Jessica Chastain’s Red Carpet Walk a Hit on Twitter, and Brands Pounce

Marketers tap pre-Oscars buzz via Twitter

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Around 6:25 p.m. ET, #JessicaChastain was the No. 2 trending topic on Twitter (behind #Oscars2013) after the actress made her red-carpet appearance before the Academy Awards. And then by around 6:35 p.m., simply jessicachastain–without the hashtag and in lower caps–was also a trending topic on the micro-blogging site.

Marketers have been jumping all over TV-driven events in recent events to push their brands in realtime, and the Oscars are proving to be no different. Samsung, American Express, Royal Carribbean, Michaels Stores, Dell, Sprint and others purchased Promoted Tweets for the Chastain hashtags/search terms on Twitter.

But were they purchased in realtime? Or were the ads bought before the red-carpet ceremonies began, enabling the brands to take advantage of Twitter buzz but through simply assuming that popular and beautiful actresses were ready-made opportunities to be a part of the national conversation? (Promoted Tweets work via an online bidding system comparable to Google AdWords.) The promos were likely bought ahead of time, said one source from a social-ads-buying agency, calling pre-event buying "the smart way to do it" for days like this one.

Indeed, it's likely what has occured in Oscars-driven Twitter marketing so far this evening represents more of what Starbucks pre-planned two weeks ago during the snow storm Nemo than Oreo's in-the-moment Super Bowl stunt.

But the night is young–so examples like Oreo's might still be in the offing. In the meantime, here are brands that jumped on Chastain's red-carpet stroll via Twitter's ad platform.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.