If marketers were trying to own the second screen last night the way dress designers and jewelers owned the red carpet, it wasn’t obvious. Sure Pepsi supported its Mini Can ad with a Twitter plan to get people tweeting with the hashtag #minicanquotes. But the majority of those tweets were so lackluster one had to wonder if they were only coming from friends and family of Pepsi’s social media strategist. Plus, Coca Cola can probably claim a comparable share of impressions due to its logo on the side of the pizza boxes Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres ordered mid-show.
In fact it was DeGeneres who dominated the second screen during last night’s Academy Awards. The host took a few selfies during the broadcast with a Samsung Galaxy phone given to her as part of a product placement (but sorry Samsung, most viewers were oblivious to your presence last night). One of those pictures, a group selfie DeGeneres took with Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o and her brother Peter Nyong’o Jr., Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey and Angelina Jolie, dominated Twitter.
When DeGeneres corralled the Oscar stars into her photo, she challenged them to help her break the record for most tweeted photo. And according to Reuters, they did just that. The picture was retweeted, more than 2 million times during the broadcast, surpassing the record held by a photo from President Obama’s re-election celebration. And while not out of the ordinary during a major event, Twitter did suffer a very brief service interruption last night for which DeGeneres proudly took the credit.
So we’re only bestowing one Second Screen Award: Oscars to Ellen DeGeneres, who delivered authentic, engaging, integrated content to both the big screen and the social screen. Because really, that’s what consumers want.