What's on Tap...
A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

What This Year’s Oscars SNAFU Can Teach Us About Marketing

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM |



Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the fiasco that took place at the Oscars. In what is being called “the greatest flub in Academy Awards telecast history,” best film was accidentally awarded to “La La Land.”

Eventually the producers of the show recognized the flub and re-awarded the Oscar to the film “Moonlight,” but not before La La Land’s producers had already given some teary acceptance speeches.

Talk about awkward.

While Warren Beatty and the accountants at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the firm that has overseen the Academy's ballot-counting process for 83 years, continue to point the fingers at one another, the rest of us can learn a thing or two about marketing from the awards fiasco.

1. Check and Double Check Before Launching Your Campaign

It goes without saying that before those envelopes get sealed, the names on the card inside had better be checked, rechecked and rechecked once more before awards night.

Before you launch your campaign, you had also better check, recheck and recheck once more to make sure you have done the following:

  • Chosen the right target audience – you can’t create a relevant and effective message unless and until you know exactly who you are creating it for.
  • Developed a strong ad – Is your headline attention-grabbing? Are you using the right visuals? Is your ad copy crowded or can the ad breathe? Does the ad create desire? Is everything spelled correctly? Do you include a phone number or URL so you can be contacted? Is there a call-to-action?
  • Selected the right channels – You know your target audience and have developed a strong, relevant message. Now how will you deliver it? Social media? Print? Direct mail? TV or radio spot? Make sure you know how your audience likes to consume information and how/when they are most receptive to it.

2. Ask for Help

Apparently, a redundant card had been included in the “BEST FILM” envelope. The card announced Emma Stone as the winner for “BEST LEAD ACTRESS” in La La Land. Emma had, in fact, won moments earlier in the “BEST ACTRESS” category. When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, presenters of the “BEST FILM” award, saw the card, they were confused, made an assumption (making an ass out of everyone) and simply read the name of the film on the card “La La Land.”

What they should have done is ask for help from the producers of the show. Yes, there would have been an awkward pause, but that awkwardness would have been minimal. As it turned out. A large number of people experienced unnecessary confusion and heartache they didn’t need to experience.

Why put yourself through unnecessary frustration by developing and launching a marketing campaign entirely alone? If your budget allows, it’s always best to seek the guidance of a professional media buyer, who can help you plan your campaign and get the best deals when it comes time to negotiate contracts.

3. Adjust Quickly if Necessary

Why did it take the producers of the Academy Awards so freaking long to recognize a mistake had been made? 10 or 15 whole minutes went by, people from “Team La La” had already begun giving their speeches, emotionally thanking everyone and no doubt debating in their minds whether the award should live prominently on their fireplace mantel or causally on a shelf in their office. This viewer feels the mistake should have been caught much quicker. If it had, there would have been less emotional and psychological bloodshed.

Beyond planning and negotiating on your behalf, a media buyer is responsible for garnering insights and making necessary adjustments that will help optimize your campaign. If your budget doesn’t allow you to use a media buyer, then you will be responsible for setting up a tracking system. How will you know if your campaign has been effective or not? Before you launch you must select the metrics you will use to track your campaign. Those metrics can be anything like page views, phone calls, newsletter signups, click-through rate, and of course, sales.


While the viewing public can get a kick out of an awards show faux pas, there is nothing funny about sinking time and money into advertising campaigns that simply don’t deliver. Let’s all learn something from this year’s Oscar flub and ensure all of our campaigns are always legitimate winners. .cede)��@� $

content marketing