Live blog: Oscars real-time marketing in real time

Tonight is the Super Bowl for Hollywood: the 86th annual Academy Awards.

And with any big event these days — the Oscars is expected to attract about 40 million viewers — there’s the opportunity for brands to elbow into the action. Digiday will wade through the contenders as they grasp for their Arby’s moment, giving credit where it’s due and catcalls where appropriate. Check back as the evening wears on for updates on the real-time marketing efforts of brands.

And that’s a wrap.
You watched the awards. You laughed at the tweets, groaned at the puns and kept constant tabs Digiday’s live blog. Want the TL;DR? Check back for our five best social media moments of the night. And keep reading below for real-time Oscars marketing as it happened in real time.

A real-time opportunity falls in Miller’s lap.
Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech throws up a chance Miller Lite couldn’t pass up.


Mucinex is trying hard to force its way into the conversation.


Asics is getting bored.


Red Bull has resorted to simply hijacking the #Oscars hashtag.


Denny’s is irritating Twitter.
Users are impressed by the diner chain’s attempts to jump on the selfie bandwagon.


TGI Fridays tweets, nobody listens.
One person has favorited this tweet so far. It has no replies or retweets.


Pepsi rolls out movie quotes strategy.
The cola brand’s big plan for the night appears to revolve around “#MiniCanQuotes” like the ones below to plug its new small cans.


Ellen crashes Twitter.
Another win for the social network. Ellen said she received an email from Twitter saying attention to her tweet helped crash the service. The crash isn’t ideal, but the massive and repeated exposure is.

HuffPo causes controversy with Uganda tweet.
It’s using the Lupita Nyong’o Oscar win in an attempt to sell Chelsea Handler books.


Local pizza joint Big Mama’s & Papa’s enjoys its moment.
Ironically the local shop might be the biggest beneficiary of Oscar buzz so far.


A decent idea from Snickers, but is anyone really listening?
This pizza-related effort has 16 retweets, 16 favorites, and four replies. Hardly an “engaged” audience.


Snapple jumps in with a boring picture of a gold bottle.
The beverage brand clearly had this one lined up in advance and apparently decided now was the perfect time to publish it.


Ellen’s Oscar selfie is the most retweeted tweet ever.
It’s official. The star-studded selfie tweet is now the most retweeted ever, beating Barack Obama’s previous record. Big win for Twitter.


Red Bull jumps for the Wizard Of Oz bandwagon and misses.


Clorox’s Wizard Of Oz attempt is lame.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This Wizard Of Oz reference from Clorox isn’t funny or relevant, it’s just weird.


Ellen spurns big pizza brands for mom and pop.
Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria got a nice, albeit weird plug when Ellen for some reason interrupted the show to serve delivery pizza to the stars. Rather than a national brand, she turned to a local shop.
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Apple wins. Apple always wins.
Seems Ellen is using a Samsung phone onstage but an iPhone when she’s backstage and free to use whatever product she wants. Oof.

Twitter and Samsung get nice plugs from Ellen Ellen DeGeneris pulled out her Samsung phone twice for selfies, including a group photo that she said would be the most retweeted tweet ever. Barack Obama’s post-election tweet got over a half million retweets. Ellen’s tweet had over 100,000 RTs less than 10 minutes after it was posted. This is just the kind of exposure to a large, mainstream audience that Twitter needs to re-ignite its growth.


Sears tries to elbow it’s way in.
The oven connection is a bit of a stretch, but points for brand collaboration.

House of Cards is a winner. Kevin Spacey’s decision to do his presenter turn in character from House of Cards was a nice coup. Netflix got some nice play out of it.


Pizza brands answer Ellen’s call. Ellen’s ordering-pizza joke brought out the pizza brands — and Chobani. But where are you, Dominos?




KFC’s real-time Twitter awards fall flat.
The idea is solid enough. KFC decided to give “saucy” and “cheesy” awards for noteworthy tweets. Judging from the engagement on the tweets, however, not many people are interested. The tweets only have a handful of retweets and favorites.



Trolling the Oscars
For a couple brands, it’s better to join the Twitter mob making fun of the whole thing. Arby’s and Dennys are both making hay of the proceedings, cracking jokes throughout the night. A couple good ones:



No, not the puns.
Lipton couldn’t resist, it just couldn’t.

Ellen. A celebrity unafraid to take a blurry selfie during her Oscar opening:


Now, only you can witness Smokey the Bear’s real-time marketing debut and nod to Pharrell Williams.

Benefit Beauty rewards Jared Leto’s perfectly coifed hair. Or something.


