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Are Oscar Ad prices Worth It?

Posted by: David Kiley on February 28, 2006


A new study examining Academy Award advertisers revealed that fewer than half of the brands advertising can expect to receive significant levels of viewer engagement that will translate into increased sales.

“With 30-second spots costing an average of $1.7 million, you’ve got to figure that advertisers are expecting some sense of return on a pretty big investment,” noted Robert Passikoff, president, Brand Keys, Inc., a New York City-based loyalty and engagement research consultancy.

The consultancy suggests that the brands likely to do the best in terms of engaging viewers in the ads are not necessarily the brands with the most entertaining ads, but rather the brands with greatest brand equity that can take advantage of the high-impact showcase ad venue: American Express, Coke, Cadillac. State Farm, Dyson Vacuum….not so much.

Audience ratings have not been kind to the Academy Awards in recent years. The ratings were down 21 percent in 2004, and declined even more in 2005. The choice of host and popularity of nominated movies and actors plays a big role in viewer interest. Last year, the host was Chris Rock. This year the Academy turned to Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s award-winning fake news program The Daily Show. It may be worth the price of watching to see what sort of gags and parodies crop up around nominated film Brokeback Mountain (I still can’t believe no advertiser parodied Brokeback Mountain for Super Bowl).



News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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