The 86th Academy Awards took place on March 2, 2014. The event was covered extensively by the international media, and through the latest technology the public were able to participate in a manner never before seen. Overall, the evening was a resounding success and a major boost for the Oscars ceremony.
The 2014 Oscars will, in part, be remembered as the year social media played an integral part to proceedings. Internet users took to Twitter in their millions, whilst host Ellen DeGeneres set new records with her impulsive photography. For any business across the world, it was an example of how to make a marketing campaign work with social media, ingenuity, and creative hard work. Here’s how the Academy Awards did it.
The Oscars 2014
The film industry is a billion dollar world of creativity. According to Box Office Mojo, who track box office revenue, the combined gross of all nine Best Picture-nominated films in the United States and Canada was $645 million. 2013 saw titles such as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, and American Hustle provide a very high standard — in the process they reinvigorated the movie industry.
Aided by the stellar selection of films, the ceremony scored a big ratings hit. According to Deadline, there were 43.7 million viewers (its best ratings since 2000) — up by 8% on 2013. The 2000 event saw a total of 46.53 million, whilst 2004 proved to be almost as successful with 43.5. Whilst the Oscars, circa 1999, tend to attract around 40 million viewers, some years stand out as anomalies. The worst event in recent years was in 2008, when only 32 million tuned in. There had been a similar dip in 2003 when a mere 33 million watched. In 2013, despite strong viewing figures, the show was criticised for Seth McFarlane’s controversial presenting style, which means the 2014 event will be considered as a means of getting the Oscars back on track in spectacular style. This is what the business world can take from the show’s achievements.
1. The importance of marketing spontaneity
Ellen DeGeneres transported her smartphone around throughout the show. The comedian didn’t hold back from taking pictures of stars and posting them on Twitter, including a selfie taken by Bradley Cooper. You’ll no doubt have seen the image; a beaming Cooper alongside DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey, and Liza Minelli (who was too short to fit in the image). The picture, when uploaded to Twitter, soon acquired a record million Tweets and promptly crashed the server. Almost a week after the show and it currently holds over 3 million retweets — an effortless World Record.
It has never been more obvious: do things properly and your social media presence will grow exponentially. DeGeneres’ official Twitter account grew in followers 47 times over what she could expect on a normal day. This is a shift from 25.3 million to 26.4 in less than 24 hours. Obviously most of us don’t have A List celebrities around to boost our campaigns, but businesses can focus on creativity and innovation as an effective marketing tool.
2. How to capitalize on an event
Twitter benefited enormously from the Academy Awards. The company was quick to point this out in several official blog posts. In one indicating Twitter’s reach during the show, it was made clear that over a 12-hour period from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. on March 2, there were 19.1 million Oscar Tweets, from a total of 5 million individuals, totalling more than 37 million over mobile and desktop devices. 43.7 million people watched the Academy Awards, indicating how deeply ingrained social media has become with major events. Twitter went on to state there have been “3.3 billion impressions of #Oscars Tweets” — a major success for their brand.