The Marketing Secrets of the Oscars

The 95th Academy Awards – also known as the Oscars - gave us a chance to look at some of the most interesting and successful pieces of marketing in the entertainment industry. How is this world-famous event used by the biggest brands to push their products?

How the Nominated Movies Are Marketed

Of course, we can’t forget about the movies themselves, and this is where being nominated for an Oscar gives the distributor a chance to gain extra money on it, often long after its initial cinematic release.

Known as an Oscars bump, the effect of winning an Oscar was clearly in Green Book’s performance last year, earning close to $5 million in the week after winning, and after it had already been in movie theaters for over two months. This was the best Oscars bump in about a decade, but it’s far from being the only example of this boost.

Many people are sure to be wondering which Oscars movie to watch. Luckily, ExpressVPN created a flowchart that lets movie fans work out what to watch based on questions such as whether they want to watch something uplifting, a film filled with despair, or a murder mystery.

Even a movie that is nominated but doesn’t win an Oscar can still get a huge boost if marketed properly in the period before and after the ceremony. By the end of January this year, the Oscars bump was less noticeable than it is in other years, with Avatar: The Way of the Water the only nominated film to sit in the top ten highest-grossing movies in the last weekend of the month, with $15.7 million in receipts.

The Hugely Expensive Gift Bag

The idea of a luxury gift for those who attend these events seems absurd at first. After all, A-list Hollywood actors, directors, and producers are probably among the last people who need free goodies. Yet, this gift turns out to be more of a marketing opportunity than anything else.

The company behind these bags is called Distinctive Assets, with Lash Fary taking on the job of curating the gifts since 1999. The truth is that the companies who give the gifts pay a reported $4,000 each to get their brand name among the list of exclusive products handed out at the Oscars.

Each 2023 bag is worth more than $100,000, including gifts such as a trip for eight people to the Faro Punta Imperatore Lighthouse in Italy worth $9,000, Havaianas flip flops, luggage, and Miage skincare products. For those brands involved, the $4,000 fee and the cost of the free gift could turn out to be their best marketing spending of the year if it gets their name seen by millions.

By viewing the events around the Academy Awards as being largely geared towards marketing, it’s easier to understand the importance of this ceremony to the movie industry and to the wider economy in general.


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