Oscar's Branding Lessons Not to be Missed

As much as the Academy Awards has been battling with trying to create a youthful image with class, the Oscars last night demonstrated that all one needs to connect with the young generation, is to fuse classic with up-coming events and artists. But for those who were not able to attend and missed the whole event, below are three major branding lessons that should not be forgotten.

Down memory lane with classic stars

The theme of the night was supposed to be all about the classics such as Goldie Hawn and Kim Novak. It might have seemed like they were digressing from their goal of exhibiting a younger image, but the positive reactions on twitter said quite the opposite.

Why it succeeded

They took a gamble in selecting stars who were not young, but classic. They were also able to balance the young and old generation such as Pink’s ‘Over the Rainbow,’ which brought a new twist to a classic song.

What didn’t succeed

They chose Pink to sing the tribute to ‘The Wizard of Oz’, when everyone was expecting Minnelli to be the one to sing the tribute, since her mum, Judy Garland, had starred in it. They did not even let her introduce the tribute. Was there some slighting involved?

Lessons learnt

Don’t always shy away from having a classic spokesperson, as long as the person will be able to connect with the targeted audience. As much as one is trying to bring back the classics with their original artists, it is also important to find a balance by also reviving the classics with fresh faces. Take extra care so that appearances don’t reflect some slighting.

Ellen brings down Twitter

If the Oscars has ever pulled a social media stunt before, this one was the icing on the cake. Ellen DeGeneres, who was hosting the Oscars, decided to set a record as the one with the most retweets. She, in conjunction with others, not only managed to get 2.7 million retweets from her selfies full of celebrities, but she also brought twitter down with it.

Oscars pulled this stunt with Samsung as a sponsor, as well as a TV host with millions of fans. Even of more interest is the fact that epic isn’t restricted to those in their 20’s, since Ellen’s ‘most epic selfie of all time’ featured the most established stars, whose average age was 43 years.

Why it succeeded

They had a clear goal, had fun, used a famous TV host and made selfies interactive.

What didn’t succeed

It was too much traffic for twitter to handle.

Lesson learnt

The Oscars taught everyone a very important branding lesson which should not be missed. One must always have clear goals, make it fun, try and engage established celebrities and remember that the younger generation can also interact with older generation.


#MyOscarPhoto hash tag allowed users who were following @The Academy to tweet their photos and sign an online release which was invisible. Then during the show prior to the red carpet, a user’s photo with a TV screen would be picked by a celebrity and aired on TV. But unfortunately, most of the photos depicted stiff poses.

Why it succeeded

They used content that had been submitted by users and were able to make it interactive by allowing fans who were not celebrities feel like they were also participants.

What didn’t succeed

The execution was not well planned. In addition, the explanatory tweets should have included a note that people needed to sign a release.

Lessons learnt

Don’t let the advantages of engagement be watered down. For instance, if the plan was to put some photos on air, then use a number of them. Also make sure you market the release so that people are aware in advance.

From the above, it is apparent that the Oscars were out to teach everyone a thing or two on branding lessons, which should not have been missed by anyone worth their salt. It is therefore advisable for those planning to organize an event to have these lessons at their fingertips, at least if they want the event to be a success.


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