Hollywood’s biggest night delivered once again, as Parasite — the South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho — collected numerous accolades and the stunner of the night by winning the Oscar for best picture.
So while that’s obviously the BIGGEST takeaway of the night, there’s still plenty to take away in the margins of the 92nd Academy Awards. Recapping the most interesting points:
Parasite was truly under the radar
Recent years have seen some surprising wins for best picture — (the last three winners) Moonlight, The Shape of Water and Green Book were not considered favorites heading into the night — but Parasite is a completely different category of shock. The South Korean film spent just $424,000 on U.S. linear TV advertising, according to always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv. And trailers for the film failed to really generate much of a digital viewership either.
Data from video measurement company Tubular Labs shows the movie’s social media feeds (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) generated just 1.5 million video views. That number’s pretty likely to increase as a general viewing public that largely missed the movie the first time around searches out videos and information before likely tuning in on streaming platforms. Google Trends’ U.S. map visualization indicates just how little buzz the movie was getting compared to the other best picture nominees leading up to awards night.
Quibi Keeps Up TV Ad Blitz
Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile streaming service Quibi continued its February ad offensive, picking up yet another big event buy. After appearing during the Super Bowl last Sunday, Quibi aired four different ads during the Oscars. All four — “Asteroid” (Anna Kendrick), “Train Tracks” (Bill Murray), “Oxygen” (Liam Hemsworth) and “Leave Me” (Idris Elba) — featured celebrity cameos. But notably, they didn’t showcase any aspect of the new service’s interface.
Right now, Quibi’s sell is short video content, delivered to your mobile device. But it’s not necessarily clear — from the ads, anyway — what that looks like for consumers. If you’ve been paying attention to the TV industry and Quibi prior to the spots, you may know a little more about the service. If not, though, not sure the ads actually do anything to shed new light on Quibi’s value proposition to the average viewer.
Also, perhaps this is more of your author being a skeptic, but short and high-quality video has been on your mobile device for years. Not sure how that sell’s going to attract a slew of new users without some big existing IP and/or some impressive new properties.
Oscars Hold Attention
According to Inscape.tv, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 12 million smart TVs, viewership of the Oscars rose throughout the first half of the show, and then largely leveled off through the end. Some of the major moments during some high points of viewership included Laura Dern winning Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story, Eminem’s performance of “Lose Yourself” and the presentation of the Oscar for Sound Editing, which went to Donald Sylvester for Ford v Ferrari.
Importantly, even the dips during the broadcast weren’t too large. Despite the Oscars running for over three hours, the show largely held audience attention all the way through — something that certainly helped advertisers out too. Unexpected wins early and a steady pacing to the award presentations likely helped keep viewers engaged throughout. The broadcast also provided precise teasers to tell viewers exactly what was coming next before all ad breaks (potentially stopping audiences from drifting away and losing interest).