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February 2015

Going For The Gold: The Data Behind The Oscars

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The Academy Awards always bring a big draw. While this year’s Oscars show did see a viewership drop, it still attracted over 37 million viewers. In addition to bringing internet favorite Neil Patrick Harris as host, the evening made waves for numerous activist pieces. Going into the night, the Academy Awards received criticism for lacking diversity in their nominees, prompting the hashtag. But that wasn’t the only issue of the night. Graham Moore, who won best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” took the time during his acceptance speech to address depression:

“When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself,” he said. “Because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or doesn’t fit anywhere. Yes, you do.”

Sharing his story resonated with those online. But he wasn’t the only winner to address issues close to heart. Patricia Arquette used her acceptance speech to address gender inequality, a topic that was hot leading into the night.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Nominee Reese Witherspoon had put the topic in the spotlight leading up to the Oscars with #AskHerMore, a movement encouraging journalists to focus less on what women were wearing and more on their accomplishments. The conversation garnered over 33,000 mentions, with a peak while the stars were on the red carpet.

Overall, the night was a success on social media. Over 3.9 million tweets and 211,000 photos were generated, with a peak between 11 and midnight, notably around the major awards. And the data was on point. We were able to accurately predict Birdman taking top honors, as well as Eddie Redmayne. It seems the social buzz isn’t that far off from what the Academy thinks.

Oscars

The Real Winners from The Big Game: A Look at the Data

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Every February, millions of Americans tune in to watch two of the country’s best football teams compete in the tournament finale. Easily one of the most watched events in the world, garnering over 115 million viewers, it is a major focus for those in the advertising and marketing world. Thirty second commercial spots sell for over $4.5 million each. It is often joked that more people tune in for the commercials than the game. This year, the game lived up to the hype, and the ads encouraged family values and focused on dads.

During the game, over 12.6 million tweets and 589,000 photos were generated, with the peak of conversation between 7-8pm EST largely on Twitter. The ads were major foci, with Budweiser’s Lost Dog spot being an emotional hit. However, Nationwide did create big waves with their spot.

Pepsi saw a nice boost due to their sponsorship of the Halftime Show with Katy Perry. Being the second most mentioned brand, it showed they used their investment smartly. However, the real winner of the game ended up being surprise guest, Missy Elliott. Joining main act, Katy Perry for 3 songs, Missy saw a huge sales spike the following week.

All in all, the game attracted record numbers and did drive conversation. Where it goes next year will be interesting and one all in the marketing world will be watching.