In Verizon’s advertising strategy for the Oscars

Despite this year rewards show odds plummet, Verizon is still bullish on the Oscars as a marketing platform.

The brand is rolling out seven new spots this weekend, including one at the pre-show, five at the awards show and one broadcast throughout the weekend as part of its Oscar campaign.

“Even with the degradation of ratings on traditional linear, the power of a live cultural event, be it sports or entertainment, is still increasing simultaneous audiences. [more] than anything else, ”said John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon. “As a retail marketer, we need to make sure that we take advantage of all of these live events and moments to get our messages across. That’s why we always see value in the live.

At the same time, the company is working with the Academy and ABC to integrate more deeply into Sunday’s show with a portal – there will be a QR code on the screen that will allow viewers to access it – which allows viewers to connect live to areas of the show that they would not normally see such as the press room, the statue-engraving station and the red carpet. The goal of the portal and its integration into the show is to “improve the overall viewer experience” as well as showcase the company’s 5G technology, Nitti said.

Verizon will also use ads on TikTok and Twitter to attract viewers who use the apps during the show to the portal with paid ads and influencer partnerships. The company will work with influencers Sylvia Obell, Claudia Sulewski and Karamo Brown on Twitter and Brittany Xavier, Caroline Vazzana, Terrell and Jarius on TikTok.

“You want to be on the chosen screen, don’t you?” Nitti said of the need for social spending at a live event like the Oscars. “You want to eliminate friction for the consumer to engage. ”

Advertisers like Expedia and Cadillac will also be part of the Oscars commercial programming this year.

It’s unclear how much Verizon will spend on the Oscar campaign as Nitti declined to specify the cost of onboarding, commercials, or social spending. That being said, ABC seeks $ 2 million for 30-second spots during the show, compared to $ 2.8 million for a duration of 30 seconds in 2020 and $ 2.6 million in 2019; Of the five spots during the show, Verizon will broadcast 30 and 45 second spots. Verizon spent $ 922.4 million on media throughout 2020, according to Kantar data; this figure excludes spending on social media, as Kantar does not track these channels.

Recent awards shows like the Grammy’s and the Golden Globes have lost about half of their audiences this year compared to last year, according to Nielsen’s notes. Reasons vary, but some executives say viewers are less interested in a pandemic awards show experience while others point to the lawsuit fragmentation of the entertainment landscape.

“In terms of a live TV destination, there are very few games in town,” said Allen Adamson, brand consultant and co-founder of Metaforce, adding that Super Bowl and even Oscar audiences are now a rarity. . “Despite the drop in ratings, there aren’t many destinations to enjoy.”

Regarding the Oscars in particular, Adamson said brands tend to aim for a “Samsung moment,” referring to the 2014 selfie host that Ellen Degeneres took with other celebrities live during the show. spectacle. However, those moments are “a long shot,” said Adamson, adding that “for every Samsung there are 10 brands that have tried and missed the mark.”

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