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Advertising’s Biggest Night in Hollywood

On Sunday evening, the red carpet will be rolled out for Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars, as it is each year at the mother of all entertainment industry events, the Academy Awards. Following the ad world’s largest spectacle, the Super Bowl, the awards show is a prime opportunity for advertisers to carry over momentum with consumers and make an impact.

The majority of this year’s nominees for Best Picture and the other major honors are far from blockbusters; works like The Artist and Midnight in Paris attract an older, more mature crowd. Generally speaking, the less mainstream appeal of the films up for the Oscars, the fewer viewers should be expected to tune in, making the show somewhat less attractive for advertisers when the marquee acts lack the popular punch of an Avatar or Forrest Gump.

Sprint and J.C. Penney are among the larger advertisers rolling the dice on the 84th annual installment of the ceremonies with previously unaired spots for brand new campaigns. However, despite the all-important statistic of viewership numbers being somewhat up in the air compared to previous years, there are other factors at play that can make the Oscars a special opportunity.

Besides the awards themselves, the ceremony draws the attention of the entire fashion industry as well as the eager eyes of the celebrity gawkers and gossipers as the stars and personalities make it a point to show off their style on their way into the awards. Each year, media coverage of who is wearing what nearly outshines the awards themselves. Plenty of discussion will take place on the internet as well, as social media is expected to be deeply incorporated in 2012’s broadcast, increasing the audience size and participation through a secondary outlet.

Hyundai rolled out an iPad app demonstrating its new Equus sedan during the 2011 Oscar broadcast; it was an intelligent integration of a campaign that began during the Super Bowl and continued to captivate through this second major media event of the year. Given the size and engagement of the program’s audience, Hyundai’s effort was well received. Autotrader.com claimed Hyundai as the winner among the numerous car manufacturers who spent fortunes advertising during this year’s Super Bowl.

The Academy Awards is the Super Bowl for directors and actors.  After all of the envelopes are opened, which advertisers will rise to critical acclaim?

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