Inferno about ads and Oscars on BBC.

26 Feb 2013 - Maria Kivimaa


Sunday night’s star studded Oscars was not just a big event for the movie industry, but for brands as well. Our Head of Strategy Bambos Neophytou was asked to share his thoughts on BBC Radio 2’s  Drivetime. Listen to the clip, perfect length for a coffee break, right here

(Probably more influential than a Super Bowl star. Definitely prettier.)

…and have a bit more in-depth read on the subject on your lunch break. Over to Mr B:

“The Oscars are so hot right now. They’ve always been a big deal for advertising in the USA, but the ad-industry PR machine has been into overdrive this year, with advertisers paying between $1.5 and $2 million for a thirty second slot in ABC’s coverage of the 2013 event. These prices reflect heights not seen since before the days of the interminable mire of economic malaise that hit us five years ago.

A thirty second spot for (on average) $1.7million is a lot less than the $3 to $5million paid for half a minute during the Super Bowl.  But from a cost per contact point-of-view, the Super Bowl is a lot cheaper: $32 versus $45 for the Oscars. That’s because while 110 million viewers are believed to have watched the Super Bowl, a mere 40 million US citizens tune into the Oscars event. Having said that, one is paying a bit more for quality over quantity, as the Oscars are viewed by a more affluent demographic and is 70% female. (While the female proportion of the Superbowl audience has been steadily rising over the years, it is still only 45%.)

An interesting thing about the Oscars night that distinguishes it from the the Super Bowl from a marketing point of view is the unique media properties that are available.  By this I mean, the stars. The global celebrities of cinema (actors, writers, directors, producers) are far more influential on people’s purchase choices than the TV advertising is. They are, as Luis Carranza put it “walking billboards for products” (Well, that’s not exactly how he put it, but I have cleaned up his language for publication).

The amount of effort that goes into getting the Hollywood A-listers to wear particular clothes, jewellery, bags and accessories is truly huge.  Millions of dollars are spent of the free goody-bags that guests take home.  However, these placements instantly translate into brand fame and sales within days.  The efficacy of this has been boosted by the LIVE concurrent commentary that now accompanies such big media events in the millions of ‘second-screens’ (phones, phablets, tablets, laptops and desktops) through which viewers fan the facebook-flames of celebrity and product twitter-buzz.  The figures themselves speak volumes, with Adele Adkins and Michelle Obama inciting 83,000 and 85,000 tweets per minute respectively when they were on. Purely by association with such interesting live content, the adverts in the breaks gain some voltage and interest; but their efficacy is pale by comparison with the seeing products on / in / by / with or near the stars that people are tuning in to see.”