Bark Box is looking to find purrfect celebrity-mutt pairings for its #awwscars:

Drinks are on the house. At least if Dr. Pepper wins its imaginary canimated award.

Real talk: NASA still stealing the show by tweeting out fun facts and comparing the movie to real space odysseys.

Pharrell strikes again Arby’s won the Grammys for its tweet at superproducer Pharrell Williams and his kooky Smokey the Bear hat. [link:] Now in an incredible stroke of good luck, Williams — who is up for an Oscar for his “Despicable Me 2” hit “Happy” — tweeted at the fast food chain that the instantly iconic hat has sold for a small fortune on eBay. This makes Arby’s the first big winner of the night, before the ceremony even began.

If it worked once … Fool us once with your “drunk” mitten Super Bowl tweets, shame on you. Attempt to fool us a second time with weird real-time typo tweets? Well, shame on you again. 

Do your pets watch movies? Proof that no brand is too far off topic for the Oscars:



More red carpet ridiculousness. Guess what, KFC, you will win none of these tonight.


Jennifer Lawrence took a stumble … … But it was the brands that fell in love.



The AARP knows its demographic. One of the most active Oscar bloggers of the evening so far is the AARP. The non-profit interest group and publisher for seniors came out strong online early — possibly because its target demographic will need to be in bed long before the awards show concludes.

In fairness to the AARP, they’ve been particularly adept at social, with a solid understanding of their own brand and a bent for family fare. The group also has a “Movies for Grownups” vertical dedicated to films that are not your typical Tinsel Town claptrap.

Of course, they’re not above ogling starlets either. Seniors, they’re just like us!

Pre-cooked red carpet tweets continue apace. Expect to see plenty more of the laziest of social media gimmicks: pre-prepared tweets of doctored photos of brands sitting on a “red carpet” somewhere. Macy’s, for example, wants its followers to tell them which star was the best dressed. Which means, somewhere, there is a social media manager who has to sift through tweets from Macy’s followers sending in their submissions for the evening’s nattiest. Let’s tip a little bubbly out now for that person.

Or maybe a little Red Bull! Here’s an extremely rudimentary PhotoShop job of a red carpet tweet.

Mmm, hideously sweet energy drink. Just want you need to wash down your Pringles with, maybe?

Of course, there’s always Dr Pepper if you don’t need those Red Bull wings.

Chobani’s anti-Oscars strategy. An interesting effort to watch is yogurt brand Chobani, which is positioning itself as the defender of real food. The Oscars are an interesting opportunity, since Hollywood is not known for its authenticity exactly. The brand is taking advantage with some sly tweets.

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Oh, the red carpet. The easy route is to plop your product on the red carpet and pat yourself on the back. This is where the car guys and the booze brand went.


Delta goes the location route. The space joke was there for the taking. Delta took it.

NASA is rooting for Gravity. Here’s a brand that should be crowing tonight. NASA is fully behind Gravity in its race for best picture. The agency is using Oscars attention to drum up support for its mission.




Dubious best taste award. McDonald’s isn’t waiting for the votes to come in, deciding instead to award itself best taste. There are, needless to say, some dissenters.

DiGiorno’s reports for duty. The frozen pizza brand has created a wise-cracking couch potato personality for its Twitter account. The red carpet is prime time for this pizza.

Lay’s is ready.
A note on “real-time marketing.” For some, the only thing that counts is quick reactions, like Arby’s tweet about Pharell’s giant hat during the Grammys. We take a more expansive view, allowing for the inevitable planning brands do to match to real-time events. Lay’s has a singing champagne glass animation ready to go, trying mightily to tie the Oscars into new potato chip flavors.


Best performance by a DSP in a drama?
Master ad tech marketer Terry Kawaja, who moonlights as an investment banker, has proposed an ad-tech version of the Academy Awards. Considering the posturing in the space, this is an idea that could work.
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Here come the war rooms.
You could easily argue the social media “war room” is an idea that’s already past its prime. After all, they’re often just a bunch of people in front of computers during non-standard work hours. Nonetheless, they exist. Here are some pictures of media war rooms.

The Huffington Post


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Pre-show buzz
Before the sun had even set on Saturday, brands were already hamming it up on social. From Diddy and Ciroc to Dairy Queen to Papa John’s to Victoria’s Secret, there’s already been no shortage of companies vying for the attention of the academy, hoping for a blockbuster tweet of their own.

Our favorite so far has to be Greek yogurt company Chobani, though, which gets away with both tweeting about the Oscars and making fun of the evening’s artifice at the same time.


Image via Shutterstock

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