Oscars’ Twitter strategy makes fans part of red carpet experience


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts is taking advantage of the surge in social activity during the Oscars with a campaign that incorporates digital into the aired broadcast.

The #MyOscarPhoto effort kicked off on Tuesday, and the 86th Academy Awards will air on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. The campaign is powered by Livefyre.

Sunday’s joint initiative between the Academy, Livefyre and Twitter allows not only the Oscars to expand its social reach but also the celebrities whose photos will be tweeted, said Jordan Kretchmer, CEO of Livefyre, San Francisco.

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By making fans a part of the red carpet experience, The Academy is forging a significantly deeper relationship with their followers than they would through a traditional contest, he said.

Giving social a starring role
Consumers must first follow The Academys Twitter handle @TheAcademy to participate in the campaign. 

Users can then tweet a picture of themselves decked out in an red carpet-ready outfit with the hashtag #MyOscarPhoto.

Some of the campaign’s tweets

Additionally, consumers must fill out a release form at http://www.oscars.org/myoscarphoto that gives The Academy the right to distribute and use the submitted photo.

With the majority of social activity taking place from smartphones and tablets, mobile plays a key role in how The Academy will collect content from the campaign.

Then on Sunday, Oscar attendees arriving on the red carpet will pose in front of an interactive wall that pulls in the user-generated photos. The pictures will also be showcased during the pre-show telecast that begins airing at 4 p.m.

Throughout the show, hosts will describe to viewers how the campaign works and encourage consumers to participate at home.

Building second-screen engagement
Last year, The Academy teamed up with ABC to launch a mobile application that combined live video and content (see story).

This years focus on social media highlights the growth in the past year from marketers leveraging Twitter to connect with TV viewers during live events.

Viacom International bet on Twitter in October with a partnership that incorporated real-time video and social content for its MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Channel brands (see story). 

Sprint also leveraged Twitters set of TV-targeting tools last year during the National Basketball Association championship series(see story). 

Mobile is a key driver for live events like the Oscars as viewers are watching with friends or commenting/tweeting via their phones on the go, Mr. Kretchmer said.

For the Social Red Carpet event on Sunday, we’re anticipating that a large percentage of the photos submitted will be done via mobile and once participants receive their tweets featuring their celebrity photos, they will retweet these via mobile as well, he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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