This Sunday, the red carpet will roll out for the Academy Awards and provide unique opportunities for brands to share the spotlight amongst Hollywood’s elite. See how brands have leveraged social media to engage customers with real-time marketing and leverage trending events to increase exposure.

The People Have Spoken

Fans flock from all corners of the Internet to share their opinions on award predictions, event happenings, and who wore it best. Big events like this bring a broad audience and offer an opportunity for brands to join the conversation and engage with fans. According to data collected by Twitter, 19.1 million Oscar-related tweets were posted during last year’s event. More than 5 million users contributed to the conversation, which boasted a total of 3.3 billion impressions for Oscars-related tweets. More than 37 million people viewed these tweets across and Twitter’s mobile and desktop applications. That’s nearly as many as the 43 million people who watched the show and demonstrates the social power of trending events and audience engagement.


Brands That Won The Oscars

While the Academy Awards are a time to focus on individuals and their achievements in cinema, many brands have found a way to tap into this large, captive audience and contribute to the conversation. Below are some examples of brands that offered timely and relevant content to generate lots of visibility and buzz – enough to break world records and even shutdown Twitter.

This infamous selfie from last year’s event broke Barack Obama’s record for the most retweets ever and was shared so quickly that it crashed Twitter’s servers on the night it was posted. This photo from @TheEllenShow had more than 2 million shares before the event was over, just two hours after being posted. Samsung also took advantage of this publicity with a campaign connecting its phone to this legendary photo.

oscar selfie

Realizing Pharell’s now iconic hat bore a striking resemblance to the hat featured in their own logo, Arby’s capitalized on the opportunity to effectively tie its brand into the Academy Awards. This outside-the-box creativity earned Arby’s the second highest brand recognition of the evening with 7,168 retweets and 5,001 favorites.

Arbys Oscars 2014

NASA took a great approach to congratulate Gravity on its seven wins last year with a video shot in space from the International Space Station. This visual media helped tie the brand into the trending topic with a unique and interesting spin that kept NASA top of mind.

How Your Brand Can Get In The Spotlight

While some of these Oscar examples from brands may have required a lot of resources, many were able to make a big splash by simply staying active on social media and engaging fans with valuable content. Below are some best practices for helping your brand generate more social buzz at this year’s Academy Awards or during any trending event.

  • Be Timely – Monitor events and social buzz to respond quickly and stay ahead of the curve
  • Be Relevant – Share content that ties your brand into trending events to increase exposure
  • Be Unique – Stand out from competitors and industry noise with distinctive and creative content
  • Be Visual – Use visual imagery to increase shareability and be memorable
  • Be Trendy – Use hashtags and trending topics to increase the reach of your brand
  • Be Interesting – Offer value to your fans through entertainment or education



Social media is a powerful companion to live and trending events that can allow your brand to capitalize immediately through real-time marketing. By staying timely, relevant, and valuable, your brand can leverage digital marketing to transform a trending event into a vehicle that drives exposure and revenue.

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