3 rules we can learn from the best brand placement at the Oscars
The TV industry is experiencing a sea change and advertising, as we have known it, is threatened as in no other historical period (Brand Channel)
The Oscars hit a 10-year high in viewership, watched by an average of 43 million people, up from 40.4 million in 2013 (Adage.com). During those recent years, it appears that the Academy Awards is becoming increasingly desirable as a marketing platform. Since commercials are becoming more and more expansive to produce but are less and less viewed, brands have to innovate in order to engage with the multi-connected audience and go beyond the traditional broadcasted commercials.
Having products appear in a program—product placement—has been a part of the TV business since the early days of the medium. Commercials breaks are boring to hell and social media ease the viewer to skip them. Today, product integrations, also known as content marketing or branded entertainment is at the epitome of glory and let the marketers to break free during the show.
1) BE ENTERTAINING : SAMSUNG x The SELFIE
The story has been featured by every media since Monday : The big Oscar selfie that changed America. Retweeted nearly 3 million times as of Monday afternoon, this selfie was a real coup de maitre made by Samsung. And a big move over Apple. So far DeGeneres’s selfie has been retweeted more than 1 million times, breaking the previous record set by Barack Obama after his re-election (Variety). This is why we should learn from this most sponsor-friendly Oscar advertiser.
What we can learn from the Samsung Selfie : The placement should be fully integrated into the content. Not a vulgar commercial in your face. This time it was part of the story, a cool but very scripted Ellen jokes. The sheer number of A-listers packed into the shot apparently caused the social media platform to crash, leaving thousands of Twitter users locked out.
In what Samsung was genius is that this trick got them 11 celebrities A-lister ( + Lupita’s Bro ) to endorse the selfie and all for free ! From Best supporting actor winner Jared Leto, Hollywood most cool it girl Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Meryl Street to the Jolie-Pitt, Samsung definitely strike BIG.
Strong Results : The Selfie was in the center of Samsung strategy. This operation was mixed with a serie of 10 promoted tweets featuring celebrity selfies taken from the green room, sent from the account of @TheAcademy (adage.com). Those two tactics were accompanied by a traditional tv spot “You need to see this” released during the night. This communication mix provided rich content and dramatically grow the awareness of the brand.
2) BE SURPRISINGLY ACCIDENTAL : COCA COLA x BIG MAMA’S PIZZAS
As a Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria delivery guy doled out slices to stars including Brad Pitt and Jared Leto, Coca-Cola’s logo — positioned on the side of the pizza boxes — wound up with prime, free placement during one of the most expensive TV events of the year. _Adage.com
This year PepsiCo took over the slot vacated by Coca-Cola, running a 60-second spot promoting its mini cans. But Coca Cola stole the spotlight by being accidentally broadcasted during the funny pizzas joke.
What we can learn from the accidental Coca Cola placement: Never forget luck and fate in your strategy. Sometimes money doesn’t buy everything, at all. You could spend a big amount of money but if you don’t have a little bit of luck and fate you can still loose it. That’s what Pepsi had to learn over Coca Cola during the Oscars night.
People enjoy brand placement but what they enjoy the most is the fact that the brand doesn’t break through the party like an uninvited party pooper. What they like is for the brand to be able to understand them by understanding the real value of the show and be part of the entertaining story. Not awkwardly insert their logo in the middle of it. That’s how Coca Cola ended-up live on the Oscars. And that’s for me a winning product placement.
Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria apparently got a thank-you note from Coca-Cola’s senior vice president of integrated marketing communications. (The Wall Street Journal). I bet he did !
3) BE UNEXPECTED : CLARINS x LUPITA
Even the Clarins lip balm that Lupita Nyong’o tossed into the hat became the subject of much tweeting last Oscars night. When Oscar host Ellen Degeneres walked around with Pharrell’s Vivienne Westwood famous hat to collect money for the pizza delivery man’s tip, Lupita Nyong’o reached into her clutch and pulled out something else :
“Lupita’s lip balm! That’s worth something,” said Ellen. (Daily News)
As more celebrities become brand ambassadors, paid handsomely to endorse beauty products, brands have to find innovative ways to appear and still be credible.
What we can learn from the unexpected Clarins placement : This technique is more traditional but yet really used by marketers and it’s called the Implicit endorsement (“I use this product”). This is not without risk that the celebs may never show or mention the product if the brand does not demand it. But in this case, what’s really working is that the product endorsement was not clearly mentioned by any part. And maybe she’s not ! Who knows. At the moment this technique clearly sends the message that Lupita is really using the product. The moment sparked #LupitasLipBalm mania on social media, as fans were quick to figure out exactly what the 31-year-old actress gave DeGeneres (Daily News)
Strong results : And now every beauty bloggers and reviews are featuring the Clarins lip balm. The brand has not been trending to this amount since 2005, the Lip balm sells out and becomes a social media sensation and the hashtag #LupitasLipBalm became viral.
The credibility and Trustworthiness of the brand and the celebrity endorser were absolutely improved. This we can call is a WIN-WIN !