The Power Of Award Shows For Brands


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The Oscars - A Brand Known Around The World As "The Best"

The Oscars itself reaches about 30 odd million people in the United States, and as reported The Oscars (there is no way to confirm this) "hundreds of millions" of people watch the ceremony around the world.  In the prime time of smack of the middle of the night in many countries in fact.  But the fact is, how many people internationally watch the awards show doesn't matter - as the name itself carries the weight of gold, and allows all those associated with it to be considered Oscar Worthy - and the best of the best.   

The magazines and digital coverage of the event are what people race to consume, allowing brands who are able to find a watch to become involved, from official capacity as sponsors down to gifting events and red carpet walks rubbing shoulders with celebs at off site events, a shimmer of that gold star dust.  From who wore what, to branded red carpet step and repeats at after parties, or champagne toasts, brands are indeed involved in every aspect of the Oscars. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the best ways to leverage the Oscars for brand marketing partnerships.

The Oscars And Brand Partnerships

How Many Tune In Around the Globe

The Academy has a fact sheet actually says that over 225 countries watch the Oscars, to the tune of “several hundred million” people.

But in reality, no one really knows how many people watch the Oscars internationally.  Or any TV show in fact.  When a show owner (the US distributor often) sells the licensing to air their show in another country, they collect a fee.  The other distributor has no obligations to monitor and report back viewership numbers, and in fact, it is to their best interest to not share that information.  After all, if the original content owner felt that what they were selling actually was worth more… then the price to license would rise. 

The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 did a study to see the actual global viewership, and got as close as possible to the best guesstimate of who turns in, where.  

Here’s their numbers:

  • USA, 37.3 million ABC
    Canada, 5.5 million CTV
    Latin America, 5.45 million Globo
  • India, 4.5 million Star Movies, hotstar
    Mexico, 3.8 million TV Azteca Channel 7 and TNT
    Middle East, 2.2 million Dubai One (English) and Dubai TV (Arabic) have aired the Oscars live
  • U.K., around 1.08 million Sky
    Japan‎, maximum estimate 1 million Wowow   
  • Scandinavia, maximum estimate of around 1 million On smaller cable channels
    Australia, 780,000 Nine Network
    South Korea, 700,000-plus Channel CGV
    Russia, 540,000-plus Channel One
    Germany, 470,000 ProSieben
    China, 365,000-plus CCTV where the Oscars ceremony is aired live at 9:30 am local time.
    Italy, 253,000 Sky Italia
    France, 103,000 CanalPlus
    Netherlands, estimated 100,000-plus Film1
  • South Africa, 57,000 viewers M-Net Movies Premiere
    Spain, 48,000 Canal Plus
  • Rest of Asia, N/A HBO Asia airs, but does not report metrics for Oscar viewing for Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palau, Singapore and Vietnam.

That brings the total viewership internationally to an accounted 27.95 million+, from some of the largest countries who would watch, and with the US included, a total of 65.246 million viewers.  A far cry from the hundreds of millions touted by The Oscars.  But once you add in all of those people who watch snippets on the news, or read about it in the paper or digitally - there is no doubt that hundreds of millions of people indeed are watching the Oscars. Or at least some of the show.

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The 2nd Most Expensive Commercial Of The Year

This year, AdAge has reported that 10 brands have partnered with the Oscars to embed their brand throughout commercial time of the show - many of them positioning themselves as supporting positive women as part of the #metoo reaction.  With some possible special in show appearances in segment too, ala Ellen DeGeneres' internet breaking Samsung Twitter post.  Each of those spots will certainly cost much less than the over $5 million a:30 of the Super Bowl at a "low" $2 to $2.5 million.  And that's reaching an audience expected to cap at 2017's tune in of 32.9 million. Max.  As each of the last Oscars has dropped since 2014's highest tune in reach of 43.7 million.

Pepsi is launching their new sparkling water brand with not one, but a reported TWO ads during the show.


That audience reach, and those price tags, however are actually an apples to apple comparison with a cost per thousand (CPM) similar reach of $45.76 for the Oscars compared to $48.35 to be in the Super Bowl. And if you are a brand that can afford it - more the power to you.  But for all those brands out there who can't come up with several million dollars, what can you do?  A lot.

Celebrity invite to brand event ebook

Other Opportunities At The Oscars

Celebrity gifting lounges rule the Oscars and are one of the favorite ways for brands to join in the media frenzy.  These lounges absolutely do not command top talent - there are few if any true A-listers who attend, but a bevvy of B and C listers who your brand will find even more valuable - as they are more relatable to consumers.

In order of most expensive... to least, let's take a look.

