And the Oscar goes to…

It’s Oscar weekend and the celebs will be out in full force. It’s the perfect time for brands to capitalize on the eyeballs watching and media coverage in a bid to stay relevant. All eyes and ears will we be on what happens on the red carpet or on stage as the winners are announced and speeches are made.The Academy Awards Ceremony is an important moment in the socio-cultural calendar. People pay attention to what movie celebrities do or say at events like this. Look at the #metoo or #timesup movement, which seem to be born from and fueled by award ceremony moments like this. Whether it comes in the form of collective black outfits making a visual statement or it comes via a rousing speech from Oprah, new cultural narratives could be born this weekend.

Brands like the one I work on, Avon, along with many others will be poised to participate in the social media activity surrounding this event. If a brand isn’t, it isn’t part of current culture. It risks becoming irrelevant.

Indeed many brands nowadays set up ‘war rooms’ with a full team of social media experts from agency partners poised and ready to create that single post that will show the world how cool and on point they are.

We set up a similar approach when I worked at Unilever and a collection of our brands sponsored the mtv music video awards. Twitter was a key channel through which to congratulate the winners, make a comment on the action or elevate the relevancy of a celebrity association with a brand because they were there, part of the action and the conversation.

The live team working on it was critical if you stand a chance of creating the magic post that combines just the right of timeliness and brand fit to be accepted and applauded and grab attention. And it’s not easy to crack it.

One of the most famous examples of a brand that did was that super bowl post from Oreo a couple of years back – you can still dunk in the dark. This hit that sweet spot and provoked reaction accordingly. Check out this great summary of how Oreo ‘won the super bowl’ that year.Oreo

It takes preparation too. We often used to pre-prepare posts that could be used guessing what might happen. We called it ‘planning for agility’ at Unilever and was actually a concept we used through the year but was particularly important for getting ahead of big events. 

How is your brand getting ready to be part of the conversation? Who will win the prize this weekend for ‘best in show’ in the relevancy stakes?

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