Academy Awards 2018

Overview of the Academy Awards

The 90th Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, took place on March 4th, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET. It was located at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. Jimmy Kimmel hosted the program for the second time. He started off with a comedic monologue, but also played tribute to the MeToo movement.

An interesting start to the program, they took on a black and white theme. This was to simulate an older, classic film. Another interesting take on the comedic front was how Kimmel poked fun a decent amount with Black Panther and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This was interesting because it could be seen as a promotional opportunity for ABC, being that they own both franchises.

Those Who Stole the Show

Something that seemed to stick out to the audience was length of the program. Audience seemed to be disappointed with the length of the program, being that it was too long and that they ended up losing attention to the program or falling asleep being that it was late at night on the east coast.

Something that seemed to interest the audience was a speech based towards immigrant and the dreamers. Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o offered the speech to the audience before presenting an award.  

The way that ABC and Jimmy Kimmel tried to thank the people that go to the movies was also an interesting twist on the normal thank you given during an award show. Jimmy Kimmel and a group of major actors went across the street to a sneak peek viewing of A Wrinkle in Time that was set up by ABC for this event. They went over into the theater and surprised the audience with candy and food and a live stream into the Oscars across the street. The movie theater went crazy and Jimmy Kimmel let one of the audience members introduce the presenters following.

Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd and Selma Hayek, all women who have spoken out about their alleged mistreatment by Harvey Weinstein, came onstage to discuss about the efforts with Times Up and #MeToo movements and to make sure that equality, diversity and inclusion are represented and continue to be represented.  Following was a short sequence of clips from various arts in the industry speaking out about their path to where they were then (all nominated for awards) and how they got there. They all were minorities who had to push their way into the industry. There were bits and pieces about the movement throughout the program as well, some seeing that the show was split with Casey Affleck presenting, in light of two lawsuits brought against him, and also Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet for E!, also with allegations against him.

Ratings and Competition

The 2018 Oscars hit a new viewership low with only 26.5 million viewers across the almost four-hour time span. This was 19% down when compared to the viewing number from 2017, being 33 million viewers. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., the Oscars averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 shares from Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings. The previous low was in 2008 when Jon Stewart hosted.

Even though this was a decrease from previous years, ABC still dominated overall for that evening. When compared to the other networks for that evening, ABC averaged a 5.8 rating and 22.4 million viewers. NBC averaged a 0.6, CBS and Fox both averaged 0.5, CBS averaged 4.5 million viewers, NBC with 2.7 million and Fox with 1.7 million viewers.

Social Media

People took to social media both before, during, and after the Oscars. Facebook was the exclusive social media network to live-stream the red-carpet and the backstage coverage from the event. Viewers were able to find the live stream from both ABC’s Facebook page and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science page. It was also live streamed on ABC news website and the Oscars website.

Twitter blew up throughout the program. Viewers took to their social media accounts to discuss their reactions on the program. Some of the top hashtags were #oscars, #oscars90, #oscars2018, #oscar2018, #blackpanter, #theshapeofwater, #coco. People were tweeting and mentioning some of the presents, winners, losers, and the academy. The majority of the tweets came from across the United States and many came from other areas across the globe such as the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Canada. These all varied throughout the program. Many people took to twitter to discuss their feelings towards who they believed should have won. Some tweeted about the politics around the Oscars and how politics plays into the movies and the decision behind who wins.

Advertising and Sponsorship

ABC used the Academy Awards as a way to gain major advertising dollars.  The 30 second advertising spots went for between 2.6 and 2.8 million dollars. This amount has raised since the 2017 Oscars, with the top number being 2.5 million dollars.

The Oscars was brought to the viewers by a variety of companies, such as ABC’s Mary Poppins Returns, Samsun, AT&T, Cadillac, and Walmart’s Delivery Box. Walmart chose to advertise their new delivery box through three different short films that were showcased throughout the program. There were also major advertisers that dropped some major cash in order to advertise during the Academy Awards. There were some by ABC themselves, using the opportunity to showcase their upcoming content and some other that just wanted to be show on a big night for Hollywood.  These companies are: Samsung, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, Rolex, American Idol. Cadillac, AT&T, Verizon, Twitter, ABC’s Splitting Up Together, ABC’s Station 19, Google Assistant, News Channel 9 (local), the Roseanne reboot, AARP, Crouse Hospital (local), Discover Card, ABC Network all together, Direct TV, Microsoft AI, Dunkin Donuts, and some others.

