Posts Tagged ‘demographics’

Branding and Engagement Lessons From the Oscars

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Like many longevity brands, the Academy Awards faces the ongoing challenge of creating a classic but youthful image. Yet last night’s Oscars showed that connecting with a younger demographic doesn’t mean pulling weird stunts and packing the stage full of young people – in fact, by curating a balance of classic and up-and-coming, the event was a glittery case study in branding and engagement. Below, three of the evening’s many takeaways.

Ellen Breaks Twitter

Host Ellen DeGeneres managed to crash Twitter with her celebrity-packed selfie that garnered a record 2.7 million retweets and took down Twitter. DeGeneres prefaced the whole selfie incident by stating that she wanted to set a record for retweets and of course, the fans obliged. This was hands down the most successful social media stunt the Oscars has ever pulled – DeGeneres (and the masterminds behind the ploy) not only asked for retweets, they made a whole schtick out of taking selfies and posting them to Twitter. I wonder how no one thought of it before – though the stars aligned with Samsung as a sponsor and a TV host with a huge fan base.

Interestingly, Ellen’s “most epic selfie of all time” didn’t feature a gaggle of young starlets (23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence is the youngest), but a sampling of some of the most established stars in Hollywood. The average age of those in the photo (excluding Lupita Nyong’o’s brother, Peter, whose age I couldn’t find) is 43, showing that being “epic” is no longer quite as contingent as being in one’s 20’s.

What they did right: Stated their goal of getting the most retweets ever, made taking selfies an interactive process, added humor, got a host with a large fan base and loyal online following to give it a push (I can’t imagine working with past hosts like Seth McFarlane or James Franco and Anne Hathaway).

What didn’t work out so well: Twitter wasn’t ready for the traffic, Ellen tweeted a backstage photo from her iPhone.

Engagement takeaway: State your goal and make the process fun. Doesn’t hurt if you can get nearly a dozen big celebrities, and it’s not only young people who resonate with young people.

Bringing Back Classic Stars

The evening was supposed to be a return to tradition and the classics, as evidenced by appearances from Kim Novak, Sidney Poitier, Liza Minnelli, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and John Travolta. I have to admit, I found Midler’s performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings” at the In Memoriam section a bit of a head scratcher. For a brand like the Oscars that so plainly pursues a younger demographic, it seemed weird to me to have Midler, who was at the height of her fame decades ago, sing in what is possibly the most emotionally moving spot of the evening. However, it seems it may have been a good move since one of their goals was to consolidate their base (women) and there were a lot of positive reactions on Twitter, even though it seemed counter-intuitive to the goal of projecting a younger image.

What they did right: Going out on a limb and choosing a star who isn’t young but is classic, nailing a balance between old and young Hollywood, Pink’s excellent cover of “Over the Rainbow” gave a new take on a classic song, symbolically passing it down to the next generations but maintaining the power of the original.  The right way to do a tribute.

What didn’t work out so well: Not having Minnelli involved the tribute to The Wizard of Oz, in which her mother, Judy Garland, starred. It’s entirely possible that Minnelli didn’t want to sing, but regardless of the circumstances, a lot of people on Twitter thought it was odd that Pink would sing the tribute while Minnelli was feet away. If Minnelli didn’t want to sing, she should have at least introduced the number so that it wouldn’t look like she was being slighted. And if she was being slighted, they made it super apparent.

Branding takeaway: It’s not always the wrong move to choose a spokesperson who is classic, as Midler is, so consider whether that person will resonate with the audience you’re most doggedly pursuing. Strive for a balance between reviving classics with new faces and bringing back the originator. Also, remember to consider appearances – examine something from all angles to make sure it doesn’t look like you’re slighting someone.


ABC and the Academy announced their Twitter initiative, #MyOscarPhoto, in which users who followed @TheAcademy  (and who signed a practically hidden online release) could Tweet a photo of themselves using the hashtag, and then during the red carpet pre-show, a celebrity would take a photo with a TV screen showing the photo the Twitter user had submitted, and some photos would be shown on TV. It was, at best, awkward in on-air execution; when the model and red carpet host Tyson Beckford modeled the first example, it looked forced. ABC only aired one more instance of #MyOscarPhoto, but clearly they got some traction, as their Twitter feed has over 400 tweets of stars posing stiffly with a television screen.

What they did right: Sourced user-submitted content and made non-celebrity fans feel like part of the event.

