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Oscars 2013 unchained: What brands can learn from its subverted social approach

Submitted by on February 26, 2013 – 8:37 am |

Today’s guest blog comes from Ella Darlington of Tracepoint, a specialist technology inbound marketing agency in London. Here they outline the genius of the Oscars 2013 marketing team, understanding the personality and desires of their modern viewership, and capitalising on it in a hugely powerful way…

A drop in viewers two years ago spelled one thing: people are tired of the outward flowing river of event press releases and news. Instead these archetypal PR methods have been dispelled and replaced with the ‘social cheat sheets’ and the Oscar ‘social buzz’ window on the cyber news conversation happening in the background.

Why ‘Oscar buzz’ social media window is more powerful that a press release

oscars2013 King FergusThe impact, memorability and virality of an Oscar-related story far outweighs the impact of a press release.

The turning point for the Academy Award marketing team was exactly two years ago, when it realised it was missing out on capitalising on its captive online audience. Would the Oscars marketing team have sparked or steered a twitter account like @AngiesRightLeg with the use of a press release? Me thinks not.

The Oscars marketing team are offering more to people who connect with them socially, and invites the ‘every man’ to invent their own story.

There is power to be had in assuming a ‘social’ middle-man role between the public and the Oscars. Audiences appreciate and react to this new way of interacting and engaging with the Oscars brand.

    The Oscars this year have released prompts for their audience to become citizen journalists with the use of:

  • Cheat sheets,
  • Minor celebs (Seth MacFarlane’s dad) – someone people can relate to
  • An app release

It seems as thought the Oscars staff have taken a leaf out of the new age marketer’s handbook by conducting their own buyer persona research. They understand what their ‘new consumers’ want from them, and have made moves to recruit a subverted army of followers who have the freedom to craft a sarcastic, opinionated cyber window on the Oscars, that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

How can brands look to spark the Oscars’ kind of excitement around their own campaigns?

Social media marketing success can be measured more in the build-up than the actual climax. How can you go about generating a dedicated army of followers around a new online campaign promoting some useful content, or a super helpful event your company is hosting to inform prospects during their buying decisions.

Social cheat sheets: Who at your company is socially active? Provide all their Twitter handles on one sheet along with event info, and the event hashtag.

Fun content campaigns: Start a sentence and have your Tweeps finish it off i.e: “Marketing should be about…”. Boost engagement and ultimately your social reach.

Provide the framework for viral stories: Share staff pictures or snapshot ‘Vine’ videos from around the office, or event prep. Feed your followers by making the most of all free social tools.

Don’t be promotional! Always ask: why would someone share this message? Once you ensure all your messaging is helpful vs. hopeful, you’ll start to connect and engage prospects in a very real way.

    Here were some of our predictions of social stories as a result of the Oscars:

  • Someone will set up a Twitter account for Meryl Streep’s tear ducts after another #OscarNoms snub becomes too much.
  • Twitter users guess the real age of Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis (94) – the jig is up!
    Here’s what actually happened:

  • Anne Hathaway showed audiences just how chilly the red carpet was – sparking a frenzy of tweets all about ‘Les Nipperables’.
  • Cheesy wrap-up music took a back seat, and the Oscars production team got a sense of humour employing the ‘duuuh-duh, duuuh-duh!’ theme music of Jaws instead.

oscars2013 Anne Hathaway

What else can brands stand to learn from stellar social media marketing efforts like that of the Oscars social media team? Let us know in the comments sections below…

For the drill-down science of inbound marketing – download our free ebook: How to create an inbound marketing blockbuster.

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