Social Media Strategy, Real Time Marketing, Real Time Marketing

17 (mostly failed) Brand Tweets From The Oscars

Well that didn’t take long.

In the few short weeks between the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards, it seems dozens of brands (and/or their agencies) have decided to “get themselves some of that real-time marketing!”

Here’s the deal. If you’re going to try to capitalize on televised American water cooler moments you either need to be truly, inherently nimble and FAST like Audi and Oreo at the Super Bowl, or provide information that further the knowledge or entertainment of stream junkies.

Unfortunately, several brands missed that mark by a mile at this year’s Oscars.

Missed Opportunities


Really don’t understand this one from New York Life. Not in-the-moment, nor even a link.

This one is perhaps somewhat better, but the photo doesn’t play into the Oscars theme.


Samsung was pushing (via promoted Tweets) their long form commercial on YouTube, and tying back to their TV spots during the telecast. Very strange wording of tweets, as was more of a hashtag hijack than real-time marketing. This guy agreed:


Planned in Advance, and Just Okay

Lots of companies went the pretend real-time route, creating images based on nominees and winners, and pushing them into the Twitter stream organically or via promoted Tweet. Meh.


Had a lot of time to potentially come up with something amazing with the Oscar vs. Oscars tie-in.


Nice execution, but not sure why anyone would rush to retweet this (and it only received 6)


Similar issue here. An image that simply announces the winner (which we already know) isn’t taking your brand anywhere.

However, this six word film plots idea is solid.

Trying too Hard and Crossing the Streams

If you try to capture a real-time moment (or even an Oscar factoid) but then smash your promotional plug into the tweet what you end up with is a very short, very awkward advertisement.


Premise of “did you know?” Oscar info snacks was good. Didn’t like the transition to Bing vs. Google here.


One of the few truly in-the-moment tweets. Close, very close.

Organic and Interesting


No call-to-action or link here, but it’s so unvarnished it’s commendable. Reads just like what one of your pals would tweet. Not sure that’s on brand for Victoria’s Secret, necessarily but I liked the unfiltered nature of this.


Several decent Vines put together by Lean Cuisine. Good production values at least, and hey it’s lettuce.


One of my favorites. I’m sure they had this worked out well in advance, but nicely executed. Funny, timely and good production. (1,000+ retweets, incidentally)


I very much enjoyed these candid shots from backstage, posted by the official account. The hashtag is waaaaaaaay too long though. 20 characters?

Educational Youtilities

Several brands – mostly media companies – used the Oscars to tweet tidbits of information that added to the knowledge or understanding of those paying attention.


Interesting on the H&M angle, and right on target with the US audience.

WSJ sent out several of these throughout the night, but only when they had facts that added to the moment. Nice restraint.


I’m all for real-time marketing, but promoting some tweets during a big TV-watching night does not, by itself, equal success.

Did you see some tweets you like or disliked during the Oscars?

Facebook Comments


  1. Rob Garner says

    I agree with most of these – lots of try-hards, many seem forced. Shaping RTCM and RTM will involve a *sustainable* approach. Simply publishing content (blog post or other asset) that is relevant to an event (doesn’t have to be a major event like the Oscars or Super Bowl) is an opportunity for marketers. Unfortunately, most marketers seem obsessed with RTCM as a quick-shot banner ad opp during a major media event. The reality is that the bigger opportunities are more planned and serendipitous, and success happens repeatedly over a constant publishing cycle.

  2. Mia Wirtshafter,Tulane student says

    It does seem as though more companies than usual tried to exploit
    the Oscars as a time to market their brands.
    My feed was cluttered with companies posting ineffective tweets with no
    relevant content to their brand or target audience. Bing shamelessly promoted its own ads
    multiple times throughout the night and tried way too hard to connect Bing vs.
    Google to the Oscars. Bing will push people to use Google out of sheer
    annoyance with its Twitter ads.

  3. says

    Seeing a lot of these made me not impressed with my career choice in social media. Very disappointing across the board. The only one I really liked was from Petcentric –

    Did brands really not know about real-time media until the lights went out at the Super Bowl? I’ve never seen so many brands attempting to newsjack than I saw tonight. Hasn’t live tweeting always been a…thing?

    • says

      That’s an excellent question. I’m not certain. To say “skip it” would indicate these programs may do harm than good. I don’t think I’d go that far, so maybe it’s “do it, but do it better”?

      • says

        I think they should do it IF they have an idea worth doing. Creating something just for the sake of being a part of it is what’s causing so many brands to miss the mark.

        With so many brands attempting to be part of the conversation, the winners will be the ones who are really creative and don’t “force” it.

  4. says

    I just posted a comment over at Steve Hall’s post about some of these executions ( – to me the most interesting part of this seemingly “real time” strategy was how much of the content shared by brands during the Oscars could easily have been produced ahead of time.

    It’s good and bad – the good is that you don’t necessarily have to be a risk taking brand to capitalize on a real time moment, as you can produce some of what you might share ahead of time, and it can be decent if you manage how and when you publish it. The bad is that it can make brands lazy, or give them a false sense of nimbleness because they aren’t actually streamlining their approval processes to be ready for ACTUAL real time conversations.

    At the end of the day, many of the tweets shared in real time during the Oscars were kind of like the social media equivalent of a clip-on tie … really convenient, but sort of missing the point.

    • says

      I totally agree Rohit. The more you plan your spontaneity the less spontaneous you really are. And maybe they would have actually gotten MORE out of their work if they had deployed the content in advance. Interesting to see if that happens next time.

    • says

      There is no way around it – real-time is as planned as it is unplanned. Real-time doesn’t mean taking on a harried- or shoot-from-the-hip approach. It’s about being “in the moment” across all publishing channels. It is about the marketer being as fluid as their audience. In other words, it takes a lot of planning to be an effective real time content marketer, and this is bigger than just on-the-fly banner ads.

  5. Dano says

    How did we reach a point where we’re evaluating marketing, 140 characters at a time? You realize this post is media, reporting on media, about a media event, that honors media, right? The the infinite media minutia loop.

  6. says

    Not sure why I haven’t seen more about Sprint’s awful “We won’t ask you to wrap it up” entry on Facebook that has over a thousand mostly negative comments and made many think they were referring to condoms:

  7. Debb P says

    AGREE!!! Perfect example would have been Band Aid offering Jennifer Lawrence something for her boo boo after her infamous fall on the stairs on her way to get her Oscar! Or Spanx offering undergarment suggestions for the ladies…

  8. says

    Oreo stole the show for me again, with their “best dressed at the Oscar tweet.” If you’re a fan of Walking Dead you clearly got it, which ran against the Oscars.
    Looking back, it’s funny, the depths that some companies will try to get attention. One of my favorite twitter accounts is actually the college I went to @Appstate, which I wrote about here: They seem to get social media…because they don’t care about followers, they are tweeting stuff that the BRAND and FOLLOWERS care about. You have to have ties to the brand to want to be interested in what they’re doing on social media. It’s why brands like Oreo can be dominant because everyone already likes them, with social they’re just changing that like to a whole different platform.

  9. Jayden Chu says

    This is the challenge of joining the RTM bandwagon. It is not enough that you create a tweet. It needs to be really good and note worthy. Something people can actually connect with.

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