Did John Travolta make you uncomfortable again while watching the Oscars? The 87th Academy Awards were held on February 22nd at the Dolby Theater in sunny (rainy that day) Hollywood, California. This year Hollywood’s biggest night was hosted by Barney Stinson himself, Neil Patrick Harris. Harris had big shoes to fill following last year’s host, Ellen DeGeneres. I’m sure you remember Ellen’s Twitter breaking selfie that has over 3 million retweets, her pizza delivery, and maybe even when she came out dressed as Glinda the good witch. Many people do, and her hilarious hosting abilities brought ABC 45 million viewers making the 86th Oscars the most watched nonsports telecast since Friends’ finale in 2004. (Hollywood Reporter) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the non-profit organization that puts on the event each year. The success of last year’s show made the Academy want to match its viewership but producers feared that ratings would drop sharply from last year.
There are several reasons for this fear:
-Less blockbuster hits were nominated for Oscars this year.
A December 18th report from a member of the academy said “predicted nominations focus on art films rather then major blockbusters that have mass appeal”. People are sometimes less inclined to watch the award show if they don’t know who or what is being nominated and this year popular stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo Dicaprio couldn’t be found on the nominee list. (Hollywood Reporter)
-They have to compete with other television events. Sunday night is a big night for TV.
The Academy was going up against very popular shows such as The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, and Girls. (New York Post)
-Neil Patrick Harris only has 12.7 million Twitter followers.
This fact may seem like the least of their worries, but surprisingly it was one of the biggest. Ellen DeGeneres, a syndicated talk show host, has 37.3 million Twitter followers. Every time she aired a show or went on one of her various social media sites she had the opportunity to promote the event. This gave the show a lot more publicity then Harris ever could because the reach of Ellen’s fan base travels further.
In response to their concern, the producers made a plan to allocate $5.5 million toward a new social media heavy campaign to keep the ratings up (brief.org). Most of that would be focused on cable advertising but $315,000 would be spent on social media. Once the show begins $73,000 would focus on Facebook and Twitter and $37,000 would go to Instagram. (Hollywood Reporter)
Once the show began, the performances and winners generated a lot of buzz on social media sites. Using hashtags such as #Oscars or #Oscars2015 people all over the world could join together in a conversation about the best and worst moments during the show. This year there were many opportunities for the audience to use the hashtag, which helped bring more fans to the viewing party.
Here are the 2015 Academy Awards, as told by Twitter: Resources: Atkinson, C. (2015, January 7). Academy to launch $5.5M social media campaign for Oscars. Retrieved from http://nypost.com/2015/01/07/academy-to-launch-5-5m-social-media-campaign-for-oscars/ Kilday, G. (2015, January 7). Oscars: Academy Report Reveals $5.5 Million Plan to Boost TV Ratings. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-academy-report-reveals-55-761440 Konerman, J. (2015, January 8). 2015 Academy Awards Show Plans $5 Million Social Campaign. Retrieved from http://brief.promaxbda.org/content/2015-academy-awards-show-plans-5-million-social-campaign