The Envelope, Please: Real-Time Marketing Winners and Losers From The Oscars
Dove, Lego, AARP score social success during the Academy Awards. Red Lobster, Butterfinger and DiGiorno falter.
When it comes to real-time marketing, everything is not awesome. Jokes fall flat. Sometimes efforts are just pretty good. Other times they are terrible. Or embarrassing.
Most RTM falls somewhere in the middle and that was certainly the case during the Academy Awards telecast Sunday night. With no major meme-producing moments like 2014’s record-setting selfie, brands had to generate their own viral energy.
And some — like Dove and Lego — did very well. Dove’s campaign against negativity set a positive tone for the evening. The company is working to turn the tide against the 5 million negative tweets about beauty and body image it says women posted in 2014. In the last 24 hours, the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag has been tweeted more than 27,000 times according to social analytics tool Topsy.
— Dove (@Dove) February 23, 2015
And for Lego, everything was … er, pretty awesome.
Sure, “The Lego Movie” wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature, but by passing Lego models of the Oscar statue to several key people in the Academy Award audience, the company scored prominent television screen time, further leveraging the bump it got when Tegan and Sara performed the song “Everything is Awesome” from the film. The tweet below got 2,635% more retweets than the average tweet from the Lego account, according to social analytics firm Spredfast.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) February 23, 2015
Several other brands jumped on the awesome theme, the epitome of low-hanging fruit:
Everything is awesome!
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) February 23, 2015
— Wingstop (@wingstop) February 23, 2015
Everything is awesome. pic.twitter.com/XEO9jewvJE
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) February 23, 2015
Other Strong Hits
AARP played it straight, live tweeting the events, and according to Spredfast, generating 381% better engagement than the account’s average tweet.
— AARP (@AARP) February 23, 2015
And Farmers Insurance and M&Ms chimed in with timely tweets after their pitchman J.K. Simmons won the Oscar for best supporting actor:
— Farmers Insurance (@WeAreFarmers) February 23, 2015
— M&M'S® Brand (@mmschocolate) February 23, 2015
In a clever bit of counter programming, Netflix released a new trailer for “House of Cards” about halfway through the 3 1/2 hour show. Analytics company Engagement Labs ranked Netflix as the top performing Oscar advertiser on social media.
Question everything. https://t.co/j9oGH3abVW
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) February 23, 2015
Attempts at humor by Red Lobster and Butterfinger fell flat:
— Red Lobster (@redlobster) February 23, 2015
Little known fact… our product's original title was: Cupman or (The Unexpected Taste of Butterfinger) pic.twitter.com/Vfa4N9UaYz
— Butterfinger (@Butterfinger) February 23, 2015
But the worst misstep came from DiGiorno Pizza. The famously irreverent Twitter account tweeted, “THE OVENS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF PIZZA again #2015Oscars” during the tribute for the 50th anniversary of “The Sound of Music.” That film, of course, tells the story of a family fleeing Nazi-held Austria during World War II and the allusion to ovens brought to mind the Holocaust to many. The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before it was captured via screen grab:
This tweet didn't last long pic.twitter.com/YSzCFYqE5N
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) February 23, 2015
DiGiorno, you’ll recall, made another serious social error last September, inadvertently making a smart-aleck comment in a hashtag-driven conversation about domestic violence.
In the aftermath of that mistake, the account took a self-imposed three-week timeout from social media, staying silent except for apologizing to angered Twitter users. This time DiGiorno hasn’t made any mention of the tweet, but the account hasn’t tweeted since deleting the tweet.
Postscript: We emailed DiGiorno for comment about the tweet. Here’s the response from a spokesperson: “At DiGiorno, we make pizzas that can be cooked up hot and fresh at home in your own ovens. Our tweet during the Oscars was referencing just that: pizza ovens. It was not intended to reference anything beyond that. We removed the post when we realized it had caused confusion.”