response naturally continues on virality, and live events on television leave us plenty of room for such an approach. It is important to find an angle from which our brand can talk about a topic that is at the center of attention, hence reaching the audience. An example of good Real-Time Marketing related to the Oscar ceremony is a series of tweets by NASA, a space agency that put together a nice and useful, using the publicity of films whose action takes place in space, to draw attention to themselves and their program.
If our brand does not correspond to the target group in the right way, the solution is rebranding, and the real example of that is Leonardo DiCaprio. Although many consider him the best actor of his generation, he was waiting for his Oscar for a long time. He needed 5 nominations for 1 award. The reason for that is the fact that his image simply did not match. He was an untouchable superstar, a cool character who played the same characters. The rebranding took place only when he played his role in The Revenant. He proved to be vulnerable and approachable on the screen, and on top of that he started a ’campaign’, he did a series of interviews that put him in a new, modest light. He changed his image and became appropriate to win the award. It paid off.
Oscar winners are determined by 9,000 professionals, who vote for their favorites. This leaves room for production companies to try to influence the opinion of voters. And they do it, they organize parties, they rent places for advertising in professional magazines … they try to expand the narrative behind their film. This narrative serves to explain what the film is about and to show its significance in the time in which it was made.
Oscar-nominated films usually have big marketing campaigns as a backup. These campaigns rely heavily on brand archetypes, so most of the nominated films can be classified into only a few categories. Outsiders are films that have been waiting for many years to be made, this archetype usually involves the persistence of the director or screenwriter and waiting for the right conditions to be realized. Films celebrating art are also one of the archetypes: La La Land, Actor, The Star is Born…Roma by Alfonso Cuarón is a representative of the third archetype, personal films, that bring the personal, honest, and touching stories of their authors to the screen …
Archetypes and marketing go hand in hand, thanks to them we can more easily create a brand identity, giving it human characteristics. You can find out more about brand archetypes in this post on our Instagram page.
Oscars are synonymous with glamor, hedonism, and high fashion. The combinations that Hollywood stars will bring to the red carpet are almost expected with the same impatience as the awards that will be shared. However, these are not the only values the Academy stands for. #MeToo movement, drawing attention to victims, fighting for equality in all spheres of society…
It is important your brand has values and shows its attitude through them. This does not necessarily refer to things closely related to your niche, but also to general, socially important topics. In this way, you will show an important side of your identity, and research shows brand activism is very important to generation Z.
What does the future hold?
The Oscars have a tradition of almost a century, but as we have already said, the ratings have been decreasing in the last few years. Another indicator that they are in trouble is the fact their audience is getting older, according to research, the median age of viewers is around 52 years. What does the future hold in the coming years? Will there be an Oscar rebranding? Will they try to get closer to the younger audience? Is this year’s incident just the first step towards that?