Despite an absence of bona fide blockbusters, there's been no shortage of advertisers lining up to pay the big bucks for spots in the Feb. 26 Academy Awards telecast. In a replay of the Super Bowl, some of those advertisers are turning to social media to get the most buzz they can out of those serious investments.
McDonald's chief creative officer Marlena Paleo-Lazar told the New York Times that the company's Academy Awards commercials are about storytelling, and social media makes "our ability to engage in a conversation" about those stories easier, she said.
Hyundai Motor America, which will air seven commercials during the show, according to the Times, is using its Facebook page to get fans ready for the big event. The brand has asked its fans, "Which Hyundai should host Hollywood’s biggest night?" and "Which Hyundai would you arrive in for your walk down the red carpet?" To really drive the point home, Hyundai said, "We’re so excited to be a proud sponsor of the Oscars, Feb. 26. Gonna watch? We sure are!" and posted a graphic of its 2012 Azera model and the caption "Proud Sponsor of The Oscars."
JCPenney will launch ads with its spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres during the event. On Twitter, they wrote, "the Oscars are this Sunday. Love watching the Red Carpet, the awards and...oh well, just all of it! What's yr favorite part?" JCPenney also retweeted DeGeneres' post that her "new @JCPenney commercials are premiering during the Oscars! But you can watch some exclusive outtakes right here." The video features outtakes of her JCPenney commercial set in the Old West, and the line, "Don't miss the commercial when it airs Sunday night!"
To capitalize on the growing trend of second-screen viewing habits during live TV events, social media was given its own sub-page on the Oscars site, Oscar Buzz 2012, to highlight notable tweets, interact with other followers and connect platforms. We can expect that during the event, sponsoring brands will have their eyes glued to different social streams to see how fans react to the commercials, and to further engage with them.
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