Historical Advertising Data Showcases Ad Pricing Trends and Top Marketers; Super Bowl Overlap Increases as Sales Rise
New York, NY, February 13, 2013 – The 85th Academy Awards take place on February 24th and will be watched by millions of TV viewers who are curious about who will win, what they’ll be wearing and whether this year’s presenter will do better than last year’s. A select group of marketers will also be looking to take home a prize, paying hefty prices to be associated with this marquee franchise and woo its viewers – an audience that is heavily dominated by women.
Kantar Media has combed its extensive database to compile key figures on Academy Awards advertising. Several trends have continued over recent years, including upward movement in ad pricing and revenue; a growing number of first-time advertisers during the TV broadcast; a noticeable lack of ad clutter compared to other similar programs and a variety of digital tactics used by media companies to create interest in Oscar-related content, which are also being leveraged by advertisers to target Oscar enthusiasts.
The Price of Advertising
The average price of a 30-second commercial in the Academy Awards increased modestly during the past few years but has not surpassed the peak levels achieved in 2006-08.
The average cost of a 30 second unit in the 2012 telecast was $1.61 million and total revenue reached an all-time high of $82.1 million. ABC has said it is selling 30-second spots for the 2013 show for around $1.7 million – indicating a full pricing recovery following the impact of the recent recession.
In marketing circles, the Academy Awards and Super Bowl were traditionally compared in the same breath, but in recent years the Super Bowl has been consuming more of the oxygen as it has widened its lead in pricing, revenue and audience. Meanwhile, the Grammy Awards – which had record ad revenue in 2012 of almost $60 million -- has also been narrowing the gap with its Hollywood rival as its ad rates have continued to rise.
Spending By Top Advertisers
A small number of blue-chip marketers dominate the rankings of top spenders in the Academy Awards. Last year, 43 percent of total ad revenue came from four companies.
Hyundai has been the exclusive auto advertiser since 2009 and JC Penney has been a continuous sponsor since 2002.
Two other well-known advertisers stand out for their loyalty and longevity. McDonald’s has appeared in the program every year since 1992 and American Express since 1993.
First Time Advertisers
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century the Academy Awards had a stable core of dominant and perennial sponsors. This low turnover, coupled with stiff limits on the total amount of commercial time, has made it difficult for new marketers to gain entrance to the program.
During the past few years some legacy sponsors withdrew entirely and others reduced their purchases. The defections created an opportunity for other companies to buy ad time. In the 2012 show, 29 percent of the marketers were first-timers.
The freshman class of 2012 included Citigroup, Google, Hulu and MetLife.
Advertiser Overlap In The Academy Awards And The Super Bowl
The two most expensive advertising events of the year - the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards - occur just three weeks apart. Despite the high price of a commercial in these two shows, a growing number of advertisers choose to participate in both.
Dual advertisers in 2013 will likely include Coca Cola, Hyundai, Procter & Gamble and Samsung.
The Academy Awards runs against the general trend of stuffing more ad content into TV programming and offers marketers a less cluttered environment. In granting broadcast rights to the program, the Academy limits the amount of commercial time. The show annually averages just 9-10 minutes of national ad messages per hour.
By comparison, the commercial load in the Grammy Awards, which airs two weeks earlier, is about 50 percent higher at over 14 minutes per hour.
The Digital Advertising Footprint
Although the Academy Awards is still predominately a TV advertising event, there are a range of digital marketing programs that capitalize on the event and target Oscar enthusiasts.
ABC is the most active player, using digital media to generate audiences for both its TV and online content which it can then monetize through advertising sales. ABC places rich media and display ads on targeted web sites in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the Academy Awards to promote and build interest in the TV broadcast. The network also executes a paid search ad campaign to direct traffic to its online coverage of the event.
ABC sells display and video ads on Oscars.com and in a companion mobile app. Primary 2013 sponsors of these digital platforms are Hyundai, Samsung and Phoenix University.
Other web publishers create content around the Academy Awards that helps support their ad sales efforts. For sites that cover the entertainment and celebrity industry, popular approaches include announcements of the nominations, predictions and fan voting for winners, red carpet activities, critiques of celebrity fashion, and coverage of post-Oscar parties. Food-oriented web sites have also gotten into the game with articles on hosting an Oscar-themed party at home and recipe ideas.
About Kantar Media
Kantar Media provides strategic advice and competitive intelligence to the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies, helping them navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. This includes analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and, evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behavior and digital insights, to marketing effectiveness and online influence. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking 3 million brands in 50 countries. www.KantarMediaNA.com