Most ‘Social’ Brands Missed Their Chance to Shine on Oscar Night

The media has rendered its verdict: Despite receiving the message that it’s all about Oreo-style “real time marketing“, brands promoting themselves during last night’s Academy Awards (or “The Super Bowl for women” if you’re a sexist) did not measure up to their Game Day peers, despite paying premium prices for 30-second ad spots. They didn’t quite rock social media either.

The problem? On Twitter, at least, the content felt more than a little forced. We get it: spontaneous humor and topical commentary is hard; you really can’t fake it. Some examples:

Samsung tried hard to be on top of things but mostly came up empty-handed.

Not quite relevant to the brand, is it?

Better, if a little obvious.

Almost painfully bland.

Awkward. Some brands made wittier entries with the help of Edelman and other firms assisting on the messaging side, but no one came close to 360i and Oreo except, of course, for Oreo itself:

The animation was a great touch.

One of the few clever Bond tweets.

JCPenney also got props for its on-message posts and “emotional” ads:

Lean Cuisine got in on the Vine action with this clever clip:

Special K tried throughout the night but never quite hit the mark:

Another point, made by industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang: last night’s TV ads didn’t include as much social media integration as this year’s Super Bowl spots. The vast majority of the brands on display simply presented URLs and encouraged viewers to visit their homepages–despite the fact that everyone and his grandmother knows how to search for a brand on Google? Where were the calls to action? This point is especially relevant when considering the brand that many observers saw as last night’s winner: Grey Poupon. The biggest name in snobbish mustard succeeded not only because the ad reaffirmed its cheeky brand identity–it was also one of the few ads to effectively utilize social by both featuring a prominent #PardonMe hashtag and encouraging viewers to share.

Full disclosure: We didn’t actually watch the broadcast, but we did enjoy the chance to see everyone on Twitter remind Seth MacFarlane what they REALLY think about him.

Unfortunately, the brands in the spotlight didn’t make the most of the opportunity. What do we think? Which brand had the greatest presence on social media last night?