This article posted today on Huffington Post, and is printed below here as well.
Last night I watched The Grammy Awards ... like I do ... while hosting a Twitter party where we commented intensely from #GrammyExp.
This kind of "event television" is so much more fun when watched in mass and when engaging with others ... there are a bunch of us who are into the marketing so it makes it all that much more fun.
If I were to sum up the ceremony in a few words, they'd have to be: a hat, Target, CoverGirl, and a gold sippy cup. But if I were to give the awards a theme for the night, it would have to be Human.
Yes, we witnessed The Grammys suddenly become Human.
Maybe it was the mixing of generations that showed the human side of these performers: legends matched with today's rising stars in humble precision. Maybe it was a combination of MasterCard's #PricelessSurprises and Justin Timberlake's very sincere fan engagement. Maybe it was the showcasing of fan videos when announcing the nominations for each award. Or maybe it was the sea of hashtags, with brand after brand asking us to #GetNaked, #GetLucky, be our #BestBeautiful, or that our #HomeRocks. Yes indeed.
I think it was all of the above.
The night started out on the red carpet at E!, where we saw product integrations with the hosts lead to interview questions with nominees that then transitioned into timed broadcast advertising. Then repeated sets of perfect timings during the show where nominee performances led to brand advertising with said performer. We also saw big brands tweeting right along the activity, including a picture of Gain laundry detergent wearing a Pharrel hat, Arby's asking for their hat back, and Olay recognizing the beauty that is Beyonce. Queen Bey.
A very human highlight was when Hunter Hayes basically launched his brand with a moving song encouraging all of us to feel free to be different. Very timely human message.
Of course, there were a couple big brand moments for sure. Pepsi did some foreshadowing of its Super Bowl half time show with a Grammy half time show featuring famous football players. Well done.
There was also a Jello spot featuring a stay at home Dad that really resonated with me.
We also can't get through an awards show without something from Ms. Vergara ... this time showing the line of Bombshell makeup from CoverGirl.
But for me and many others, both the highlight and the climax of the night was the mass wedding done during songs by Macklemore & Lewis and Madonna, and officiated by Queen Latifah. Not a dry eye in the house, mine or the Grammy theater. It was a WOW moment that hit close to home for me and for many others. Now I understand what they mean by #GrammyMoment.
Human indeed, one for the record books. What's your experience? Jim.
PS - We will be doing it for the SuperBowl ... Join us on 2/2/14 for live tweets during the Super Bowl at #SBExp.