Advertising Strategies and Lessons


Brands Debut New Advertising Spots During Oscars Broadcast

February 10, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Parasite!” shouted the collective Twitterverse, as the South Korean horror/comedy swept the Oscars and the film’s humble and charming director Bong Joon-ho seemed more and more surprised by each win. It was the first Best Picture win for a foreign language film in the 92-year history of the Oscars. The Academy Awards are a fairly nimble operation these days: no host, no special awards and a good spread of the “big awards” keep the night from dragging on for the more than 23 million viewers who tune in. And brands are jumping on board, debuting new commercials during the broadcast. This year, ABC, the network airing the Academy Awards, charged $2.4-2.6 million per 30-second spot, an increase from last year. 

ABC sold out their ad inventory for the Oscars a week prior to the broadcast, with Jerry Daniello, SVP of Entertainment Brand Solutions at Disney Advertising Sales, noting that Oscar ads are becoming more tailored to the ceremony. “We have seen this trend over the past several years of clients launching new creative that fits within the Oscars, targeting that audience,” said Daniello.

Host ABC Aired Multiple Disney+ And Hulu Spots During The Oscar Ceremony

It’s no surprise that Disney, which owns ABC, pushed their own streaming services hard during the telecast. Multiple spots for Disney+, new Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere and Fios, which has an ongoing promotion with Disney+, aired throughout the show. Beginning last fall, Disney is no longer accepting ads from rival streaming services like Netflix, so the Mouse network owned the night, despite the studio having 22 nominations to Netflix’s 24.

Cadillac Airs A Series Of Spots Featuring Oscar Winner Regina King

Super Bowl spots may be more expensive, but Oscars ads are more luxury-focused. The sparkle of the night lends itself to high-end brands going all in with custom commercials for the evening. Cadillac was among those brands, buying up four minutes of air time and creating action adventure themed spots dubbed “Make Your Way,” which feature last year’s Oscar winner Regina King promoting the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

Peroni Works The Oscar Pre-Show Parties

The Italian imported beer aired its “House Party” spot during ABC’s pre-show broadcast and debuted a gold bottle meant to look like an Oscar for the big day and surrounding events. The Peroni gold bottles were seen at the Oscar nominee awards dinner the night before the Oscars and made their way to select influencers the night of the ceremony.

Quibi Goes Silly With A Series Of Movie-Themed Spots On Oscar Night

Short-form video platform Quibi, which is set to debut in April, aired a series of commercials that showed famous cinematic tight spots characters often find themselves in, from quick sand to lost in space. It was a strong, memorable showing for a still-to-be-launched platform and tied in smartly with the theme of the night. Quibi’s marketing push illustrated how brands are using the Oscars as an opportunity to target audiences and capitalize on the viewership and excitement of Hollywood’s biggest night.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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