For most of the big pop culture events, I host a Twitter party to discuss brand marketing in real time. We gather together to talk about how the brands are participating in events like The Super Bowl, The Oscars, and last night ... The Emmy Awards. #EmmyExp was alive and well last night!
I generally do a recap after each session, but quite honestly there wasn't a lot that stood out this time around. The general consensus was that the show didn't deliver, despite host NPH extreme efforts to provide a flow of entertainment. The man is amazing, I have to say. His opener with all the former hosts and then mid-show song/dance number did not disappoint.
Sure, there were a lot of big brands to be consumed. Samsung was continually promoting its new tv throughout the night, and in many markets was then featured in the news program following the show. Integrated pr?
AARP talked up its "Real Possibilities" rebranding with the hook, "not everyone peaks in their 20's." Good one there!
Target, Cover Girl with #CoverMoment, Audi with Claire Danes, and Mercedes hit us hard as well. I chuckled when my entire party noticed that the Mercedes spot was from the Super Bowl. We are paying attention, folks!
I think more striking than any of the awards or any of the brand marketing were all the references to pop culture. Literally, within the show's first fifteen minutes, there were highly topical. multiple mentions of moments or movements in pop culture:
- Binge television watching (note that "Breaking Bad" was a huge winner last night)
- Watching television on multiple screens (I myself was doing that real time)
- Taking a selfie (actually did my first yesterday)
- Twerking (not tired of that joke just yet)
- The Thai sisters (obscure, but those who knew the reference got the pop)
- Over hosting, where the hosts just make too much of everything ala Ryan Seacrest (loved!)
- Gay humor (well considering the host, not surprising ... but even Michael Douglas got into the act)
- Facial hair is still hot with the men (trimmers anyone?)
The hashtag is thriving ... the crew in my Twitter party was very quick to point out when brands were using hashtags, which seemed to be more often than not. Great way to connect on that second screen plus data has come out recently from Nielsen showing that when viewers are tweeting or posting during a show, they are more likely to stay engaged and amp up the ratings. I'm sure the show last night needed the boost to keep viewers glued while a new session of "Breaking Bad" was competing for attention.
There were so many tributes ... made me sad, made us all sad ... one right after the other. But a sign of the times as we are starting to lose so much of our great talent in an aging population. despite the rise of the Millenials.
I must give an honorable mention to one brand in particular though - Yoplait - who launched a new commercial that outlined their newest product innovation that was sparked by a consumer post. Brilliant, they even called the consumer out by name! They certainly take consumer feedback seriously, as they say on their website too. Plus they offered a download of the song used in the spot via Shazam (not the only brand of the night to do that BTW). Really brilliant.
I know that lots of people were commenting on how the show was long, tedious, and dragging. Maybe. But the importance to sustaining our pop culture is immeasurable and worth a full view IMHO.
What's your experience? Jim.
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post
PS - My new book on personal branding is out ... The Personal Experience Effect ... loaded with great examples from Hollywood about people who have functioned as brands. Click here to check it out.