With ratings for the Academy Awards telecast hitting a 10-year low last year, it’s no wonder that marketing and promotion for the show has kicked into high gear. But while most of the publicity push has been focused on getting viewers to tune in, a strategic partnership with In Demand, announced Wednesday, digs a little deeper, marrying a moviewatching message with nostalgia for ceremonies past.
The deal will see In Demand promoting its Movies On Demand service as the best place to see many award-winning and award-nominated films through contests and gaming, a strategy that the company estimates will garner 50 million-plus impressions. For the Academy’s part, viewers will get to see memorable highlights of past Academy Award telecasts, something that AMPAS doesn’t release lightly. The awards season blitz will reach potential audiences in new and innovative ways, such as in movie theaters, on the way to work, while relaxing in cafes, through online movie trivia and via a user-generated content contest.
The partnership addresses two issues for the Academy. First and foremost, it gives the Academy nontraditional ways to promote the telecast and boost ratings. And second, it shows that viewers can see many of the nominated films right now on their cable boxes, mitigating the criticism that no one has seen the nommed films and that’s why ratings continue to decline.
“It is imperative for Movies On Demand to be part of the conversation, since many of the nominated and winning films can be viewed right now on cable’s MOD platform. We want to bring this message to movie-lovers wherever they might be, in or out-of-home,” said In Demand’s Stacie Gray.
It’s a pretty clever strategy for both organizations, considering the reach of In Demand. The campaign will include “Great Oscar Moments,” available on Movies on Demand; TVGuide.com will have a custom awards section; elevators and movie theaters will feature In Demand’s creative; and Sporcle.com will feature movie-themed games.