Everything was Awesome at the Oscars

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)Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 4.21.58 PM 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: Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.23.53 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.38.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.38.46 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.39.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.39.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.34.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.07 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.36.01 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.28.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.40.31 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.27.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.28.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.41.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.32.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.51.08 PM 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




  1. wanderlustmh · March 5, 2015

    I really liked your review of the Oscars from the social media standpoint. Social media has definitely completely revolutionized the way award shows such as the Oscars are run. These days you don’t even have to be watching the award show on television to stay up to date with what’s going on. I remember when the Grammys were on and I didn’t have it on my TV but it felt like I was watching it through my twitter feed. For any award show, social media (especially twitter) becomes another facet of the show. As celebrities arrive on the red carpet, people are tweeting about what people are wearing. As performances and speeches happen, people are tweeting about it. Things get trending, pictures are being shared, basically the whole thing is being broadcasted both on television and twitter! It’s so funny the way that this happens. On one hand, it kind of makes it annoying when you aren’t watching an awards show that everyone else is because that’s all that you see on your social media feed. However, when I was watching the Super Bowl it was really fun tweeting along and seeing what other people were saying about half time and commercials. The Oscars aren’t just something that’s on TV anymore… they’re something that’s multifaceted and the show definitely has its hand in social media. So much so that producers were worried about views because Neil Patrick Harris ONLY has 12.7 million twitter followers! I wonder if having a large social media presence will now be required of future award show hosts?
    – Megan Barr


  2. coloredcougar · March 5, 2015

    I’m sure everyone would think that the Oscars would be a very popular program and not really think that it wouldn’t get millions of views however, when you bring up the fact that there are many other popular shows on at the same time that can cause the number of viewers for the Oscars to decrease. If you want your product or show to spread to various audiences you have to find a unique way to put it out there and make it interesting so people will want to watch it. For example, when you talked about last year when Ellen DeGeneres hosted the show, she had over 37.3 million twitter followers which made it easier for the program to gain the spotlight due to her posts about the Oscars. I never would have guessed either that they spend that much money for advertising on various social media sites during the show. It seems crazy!
    -Madi Say


  3. theschoolofsocialmedia · March 5, 2015

    This post was really well written and easy to read. I am a crazy fan of the Oscars and Neil Patrick Harris but Ellen was incredible last year so he did have a lot to live up to. I was shocked by the amount of money spent on advertising through social media but that is probably the best way to go considering everyone now a days is technology dependent. I loved the “as told by twitter” pictures. I thought that was a nice touch and really funny! Overall this post was really entertaining and interesting and did a great job getting all of the points across.

    -Deanna Brigandi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s