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5 Brands That Deserve an Oscar for Marketing

Several companies capitalized on their big moment Sunday with social media marketing

“12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” may have been the big winners at last night’s Academy Awards, but a handful of brands had their own victory dance. After being plugged during the live  telecast, companies like Samsung, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria and Arby’s generated a wealth of social media buzz around the Oscars and stepped up their own digital marketing campaigns in the process, no doubt gaining costumers and generating revenue as a result.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Not only did host Ellen DeGeneres live tweet the show onstage using her white Galaxy phone (she used her Apple iPhone backstage), but handed it to nominee Bradley Cooper to snap a selfie of epic proportions. The pic with Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, among other A-listers, is the most retweeted photo in history. It surpassed President Barack Obama’s election night victory photo, which was retweeted 777,000 times, in less than an hour, crashing the social networking platform. The retweet count has now sky-rocketed to almost three million. Overall, it was a big PR win for both Samsung and Twitter.

Although the actors were acting spontaneously, the gag was pre-meditated, as Samsung was an Oscar sponsor. The product placement fit seamlessly with Samsung’s “You Need to See This” spot that aired during the show. The commercial featured the Galaxy S4, along with other devices.

Of course, the Samsung Mobile US twitter account retweeted the photo, writing “We’re seeing stars” before tweeting “Record-breaking selfie taken on #TheNextBigThing! Noted.” The Samsung USA account also retweeted the selfie. According to San Francisco tech firm Kontera, Samsung received 900 online mentions per minute during the stunt.

Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria
DeGeneres also assisted a marketing win for a local Los Angeles pizza chain when she ordered three pies. With 30-second spots costing between $1.8 million and $1.9 million during the three-hour telecast, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria theoretically received almost $11 million in free publicity. Delivery man Edgar Martirosyan, who told Inside Edition he was shocked to deliver 20 rush-ordered pizzas to the Dolby Theatre stage, was even paid for the food after DeGeneres solicited tips from Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Pitt.

The Burbank-based chain (“home of the world’s largest pizza”) also gained something money can’t buy — fame. Its Twitter, Instagram are Facebook pages are decorated with pictures of Pitt, Streep, Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kerry Washington, Dax Shepard and Jared Leto either digging into a slice or grabbing one from Martirosyan. He was even a guest star on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday.

Unfortunately for Pizza Hut, which tweeted “Did someone say pizza? We got you” when DeGeneres asked Oscar-gores if they were hungry, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria may become the official pizza of the Oscars.

Arby’s got some social media love on Sunday night thanks to the return of Pharrell’s beige hat. The singer performed his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” in his favorite headgear.

After Grammy viewers flooded Twitter with comparisons of the sky-high lid to the company logo, Arby’s joined in on the fun. While the Pharrell’s Hat Twitter account was revived and #PharrellsHat became a trending topic yesterday, Arby’s continued the running joke about the Vivienne Westwood mountain hat’s resemblance to its logo the day before. In a social media stunt that is sure to pay off, the company bought the hat Pharrell wore to the Grammys for $44,100 in an online auction. The funds will be donated to From One Hand To AnOTHER. Pharrell himself thanked the company.

Miller Lite
If this was the Golden Globes, the stars would have gotten away with drinking beer with their pizza. When best actor winner Matthew McConaughey made a reference to his father’s Miller Lite drinker in his acceptance speech, the company didn’t miss a beat. After the shout-out, Miller Lite dubbed itself “the official beer of award winning actor’s dads.” Despite the grammatical typo, it received almost 2,000 retweets and the account gained followers.

“Gravity” might have lost the best picture prize, but NASA gained over 10,000 followers, crossing the six million mark. The government agency created the popular hashtag RealGravity, sharing photos of spacewalks, space stations and orbits. A #RealGravity look at a sunset generated over 13,000 retweets. The account also live-tweeted the film’s seven Oscar wins.

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