Lots Of Potential: How 2nd Screen Will Transform Next Year’s Oscars
By Alan Wolk
This year’s Oscars was a dud on many levels, or maybe it just seemed that way after last year, when the energy level was high, Ellen was ordering pizzas and taking selfies and it wasn’t raining in Los Angeles.
The number of tweets was down but so were the ratings, so on a percentage-wise basis, it seems Twitter came out ahead. Facebook too, which was quick to point out the large number of people posting about the Oscars. (Sorry Zuck, but that stat is just going to come off as creepy. People don’t really want to know that you’re scanning through what they thought were their private posts to count the number of Oscar mentions. You can talk all you want about “anonymized data” but it’s still going to seem really stalkerish.)
The youth platforms like Snapchat and Vine weren’t much in play during the Oscars, despite the presence of a number of 20something presenters and Lady Gaga.
I’m guessing marketers decided the kids don’t really do the Oscars, which traditionally have a slightly older female audience.
One thing I couldn’t avoid thinking about though, was the number of opportunities there would have been for 3rd party tweet ads.
Because while the sum of the parts was pretty lackluster, there were some very noteworthy parts.
So imagine being able to take a 30 second video of Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech where she urged equal pay for women and push it out to sites popular with a politically progressive audience.
Not only would it likely have driven tune-in, but the message itself would have been commented on, shared and forwarded, giving the Oscars (and Arquette) that much more buzz.
Similarly, Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music medley, in which the normally outrageous performer surprised many viewers by demonstrating some impressive singing chops, would have been an excellent viral piece, especially if seeded onto site and apps frequented by Gaga’s fans or even their parents, who’d be surprised to learn that Gaga was more than just a gimmick.
John Travolta’s creepy moment with Idina Menzel, complete with multiple instances of face touching would have been a natural for humor sites where I suspect users would have quickly turned it into a meme and then some.
There were other moments too— red carpet entrances in the rain, for instance— that, if placed into tweet ads and surfaced on the appropriate third party site, would have created more buzz around the Oscars and gotten more viewers to tune in.
Having a tweet as an ad makes it seem less ad-like, more like a news story. And having that tweet come from an official account would have given it even more gravitas.
The Oscars did an excellent job with their feed, which was both timely (tweets about winners came out seconds after the names were announced) and well thought out, with behind the scenes photos and other special content.
Next year, when they’re able to push those tweets out to third party sites, we should see a real bump in real time activity, proving yet again that 2nd screen is a valuable tool for the television industry.