Who Leveraged their $1.7 Million Investment Into Brand Building Gold?
The 79th Academy Awards have been handed out to the winners, the best and worst dressed have been anointed, and an analysis of Oscar advertisers and marketers exposes which select advertisers turned 30 seconds of TV time, their websites, strategic search engine marketing as well as red carpet product placement opportunities into big wins.
SendTec, a progressive full service direct marketing agency, encourages marketers to not only reach out to consumers via television campaigns but to closely align these campaigns with online tactics.
"Consumer behaviors are changing, as evidenced by the ongoing push of Oscar's backstage persona Chris Connelly to visit Oscar.com," extends Eric Obeck, President of SendTec, Inc. "The mainstream television 'experience' now includes website and search engine interaction during programming, and very few events drive this better than the Oscars." So, if the general viewing public was being pushed online by the award ceremony's producers, did advertisers take advantage? SendTec opens the envelope on the big advertising winners and losers of the night:
The Award Goes To:
-- Microsoft - For its trio of "WOW" ads, Windows Vista intermingled
together after the Best Supporting Actress award. Curious and
intriguing, for a moment you had no idea what was being sold during
the first two spots. Microsoft then pulled it all together with the
final spot, pushing the viewer online to find out more by integrating
the "WOW" campaign at http://www.windowsvista.com/ and delivering the
one-two knockout punch. Even more compelling, Microsoft backed up its
campaign with a terrific paid search campaign, wherein if you actually
searched on the keyword phrase "WOW" you received the proper follow-up
-- Dove - Dove carried on the "user generated" concept employed by
Doritos during the Super Bowl. Integrating an interactive campaign by
encouraging its loyal users to submit their amateur ad, Dove continues
to be the brand of real women. The commercial, showcasing Grey's
Anatomy's "real woman" Sara Ramirez, ended with a call-to-action push
to visit http://www.dovecreamoil.com/ . Here customers can obtain free
samples of the new product and register for the chance to take part in
Dove's next ad campaign -- allowing Dove to collect valuable consumer
information and research. In addition to the tied-in website, Dove
launched an integrated paid search campaign as well as showing up
within branded organic search results.
-- MasterCard - The "Priceless" campaign is back and it delivers again.
With two spots, the Zookeeper and the Free-Spirited Shopper,
MasterCard effectively reached the viewers with a sentimental approach
building an emotional bond between the brand and its target consumer.
Once again, MasterCard understood it's not all about branding; it is
also about getting new cardholders, while getting current members to
interact with the brand at http://www.priceless.com/ . MasterCard has
even stepped in the world of user-generated content by allowing
visitors to submit their "Priceless Picks." Of course, to submit your
pick, you must submit your personal contact information.
-- Cadillac - Cadillac featured Andy Garcia and urged viewers to go to
http://www.mycadillacstory.com/ to tell their Cadillac story.
Searching the term "Cadillac Story" and "Andy Garcia" shows that the
company paid close attention to both paid search and organic search
Going Home Without a Golden Statue:
-- Kodak - Its Oscar campaign focused on communicating its improved and
growing Kodak Kiosk program for on-demand picture printing. However,
if you can't find where this kiosk is in your local area, the
advertisement is worthless. Searching for "Kodak" on Google nothing
is found in the organic results. It will appear in the results for a
paid search, but it will take users a minute to find it buried in the
-- Discovery Channel - They created a beautifully produced commercial, a
terrifically designed mini-site, but nobody will find it. The "Planet
Earth" mini-series promotion is a terrific example of an advertiser
thinking that if you flash a website URL on the screen that people
will actually remember it. If you don't have TiVo, the URL was
http://www.planet-earth.com/ , with the always memorable dashed URL
string. Searches for "planet earth," "discovery channel," "discovery
channel planet earth" or "planet earth mini-series" come up empty.
It's a shame that one of the best micro-websites will remain unseen
... unless they launch a paid search campaign.
-- Apple - Without question, Apple dropped the ball on Oscar night, along
with approximately $5.1 million of ad time promoting the word "Hello."
Was the one second frame that flashed the Apple logo enough to make
sure the audience actually knew the ad was from Apple? By the third
time the ad aired and viewers figured out that it was Apple, they were
left scratching their head on what the product was. And if they went
online to http://www.apple.com/ they would have found out more ... so
long as you had QuickTime installed to view it. Hello?
-- Cold Water Creek - The commercial that featured a woman picking up a
bouquet of flowers and putting them in a vase left the viewers
confused about what the ad was for. Without any mention of a website
for this unfamiliar brand, Oscar viewers could not distinguish if we
were looking for a clothing designer or a flower company.
"Outside of seeing Martin Scorsese finally win his much deserved Oscar, it was a disappointing night of viewing for the Ad executive," shares Tim Daly, SVP of Marketing Strategy at SendTec. "Some advertisers still aren't giving proper consideration to the lost opportunity and even the negative perceptions of consumers when they cannot seamlessly go to a website or a search engine to quickly connect with more information on exactly what was featured in a TV spot."
Going one step further, some big name designers did not need to shell out the $1.7 million ad tag to get attention. Product placement was the name of the game on the red carpet, with Armani, Christian Lacroix, Vera Wang and Valentino making headway by nominees and presenters who carried their gowns. Unfortunately, those designers savvy enough to gain product placement did not take the next step of placing their paid search ads in context of relevant key words like celebrity names.
Armani ruled the red carpet with Cate Blanchett's metallic Armani Label dress and Beyonce's green Armani dress prompted the "who are you wearing" question from all the interviewers. Calvin Klein got prime attention when the interviewer on E! Entertainment told supporting actor nominee Djimon Hounsou that she knew what kind of underwear he was wearing thanks to a text message she received from Calvin Klein's publicist. Prompted by this, E! correspondent Ryan Seacrest showed his briefs, announcing that he is also wearing Calvin Klein. This was followed by an interview on ABC 7 with Emily Blunt, accompanied by a caption promoting her sparkling blue Calvin Klein gown. Valentino also had a strong presence with Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet. Van Cleef jewelry got a mention by Hathaway who said that "she wanted to wear every diamond available" as this was her first ever Oscars. Vogue's Andre Leon Ralley doing fashion reviews on ABC gave thumbs up for Jada Pinkett Smith's golden Caroline Herrera gown, giving great exposure for this designer.
"In future years, we anticipate that the smartest brands will be better prepared when a fashion minded person goes directly to a search engine after watching the Oscars red carpet show to try to find out who was wearing what," said Obeck.