There's No Business Like Show Business
It’s 1929, you’re at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the audience is around 270 of Hollywood’s brightest stars. It’s the first-ever Academy Awards and the only one never broadcasted. It was a private dinner and the awards ceremony itself only lasted fifteen minutes. Almost unrecognizable compared to the 91st Academy Awards ceremony held at the Dolby Theater that is celebrated today by millions of viewers from around the world. With no host this year for the first time in 30 years, fewer categories, and more popular nominations like the first superhero movie nominated for best picture with Black Panther, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the host network ABC are hoping that 2018’s 19% dip from 2017 in Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day numbers and 39% dip from the show’s peak in 2014 will rebound by getting back the everyday moviegoer to tune in.
Events like the Oscars can be a great opportunity for the right brand and the right message to get in front of a massive audience at a low cost per thousand (CPM). Where we see a lot of people get caught up with special televised events like the Oscars is by focusing on national ratings or regional ratings, not specific to their market and their audience. In today’s age of media, there really is no need to focus on those larger scale figures. And if you are, you’re not being smart with your advertising investments. If you are buying local media you will not be pulling a post report on how your investment in a program performed based on a national figure.
Every market is different and some local markets perform better than others depending on the audience. For a long time Nielsen was the only measurement system and in many of their markets relied on written diaries to measure the percentage of households and people tuning into particular programming. Diaries are far from perfect and thankfully almost a thing of the past. in 2018 Nielsen began rolling out electronic measurements in more local markets, but years before that comScore already had this in a massive scale. At Dirigo Collective, we use both Nielsen and comScore, along with subscribing to multiple other media and market research sources to triple and quadruple check our strategies and media placements.
It’s important to know that many media companies still rely solely on Nielsen to set their unit rates in programming, and for markets that in previous years were diary markets will pull from a nearby electronically measured market. For example, Portland, Maine some stations will pull ratings from Boston to project their audience and set their rates. With other very reliable measurement systems, there is no need to pull from other markets.
If you’re looking to invest in an event like the Oscars for your message you need to pull historical data from year’s past on the program specific to your audience, and then what the market is pricing comparable programs at. Knowing that information, you can know what your cost per point (CPP) and CPM should be at, which will help you work with your media partner on a unit rate that is competitive and fair for the specific market. If you’re investing in a special event, it’s also worth looking into the programs duplicated audience specific to your target market. You can build greater frequency with your message by looking at other programs who historically have watched your programming (or similar programs) to be on other channels and platforms.
When you’re investing your marketing dollars into paid media it’s important to do your homework just like you would with any of your financials. This is particularly true for high ticket items like the Oscars. We here at Dirigo Collective take marketing and media strategy and pair that with world-class media buying expertise and resources to make sure every client’s dollar is being utilized most efficiently and effectively to engage with their target audience in a meaningful way.
Now, celebrate the movie star in us all, sit back with your popcorn, get your ballots in, and enjoy the show!