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Live Blogging and Searching the Oscars

The MediaPost column from this past week is an excerpted, edited version of a post that ran on this blog a week ago during the Oscars. It’s included below, and continues in the extended entry.

Two notes before proceeding:

1) Apparently, I’m really wearing my cultural illiteracy on my sleeve by not knowing who Edith Piaf is. I’ll have to add that to the Netflix list. (The comments on MediaPost’s site slapped my wrist for that one.)

2) The original blog post described how I didn’t know what Jon Stewart meant talking about some dance called the "cabin patch" and that Google didn’t help me any. Mercifully, Josh McHugh commented, "What
Stewart was supposed to say was that Holbrook was doing the "cabbage
patch," not the cabin patch. His only major gaffe of the show, and in
an attempt at such a lame reference. The cabbage patch was a
hard-to-execute and not-much-to-look-at dance move from the 1980s.
Thanks to YouTube, it’s your lucky day: here’s a tutorial on said

Here’s the video:

And now, on to the column:

Live Blogging and Searching the Oscars

During the Oscars, maybe you were playing a drinking game where you
did a shot every time someone from the movie “Enchanted” took the
stage, a challenge which would have brought down Dwayne “The Rock”
Johnson. Or maybe, like a surprisingly large percentage of Americans,
you were watching reruns of “The Simpsons ” and “Cold Case.”

As for me, I was searching away, seeing how marketers and
publishers were capitalizing on the Academy Awards. Below is an
excerpted recap of the night, reported in full on my blog.

  8:45 p.m. (all times EST) “Elizabeth: The Golden
Age” wins Best Costume. A Google search for “Elizabeth” brings up an ad
for Liz Claiborne clothing. A minute later on TV, a MyCokeRewards
commercial mentions something about a partnership to combat heart
disease, but MyCokeRewards.com has nothing clearly visible on the site
referring to it.

  8:55 p.m. “Ratatouille” wins best animated film.
Searching Google for the movie leads to an ad from JuliasBraShop.com
for lingerie. Whether I’m searching for the movie or the dish, I’m
wondering how that one’s relevant.

  9:18 p.m. Best Supporting Actor winner: Javier
Bardem. Moviefone’s the lone advertiser in Google for the actor’s name.
Fancast advertises in Yahoo. As for the movie title, No Country for Old
Men (without quotes), Blockbuster, Amazon, YellowPages and Netflix
advertise on Yahoo, and Yahoo has a great featured info box above the
natural search results with ratings and local showtimes. It does mean
the top three links (the official site, IMDB, Wikipedia) get pushed
further down, and everything else quickly disappears into no-man’s

  9:21 p.m. Dove encourages people to vote on the
two ad finalists at Oscar.com — a huge win for Oscar.com and Dove.
People can also text in the vote choice by just texting A or B to the
short code, making it really easy. At DoveCreamOil.com
(hosted on MSN), there’s a link to Oscar.com for the voting. And at
Oscar.com, it is very clear where and how to vote. Mercifully,
registration was not required.

  9:35 p.m. As of now, there’s nothing on Wikipedia  about Jon Stewart’s performance tonight other than the mention that he’s hosting the awards.


  9:44 p.m. I just ran a search for “Dove,” and
Dove is well placed in the natural results in Google but doesn’t
advertise at all, which is a missed opportunity tonight. Strangely,
there’s an ad for Chemistdirect.co.uk mentioning “next day UK

  10:01 p.m. There’s a TV spot for the new show
“Oprah’s Big Give.” A search in Google shows Oprah.com ranking first,
topped by an ad from ABC.com specifically about the program. Bravo.

  10:12 p.m. Best Actress goes to… Marion
Cotillard, an actress no one’s heard of with a name no one can
pronounce playing a singer whose name I can never remember (Google had
to correct me on the spelling of the actress’ name). Google has no ads
for her — go figure.

  10:44 p.m. “The Counterfeiters” is the first
Austrian movie to win best foreign film. For “counterfeiters,”
Moviefone advertises in Google. On Yahoo, there’s Amazon advertising,
followed by Dealtime. The Dealtime ad’s subject reads “Counterfeiters,”
and then the body is, “Millions of Products from Thousands of Stores
All in One Place.” Just what kinds of deals does DealTime specialize
in? More fun: at Ask.com, a search on “counterfeiters” has
recommendations to expand your search with FBI or CIA.

  10:52 p.m. “Once” wins for Best Song. Not only
was it a great picture with moving music, but the trio from “Enchanted”
had to be three of the worst songs ever nominated. In Google,
FoxStore.com advertises for “once,” mentioning the “award-winning Irish
musical,” clearly a catch-all for a movie that already won awards, but
fitting and timely given that people searching for it now will make the
Oscar connection.

  11:25 p.m. What’s up with Harrison Ford’s
earring? Searching for info, apparently some think it’s
tied to a mid-life crisis. That just shows you how much a man this guy
is, putting off his midlife crisis until he’s in his ’60s.

By the way, seeing the Dove ad a few minutes ago, the one that won
the voting, was strangely satisfying. It’s just a great media
execution. I’d love to dive more into the psychological reactions to
it. For instance, compare the reactions of those who didn’t vote, those
who voted for the winning ad, and those who voted for the loser. How
are all affected? For the record, I voted for the winner, so maybe I’m
predisposed to favoring it.

  11:44 p.m. The Coen Brothers predictably win Best
Director. Surprisingly, a local ad is the sole ad to appear on Google,
with almonstanevening.com promoting a short off-Broadway play from
Ethan Coen.

  11:46 p.m. And the winner is… “No Country for Old
Men.” No ads on Google. At Yahoo: Blockbuster, Amazon, Netflix, and
YellowPages advertise (though again, the best real estate goes to the
Yahoo Movies roundup). At Live.com, Amazon and YellowPages.com
advertise. At Ask.com, there’s the local ad again for

The biggest marketing winner for the night is Dove, with its great
use of multichannel marketing. To the rest of the marketers, there’s
always next year.

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