The 88th Academy Awards

This year was the 88th annual Academy Awards, also knows as the Oscars. It’s a much-anticipated star-studded event that was put on by ABC. TVbythenumbers reported that the Oscars brought in a total of about 34.3 million viewers and had an L+3 for 18-49 years olds of 10.8.

They reported that during the opening ceremony from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM there where 16.51 viewers were watching with an 18-49 demographic rating of 4.2 for a 13 share. From 8:30 PM to 11: 51 PM the rating went up. However, TVbythenumbers reports that these numbers are down 6% from last year. Last year the Oscars brought in 36.6 million viewers. Chris Rock was this years host, and the last ratings low was in 2008 when Jon Steward hosted, gaining 32 million viewers.

Although the Oscar ratings and viewers were down, the program still beat out all competition for the night. Variety reported that ABC nearly tripled its combined CBS-NBC-FOX competition, “while nearly quadrupling those networks in adults 18-49.”

Regardless of the ratings, Variety noted that the Oscars remains one of the top-rated “kudocasts” on television.

Social Media
This year’s Academy Awards was surrounded with controversy and protests about the lack of minority nominees. During all the pre-shows on the red carpet social media was buzzing with #Oscars (reported about 12.5 million uses) and #OscarsSoWhite. Right off the bat host Chris Rock mentioned the controversy in his opening monologue.

According to Nielsen, the Oscars was the number 1 most social program on Sunday with a total of 1.8 million people in the U.S sending one or more of the 7.2 million tweets. Nielsen said this beats out last year by 22% or 5.9 million tweets.

Before the award show began, tweets about #OscarsSoWhite has already started, bringing awareness to this issue. Variety reported that the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag had 431,000 tweets 3 weeks prior to the award show, but then took off the day of the event.

According to Nielsen the most tweeted about time of the night was at 11:56 p.m. when Leonardo Dicaprio won. At that moment 175,148 tweets were sent out. After the event social media was filled with memes, images, videos, and more of Leonardo Dicaprio‘s win. These posts continued a few days after the Oscars.

Leading up to the big day the Academy posted a lot of throwbacks on both Facebook and Twitter. The dayafter the award show they posted flashbacks of the event and talked about Laga Gaga’s performance that engaged the hashtag #ItsOnUs and more Leonardo moments. Throughout the event the Academy also used the live Facebook feed to show what was happening on the red carpet, backstage at the ceremony and after the event. Celebrities also posted sneak peeks of getting ready and red carpet looks.

Snapchat also had a story on the app that was called “The Oscars.” There was a live team that covered the event just for Snapchat.

ABC also live streamed the event for subscribers on and the ABC app.

Kohl’s replaced J.C Penney as the sole retail sponsor. Kohl’s made Oscar themed commercials that featured lip-synched versions of famous acceptance speeches.

The LA times reported that a 30 second spot during the Oscars goes for about $1 million. Coke bought time and at leading into commercials Cadillac had their logo thrown up as a sponsor.General Motors was the sole automobile sponsor of the event, and debuted new Cadillac ads during the Oscars.

The Academy sends screeners to voting members to get out word about the films. Actors/Actresses also made their rounds before the event on shows like Ellen, Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight, etc.

Many have reported that Dove hit the marketing gold during the Oscars. They did a social media campaign to market their brand during the show with the hashtag #SpeakBeautiful. The mission was to combat negative tweets on Oscar night and replace them with positive ones. The marketing stategy gained them 51,000 tweets with that hashtag and over 46,000 responses. Dove reported that they contributed to a 62% decrease in negative beauty Tweets from last years Oscars.

Brands used the Oscars to get out its name. Gucci successfully used a social media marketing strategy to be the most talked about fashion brand during the award show. There was a massive social conversation during the event about the brand and then when Brie Larson won best actress and was wearing a Gucci dress this helped link the Oscars back to the Gucci brand. They capitalized on the viewers at the event and allowed them to dominate as a fashion brand. Out of Gucci, Givenchy, Dior, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton, it was reported that Gucci took 44.9% of all social media posts. Gucci along with other brands also has celebrities take over their Snapchat/ Instagram accounts during the event. Jared Leto took over Gucci’s Snapchat account witch also caused a lot of social buzz.

I also noticed ABC doing some marketing for The Real O’Neals and The Family, which are both upcoming shows on ABC.