Historical Advertising Data Showcases Biggest Spenders, Ad Pricing Trends and A Viewing Rebound
New York, NY, February 14, 2011 – With the Super Bowl in the history books, the stage is now clear for the next high-profile TV advertising event: the 83rd Academy Awards on February 27, 2011.
Sometimes referred to in advertising circles as “the Super Bowl for women”, the event is not marked by the hype surrounding its TV commercials that is a defining characteristic of the football Super Bowl. Aided by the combination of Hollywood celebrities, high fashion and the unpredictability of who will win and what they will say in their acceptance remarks, the Academy Awards follows its own course and in doing so continues to be a marquee franchise for advertisers.
Kantar Media Intelligence has once again searched its extensive database to compile key figures and trends on Academy Awards advertising. According to these figures, marketers have spent almost $720 million during the past ten years to advertise during the live network TV broadcast of the awards ceremony.
Advertising Rates and Revenue in The Academy Awards
The average price of a 30-second unit in the 2010 Academy Awards was $1.4 million and the program earned $70.0 million of ad revenue. These amounts were up modestly from 2009 when ad sales efforts were hit by the double whammy of a deepening recession that caused marketers to curtail spending and the prospect of an actors’ strike. 2010 was far below the peak pricing and revenue achieved during the period of 2006-08.
For the 2011 telecast, ABC’s initial asking price for a 30-second spot is around $1.7 million according to published reports in Advertising Age.
A small number of blue-chip marketers dominate the rankings of top spenders in the Academy Awards. Over the past five years, more than 50 percent of total ad revenue has come from five companies.
General Motors last advertised in the 2008 ceremony before bowing out in a cost-cutting move. Hyundai has been the exclusive auto advertiser – and the single largest sponsor – in each of the last two broadcasts and will be present again this year.
First Time Advertisers
Throughout much of the past decade, the Academy Awards had a stable core of perennial sponsors. The low turnover coupled with stiff limits on the total amount of commercial time made it difficult for new marketers to gain entrance to the program.
The recent recession led to both sponsor withdrawals and price reductions, creating a rare opportunity for other companies to buy in. Forty-eight percent of the marketers in 2010 were first-timers, marking a surge in this metric for the second consecutive year.
The freshman class of 2010 included Ameriprise, Estee Lauder, Intel, Kimberly-Clark and Samsung.
Ad Clutter In The Academy Awards
The Academy Awards runs against the general trend of stuffing more ad content into TV programming and offers marketers a less cluttered environment. In granting broadcast rights to the program, the Academy limits the amount of commercial time.
Over the past decade, the show has consistently averaged 8-10 minutes per hour of national commercial messages. This includes paid ads plus promotional plugs from the network for its own programming.
The comparable level for the Super Bowl is about 13-14 minutes per hour and for network prime time programming it is typically 14-16 minutes per hour.
TV Ratings For The Academy Awards
Audience ratings for the 2010 Academy Awards were the highest since 2005 and up sharply from the shrunken levels of 2008-2009. An expanded nomination list for the Best Picture award and effective leveraging of social media to promote the TV telecast were important contributors to the viewing gains.
In any given year, audience interest in the awards ceremony may rise or fall based on the slate of nominees for major awards, their popularity at the box office and the general buzz surrounding them. Perceptions and buzz around the host/hostess for the show can also affect ratings.
The Graying Audience
In addition to number of viewers, demographic makeup is also an important consideration to advertisers seeking a targeted audience. Across the TV medium as a whole, the age of the viewing audience has been drifting upwards and the Academy Awards has not been immune to this phenomenon. In 2010, the broadcast’s median age was 50.0 years which is on par with the norm for all prime time broadcast network programming.
However, compared to other major awards shows the Academy Awards audience is older than both the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards.
For 2011, there is a multi-pronged effort to attract younger viewers. First-time co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway are one part of the strategy. In another first, the Oscar.com web site will stream live during the broadcast to offer expanded coverage of red carpet activities and unique access to a variety of backstage areas, including the press room where interviews are conducted with winners. Social media and mobile applications will also be integrated to help make the event more immersive and appealing to younger audiences.
About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors – Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com