Friday, February 6, 2009

Oscars catch the viral marketing bug

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is using some online viral marketing to drum up interest in this year’s Oscars telecast.
With a slate of nominees heavy on art films rather than Hollywood blockbusters, this year’s movie awards ceremony could be similar to last year’s low-rated affair. So the Academy has revamped its Web site and created a fun interactive marketing campaign to promote what it’s calling “the biggest movie event of the year.”
At one Web site, people can create a custom video where they are the subject of an Entertainment Tonight-style gossip story. You type in your name and it appears printed on screen, on tattoos, a license plate and even protester signs throughout the fictitious news report. (See photos above featuring yours truly as a bad boy Hollywood celeb.) You can then e-mail the video to friends and family.
Will this viral marketing approach get people to tune into the Feb. 22 show? We'll see. But the Academy has its fingers crossed that this year’s show, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, does better than last year’s show, which was the lowest rated since Nielsen began using its “people meter” measuring system in 1983, according to the New York Times.

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