The Oscars – now that’s an audience

An incredible 41 Million watched the broadcast of The Oscars earlier this week. Now that’s an audience. To make a comparison consider that this year’s Superbowl, the premier sporting event in the USA, attracted a broadcast audience of 106.5  million people.

Frankly I find the Oscars broadcast only mildly more entertaining than a school speech night, but I’m clearly the odd one out here.

Oscars advertising spots this year cost between $1.3 and 1.5 Million per 30 seconds – which was less than the 1.87 that advertisers were paying in 2008.

Superbowl ad spots of 30 seconds in 2010 were approx $3.1 million. Superbowl certainly is better known for spectacular advertisements and has become the event to watch for advertising trends.

Apple chose the Oscars broadcast for advertising its long awaited IPad. Here’s some commentary on other sponsors and ads screened in the broadcast.

ABC’s lack of risk taking – remember the gamble on controversial Chris Rock in 2005? – may have been the sure bet for casting a wider net for more expansive viewer demographics and bigger spending advertisers; if the commercials were any indication, an extraordinary range of folks was expected to watch this show. Product hawking covered the gamut from ads for teen audience movies starring Miley Cyrus and tween heartthrob Robert Pattinson to commercials to drum up membership for the over-50 set in the American Association of Retired People (AARP). Other notable sponsors included Coke, Cottonelle toilet tissue, Healthy Choice diet food, Estee Lauder cosmetics, Samsung TVs, and one truly funny Whoopi Goldberg commercial for a female incontinence product.


There’s a review of advertising trends available at which examines this year’s Oscars advertising.

Key findings from GreenLight’s 2010 analysis include:

  • The number of Oscar ads featuring celebrity endorsements plummeted for the third year in a row to just 4%, down from 19% last year and 38% in 2008
  • While brands are tuning out celebs, they continue to tune in popular music with 30% of ads featuring recorded pop songs, about the same as the past two years
  • Just 34% of Oscar ads featured celebs and/or pop music, down from 47% in 2009 and 68% in 2008
  • 4% of 2010 ads featured brand jingles, up from 2% for the previous two years

It notes that Apple continued to draw on edgy independent rock bands with its IPad ads, with “There Goes My Love” by Danish indie group The Blue Van.



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