21 million users engaged in Oscar-related social activity.
The excitement over the Oscars isn’t only about what famous designer dresses and suits the actors donned or which stars gave the most heartfelt, memorable and witty acceptance speeches. The Oscars proved that brands that embed personal and relevant moments naturally into their event-specific advertising are the ones consumers relate to organically and willingly, will drive more engagement with consumers at multiple touch points. They will see higher brand awareness, recall and will ultimately, see increased sales and ROI across every channel – be it on their ecommerce or mcommerce sites.
With inspiration from the Oscars, here are four golden advertising rules every brand should consider.
Rule #1: Bring the past, present and future together for stronger impact
Most people log into Facebook dozens of times a day – if not much more. And most people use it to look up information about brands – be it a funny photo, a cool contest, a special discount, a quiz or something else. It’s popular – we get it. And so does Best Buy.
Best Buy shared nominees, then winners on Facebook.
When it came time to amp up its Oscar-related marketing, Best Buy knew that it had to bring the past, present and future together if it wanted to have the strongest impact on its business. And that’s just what it did. They shared these offers across their only weekly ads (aka circulars) and, in Best Buy’s case, created a customized landing page that updated to feature “Winners” post-ceremony. Best Buy also shared a blog listing films from past Oscars that they sell in their stores.
Planning against certain events, holidays, or product launches may be a good start, but impactful real-time messages, offers and experiences make consumers feel like a brand truly listens to them, understands them and wants to serve their needs in that particular moment.
Rule #2: Tap into TV watchers’ multi-tasking behaviors
How many times have you sat in front of the TV at home and been scrolling through your smartphone to check out the latest sale on Nordstrom’s app? Or better yet, remember the last time you played Words With Friends during commercial breaks of your favorite TV show? For most of us, this happens a lot.
This duality of TV and mobile behaviors is a trend we found in our recent holiday shopping research, where 72 percent of holiday shoppers this year were inclined to use smartphones and tablets to research a purchase while watching TV. And this kind of multi-tasking digital tendency is something JC Penney acknowledged and capitalized on during the Academy Awards.
To be exact, the department store retailer created a social giving game for this year’s Oscars that played much like digital Bingo. Consumers were invited to select game pieces leading up to the broadcast – driving repeat engagement – which then revealed a potential Oscar happenings like a photobomb or “tears of support.” The player’s charity of choice was given a donation from JCPenney, while users were encouraged to shop in-store or online with a special coupon. JCPenney’s gaming experience kept users engaged during both the time running up to the Oscars, during the show’s broadcast and it incentivized in-store and ecommerce transactions.
Rule #3: Stop being passive; invite active participation
Coinciding with the Oscars was the launch of Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign. This social campaign kicked off by inviting consumers to praise – instead of criticize – ceremony attendees. It tapped into the sense of celebration and glamour surrounding the event and the campaign earned 27,000 tweets according to MarketingLand – and it’s still going strong.
Not a week goes by without a new report on the death of consumer loyalty emerging. Brands and marketers need to look at who is (and isn’t) interacting with their brand online and work harder to connect with them if they want to see them in their store aisles doing something other than showrooming with a competitor. True innovators and ahead-of-the-curve brands like Dove are proof that it can be done. All you have to do is create powerful and inclusive messaging at the macro-level that invites your audience to participate in your brand story and your experiences.
Rule #4: Disruption is more welcome than interruption
And we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the big Lego win at the Oscars. The toy brand’s #EverythingIsAwesome campaign was immensely popular – so much so that other big-box retailers like Macy’s even tried to get in on the action and piggyback off the hashtag to promote its own brand and products. The iconic children’s toy brand took advantage of a real-time conversation to get people buzzing about their brand, connecting with people at what could often feel like a ‘slow’ moment and found a creative way to add some lighthearted fun to their core product positioning.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) February 23, 2015
If there was ever any doubt about the success of this campaign, the numbers speak for themselves. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Lego was the leading brand across social media, mentioned almost 50,000 times, with 45% of statements positive.” The rule of thumb for marketers is simple – Stop trying to interrupt; find disruptive and naturally relevant ways to incorporate your brand into the experience, while also adding fun and excitement so that your brand and products still stand out with consumers.