To celebrate our enjoyment of movies, I chose three brands to analyze on social media that all have a tie-in to the Academy Awards. My first feature is the Oscars, followed by one of the best picture nominees, “Birdman,” and finishing up with one of my favorite actors, Bradley Cooper, nominated for best actor in “American Sniper.”
IMC approach? The primary social media channels for the Oscars are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Youtube (F/T/I/G+/Yt). The Oscars.com website was the most robust hub featuring contests with various sponsors to pick the winners, movie snippets and trailers featuring of all nominees, music moments, red carpet fashion, and back stage previews of the Oscar event. The only social media channel content prominently featured on the website was Twitter with tweets from behind the scene rehearsals. On the Youtube Oscars page, social media links were prominent on top except for Instagram. On Youtube they played up their Academy original videos that you can subscribe.
Consistent in messaging and imagery? The messaging and imagery on each of the channels was very consistent by using the Academy Award Oscar logo (above) in almost all instances, especially on the “Follow” buttons.
Up-to-date content? The Oscar brand content this week was not surprisingly extremely up-to-date on every single channel, especially as the event draws even closer. One surprise was Google+ where I didn’t imagine it would have as large of a following as it does with 3 million as well as 29 million views. Google+ page had many more current postings, especially on all the artists who will be performing and celebrity presenters.
Driving users to other social channels? I was really impressed on the Oscar.org website to see a special “Social media” prompt at the top of the page which was a very cool feature I haven’t seen before with all the major links and latest posts for each as you select. One of the unique features of the Facebook page was two mobile apps that aren’t on the other sites “Newsletter,” and “Team Oscar.” On Facebook there were several posts from Instagram. Many of the channels did not cross link to each other. I imagine this was done because much of what is on one site can be found on the other. However, I thought that more links should have been provided to at least drive traffic to the main website oscars.org.
Regular use of #hashtags? The most used hashtags on all sites is #oscars with #hollywoodcostume as a subpage to facebook. Last year in a 12-hour period starting around red carpet coverage, there were 19.1 million tweets viewed worldwide a total of 3.3 billion times. Of course, one of the best social media selfies of all time came during last year’s show from host Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter “celeb selfie” Tweet, the most retweeted in history (3 million).
Unique features? One of the most unique features on the Oscars web site and F/T/I/G+/YT pages is a behind the scenes look video produced by the Academy. Very professional in quality as one would expect https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDn3MqqALEE. Another unique feature was on the Oscars Youtube page with a short clip wishing everyone Happy Valentine’s Day featuring some past footage as well as an animated valentine greeting card you can send to someone. They also mixed some of the visual media up on their website with a short slide deck of Lady Gaga who will be performing during the show. On Instagram they feature many who fill in the blank for a unique post (see below).
IMC approach? Film studios and film makers embrace the internet and having so many social media channels at their disposal to help defray the overall costs for distribution and marketing that used to be much more substantial. The primary social media channels the movie “Birdman” uses are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Youtube (F/T/I/G+/Yt). On the Birdmanthemovie.com website, each of the social media links were present on each page to encourage sharing comments and posts. Many relevant blogs, forums and reviews also promote these major social media platforms. The most underwhelming channel was Instagram which is understandable because oftentimes movie sets are closed and sending out photos during production is sometimes prohibited through actors’ contracts.
Consistent in messaging and imagery? The messaging was as consistent as it could have been with posters and recognizable photo, even when there wasn’t a dedicated page such as on the YouTube channel.
Up-to-date content? All content on each channel is up-to-date but I contribute that more to it being a hot trend based on winning the Golden Globe as well as some other awards, leading into the countdown into the Oscars. I don’t see many reply comments by any of the actors in Birdman. On Facebook the movie administrators added 7 new photos Feb. 13
Driving users to other social channels? The birdmanthemovie.com website does link to all of the channels. Facebook features many interview clips with the actors and Birdman writer/director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu which are also cross linked to host sites from interviews clips such as Jimmy Fallon, KCRW, Jimmy Kimmel, directors guild, Golden Globes, etc. Foxsearchlight also features the movie with a nice site presentation along with corresponding social media links. The movie also gains social media momentum through many movie review channels such as wired.com, morningafterthemovies.com, geeknation.com, fatmovieguy, screenrant.com.
Regular use of #hashtags? The biggest problem is #birdman is shared with a rap artist so those who realize this also use the hashtag #birdmanmovie and #birdmanthemovie. It’s also regularly hashtagged with #Oscars, #Goldenglobes, #michaelkeaton, #emmastone, #edwardnorton, #Alejandroinarritu, #bestpicture. The best thing about the hashtag is that people love to share their opinions on films with their friends so this is one of the best discussion creators for social media platforms. Twitter alone had and a good topic to encourage discussion. By creating word-of-mouth marketing on social media you can create a buzz around your film.
Unique features? The best feature about Birdman are the abundancy of visuals. Not only does each social media channel feature various static photos of the movie, cast and director, but the video clips are what draw people, and a win-win situation for a movie brand. There are also many broadcasts of interviews with the director, Michael Keaton, as well as best supporting actress nominee Emma Stone, best supporting actor nominee Edward Norton and other cast members. Facebook features 30,512 People Talking About This; 148,050 Total Page Likes; and 12,853 New Page Likes this week.
IMC approach? Even though Bradley Cooper is on just about every social media channel and has a large following, I found that “actors as a brand” have a hard time to distinguish themselves with a fluid message that doesn’t seem so cookie cutter from social media channel to channel with other actors. For the most part, it’s a constant carousel–all about promoting the next film that’s coming out. With all movie actors/actresses as brands, I see too many similarities such as the standard static paparazzi photos while out on the town, video scenes from movie clips, or interviews on talk shows, etc. Much of the information written is standard biographical data, movie and character descriptions, and awards. In most all cases with actors, it’s all “pull” method of retrieving information.
Consistent in messaging and imagery? With brand imagery for a person, it’s pretty easy to say that consistency revolves around the recognizable face taking center stage. In Bradley Cooper’s case, his incredible good looks and inviting smile are consistent throughout all social media channels.
Up-to-date content? Bradley (himself) doesn’t do much in the form of answering comments or proactively sending out tweets or posting information in any of his social media circles. His Google+ page was the least updated with the last post in August 2014 and his publicist should at least ensure that his F/I/G+/T/Y channels has some relevant content, especially with him being at the top of his game these last several years with blockbusters Silver Lining, American Hustle and American Sniper. On his Facebook page it was extremely sparse with just about no content for a person that has almost 6 million likes. His biggest presence with most up-to-date info is on Instagram.
Driving users to other social channels? Even though his face is plastered in many places on the internet, his own channels are fairly sparse with not much in the way of cross promotion between social media channels. The question really is how much influence would him/his team engaging more in social media have in his career earning potential? I go to see his movies because he’s a good actor, but more importantly, because he chooses films I would be interested in seeing.
Regular use of #hashtags? #bradleycooper is the most prevalent but needless to say he’s also recently associated with #oscars, #Americansniper, #elephantman, #serena. The good news for Bradley Cooper is that there are so many fans, media outlets, theaters and movie companies that promote his movies and appearances that his brand is one that is publicized and promoted with very little involvement needed on his part.