What didn’t work out so well: Execution was awkward, they only showed two photos (including the introductory example) so it seemed to dwindle quickly. Maybe they needed a hastagectomy. Also, if people need to sign a release, you should probably mention that in your explanatory tweet.

Engagement takeaway: Don’t let engagement initiatives fizzle; if you say you’re going to air photos, air a bunch of them, and publicize the release well ahead of time.

Creating, Marketing, and Measuring Online Video for Your PR Campaigns – Tips from PRSA-NY

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Alfred Cox*

Recently I wrote a post, here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas, outlining key tips for integrating online video into your PR campaign from a recent PRSA-NY panel. For this post, I thought I would re-cap some of what I thought were the most compelling best practices for creating, marketing, and measuring online video content – as discussed at the event.

The event featured presentations from Joe D’Amico, PopTent; Jake Finkelstein, Method Savvy; Jonah Minton, Ustream; Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul; Eric Wright, DS Simon; Jim Sulley, newscast US; and Larry Thomas, Latergy.

It was followed by a roundtable Q&A moderated by Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader at Hunter Public Relations.

How to Create Online Video Content
Nearly 89 percent of journalist report that they regularly include online video content in their stories. But how can marketing and communications professionals create compelling video content?

Jim Sulley, president of Newscast U.S., had these best practices to offer:

  • Understand who you are trying to reach. Who are your target demographics?
  • Get the attention of the people watching. You only have 10 seconds to hook their interest.
  • Shoot to script, don’t script to shoot. In other words, take the time to plan your videos and write a script.
  • Create biscuits, little surprises along the way, and don’t give away the ending upfront.
  • Be truthful. And remember, production values count.
  • Entertain or DIE.
  • Too much text is annoying for online video.

When creating video content, you will also want to get your online community, stakeholders, and agencies involved, as this with provide you with feedback and help you market your initiatives. (more…)

2010 Trends and 2011 Predictions for Public Relations, Marketing, and Social Media

Monday, December 20th, 2010

How can 2010 almost be over? I am reminded daily by all the blog posts and articles highlighting the “Best of 2010 Trends” and predictions for 2011… I’m not ready. I don’t have my Christmas shopping done, my tree is not decorated, and I haven’t sent any Christmas cards. Realizing I’m behind, I thought a review of other’s ideas on what was hot for 2010 and what we should be looking for in 2011 would be appropriate for this post.

The End of ‘Social Media’
Paul Gillin, a long-time tech-journalist, asks that we stop talking about “social media” in 2011. He explains, “It’s not that social media is no longer important. On the contrary, there’s almost no media today that isn’t social.”

4 Netsquared Social Good Trends for 2010
Geoff Livingston compiles some of the reflections presented to TechSoup/NetSquared regarding the trends for 2010. Among them: “mobile as a legitimate grassroots platform” and emerging tools for “visualizing data.”

2010 Trends on Twitter
Twitter recently released its year in review, announcing the top trending topics across of a variety of categories. “Gulf Oil Spill,” “FIFA World Cup,” and the movie Inception were the three overall top trends.

Facebook Reveals Top Status Trends of 2010
Adding to the list of status trends, Facebook also announced its most popular terms for 2010. The most popular status trend for 2010 was HMU (“hit me up,” as in to call or text me), followed by “World Cup” and “Movies”

2011: The Year Social Media Comes of Age
Social Media Today, contributor Chris Symes offers three takeaways from a recent presentation by Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter, on “the career path of the social media strategist.” One of the key tips for 2011: “Know your ROI.”

2011 Trends in Social Media
Don’t Drink the Kool-aid blog gives some perspective on what 2011 will hold for PR and social media. Two trends to consider are that “companies will opt for agencies that specialize in social media” and “companies will turn to agencies for help with blogs as part of social media management.”

2011 Digital Trends – Shifts in US Online Population Demographics
Alina Popescu, Everything PR, highlights some online population trends as forecasted by eMarketer. She notes that, “Recent research from the Association of National Advertisers shows marketers are already capitalizing on the digital trends, with more than half of US marketers stating they will increase multicultural spending on both traditional and newer media.”

The Illusion of Predicting the Future, and How to Manipulate the Public Perception in 2011
While some of these predictions and year-end reviews can help public relations and communications practitioners plan for the year ahead, Mihaela Lica Butler, also a contributor on Everything PR, cautions the industry about “piling crap and calling it research” and reveals “how to manipulate the public perception in 2011.”

What did you think were the top trends of 2010? Can you share your ideas and predictions for 2011 with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?