Can social media predict the Oscar winners?
As we are just a few days before the 88th Academy Awards, social media discussion is heating up full of reviews, opinions and predictions for the big winners of the night.
Relevant searches and mentions keep increasing, so we decided to examine whether the magic ball of social media is able to tell the winners.
The power of digital media has significantly changed the concept of an Oscar campaign, as the promotion may start even a year in advance (especially for the movies that are confident about a nomination), building anticipation and excitement when the big night gets closer.
This allows the marketers to build a complete strategy which blends both online and offline marketing in the most creative way, hoping they will receive the much-anticipated golden statue.
How do users discuss the Oscar nominations though?
Social media users love expressing their opinion over a topic and they wouldn’t stay silent for such a big event (even if they didn’t necessarily know the nominations).
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are their favorite destinations to talk about a movie, or a protagonist, with reactions ranging from extremely positive ones to the most negative one a user could possibly express.
This is the so-called “buzz” which is increasing by the time the nominations are announced and only gets bigger day by day until the night of the awards.
(Google Trends during the past 30 days)
There have been many attempts during the past years from social listening tools to predict the Oscar winners and this was encouraged by the rising power of social media in the entertainment industry.
The increase of marketing budgets for online campaigns and the rising interest from the social users led to the opportunity of understanding the audience, hearing their thoughts directly from their social profiles.
And this was very useful for marketers who wanted to promote their product to the right audience, inspiring many creative campaigns over the years.
But, how accurate is such a prediction?
Youtube has decided to measure the number of views for the best picture nominees, ranking them in order of views, including the studios’ channels, but also the popular aggregators.
According to the stats, the top three movies were close, with the rest staying behind.
Here are the Youtube views coming from the studios’ channels, as of February 25:
Youtube views and Google searches agree that “The Revenant” is the audience’s favorite choice this year, with “Mad Max: Fury Road” and the “Martian” being close, while there is also a preference on the “Spotlight” from movie fans.
However, social media users are not certain yet regarding their final choice. According to Amobee, “The Revenant” won in digital content engagement by 26 percent over “Spotlight”, while Crimson Hexagon measured that “Mad Max: Fury Road” was the most discussed nomination during the day of the announcements, although “Big Short” won the title of the most mentioned movie since then.
Can you really tell the winner then?
(Google Trends during 2016)
This year it’s all about Leonardo DiCaprio and his new attempt to win the much desired Oscar statue and judging by the memes and the hashtags, everyone hopes he’ll finally make it.
DiCaprio is a clear winner on social media, easily beating his competition, both in social mentions and searches.
As for his social profiles and their performance after the announcement of his nomination, his Twitter account gained more than 486,000 followers up to now and his Facebook page gained more than 312,000 fans, reaching almost 14 million fans.
And this was indeed the buzz of the year, judging by the marketing interest it caused, with Odeon being rewarded for its creativity.
Odeon came up with the idea of #LEODEON, changing its sign in Leicester Square as a way to show its support for the actor and the clever stunt led to numerous positive responses, both online and offline.
What’s more, they are encouraging users to tweet them their predictions about this year’s winners, proving that they know how to analyse the current trends in order to boost their engagement!
It has been observed during the past years that social media may be able to tell the Oscar winners way before the big night, but social buzz is not always right.
The users of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (who talk so passionately about the Oscars) are not always sharing the same thoughts with the Academy, as they tend to be relatively younger, judging, thinking (and interacting) from a different perspective. Thus, even if you are almost certain about a win, relying on the social mentions, you may still be surprised from the results.
However, is it more important nowadays to win an Oscar or the social buzz of it?
Well, the answer is different, depending on whether you are a marketer, a movie fan, or simply Leonardo DiCaprio!