Entertainment News Red Carpet Inclusion

  • Having your brand partnered with an Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Extra TV or Access Hollywood segment as part of the show's red carpet exposure provides guaranteed branding and PR, all rolled into one. Plus usually some nice A-lister implied endorsement as well from being associated within that atmosphere.  Fees are going to start at $150k+ traditionally for a single episode partnership.  Really robust campaigns will typically start at $250k+ into seven figures.

ET Image


  • Best For National TV Exposure Before/After Event
  • Brand “Scripted” Mentions By TV Host On Red Carpet
  • Relevant Storyline Tied To Brand Discussion
  • A/B to A+ Level Talent
  • Photos & Video Of Talent On Red Carpet For Brands Social Media Usage
  • TV Show To Post And Tag Brand
  • Possible Sampling / Brand Activation Area “Backstage”
  • Product Giveaways

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The After Oscars Red Carpet Private Parties

  • Getting your brand's logo on the step and repeat at a major Hollywood shindig, which the A-listers walk alongside as they pose for the cameras on the red carpet will yield definite publicity for your brand.  At a high cost.  Don't plan on being able to participate with step and repeat brand activations under six figures with any event that has A list attendees.  Although there are always some exceptions!  Usually there is some guaranteed press that will go along with the sponsorship, and some events even have activation station capability for those attending to truly get to be exposed to your brand.  

Michelle Monaghan


  • Best For Branding & Experiences At A-Lister Events, Social Media From Brand Behind The Scenes
  • A to B Level Talent + Hollywood VIP‘s
  • Photos With Talent & Branding
  • Possible Step & Repeat Brand Logo
  • Product Giveaways & Sampling Possible  
  • Media Coverage On The Red Carpet
  • Brand Activation Area Depends On Event
  • Limited Brand # Can Participate
  • Tickets To Event

The Celebrity Gift Lounge

For the Oscars, there is no 'official' gifting lounge, but a handful of events that are curated by event producers who invite brands to pay a fee to be onsite, and then invite media and celebrity talent to stop by for free items.  And celebrities LOVE this because they get both media attention, and bags of goodies.  Brands love it because they get reasonably priced opportunities to have dozens of photos of established and emerging talent shown with their brand, picked up in media with the celebrity holding the brand or standing by a sign, and are able to start creating real life relationships with celebrities who can become fans of the brand itself.  We've seen this work so well for brands over the years.  But some lounges are not as good as others, and if you don't do anything with the photos you secure, then the value ROI starts to decline.  There are definite strategies to make this type of partnership a success.  Costs at the better lounges traditionally run $25k+.

William MacyKarina Smirnoff


  • Best For Building Relationships + Product Pictures With Celebrities
  • ‘B/C’ Level Recognizable Talent – Occasional ‘A’
  • Great Photos With Talent & Product
  • Product Giveaways 
  • On Site Media Coverage + Press Sampling
  • 6’, 12’ or 18’ Display Area For Product
  • Strong Signage Presence Opportunity

Golden Globes Gift Lounge

The Celebrity Gift Bag

If your brand wants to mingle with the stars... and be taken home as well, on the cheap, then the celebrity gift bag opportunity if for you.  The negatives are... you really don't get too much out of it. Some will offer inclusion as a mention in a press release, and others may provide a group shot of all the brands in the bag as a photo.  And a very select few will actually create some pretty cool gift bag extension opportunities, with guaranteed on air brand mention during an interview, or photos with a celebrity.  

Read our blog: Getting Your Brand In A Celebrity Gift Bag which provides real options for your brand to take to find success. Gift bags have price tags - from a few thousand to $7,500 or so.  Providing product is great - but there is still work the event team has to do to assemble them, which is why a price tag comes into play.

MTV Gift Bag


  • Best For Low Cost Sampling To Celebrity and Hollywood Influencers
  • A+ to A/B Level Talent + VIPs
  • Possible Photo Of Gift Bag – Not Always Included
  • Select Media Coverage Guarantees Based On Event
  • Product Giveaways 
  • Sponsor of Actual Giftbag (Tote / Duffel) Possible With Brand Logo
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Celebrity Events Are Branding - And Brand Launching - Opportunities

Working with events to showcase your brand in an environment where they are responsible for bringing in the celebrities - and media, is a major benefit for brands.  There are tricks to be sure you keep in mind to be sucessful, which we share in teh following blogs

Also be sure to check out these blogs our team wrote on how to best work with celebrities!

Download our event calendar below to see what upcoming events may be around prime branding times for your company!

Celebrity Event Planning Calendar by Hollywood Branded