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And The Award For Best Brand Goes To…

Oscars 2017

– 2nd Mar 2017 –

This year’s Oscars had all the ingredients of a Hollywood blockbuster with an A-list cast, excitement, tension and a twist in the final act worthy of Hitchcock himself. Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern blockbuster without product placement.

Despite a nine year low of 32.9mil viewers worldwide, the Oscars are still a powerful marketing platform for brands thanks to the wider audience social media delivers, something that #envelopegate no doubt contributed to. In addition to the companies that pay for the honour to be the official watch, champagne, make up, automotive, jeweller and erm…accountancy firm, this year saw a number of unofficial partners taking to social media to promote their wares on the back of the event.

So without further ado, we shine the spotlight on which brands benefited the most from this year’s Oscars:

Most Surprising Product Placement

Red Vines, Junior Mints, Lemonhead and Mike and Ike are the lucky brands that didn’t expect to attend the ceremony, but did. Their sweets (or candy) descended from the Oscars heavens via parachutes and landed in the laps of the star-studded audience. Their surprise exposure gave the respective companies a nice bit of free product placement and something to Tweet about.

Parachutes 89th Oscars. Credit: ABC

Most Stylish Product Placement

Fashion is one of the most anticipated aspects of the Academy Awards, with stars guaranteed to be asked who they’re wearing on the red carpet. Designer brands work with stylists to dress the talent, knowing that the global coverage is priceless. To ensure there’s no doubt about who’s wearing who, the likes of Gucci and Givenchy took to social media to make sure everyone knows that they dressed La La Land’s leading duo, Emma Stone (Givenchy) and Ryan Gosling (Gucci). Emma Stone’s award for best actress also made Givenchy the fashion winner of the night.

Emma and Ryan Red Carpet

In addition to the brands that dress the talent in front of the camera are the behind-the-scenes brands. Atelier Swarovski marked their 10 year anniversary of working with the Oscars by not only by draping the Dolby Theatre stage in sparkling Swarovski crystals but through fashion too, with their ‘Red Carpet, Green Dress’ campaign. The campaign “seeks to protect the planet and its valued natural resources” through running a competition that challenges designers to create an environmentally friendly dress with the winning outfits being worn by Emily Roberts and Priyanka Bose.

Emily Roberts and Priyanka Bose Swarovski Emily Roberts and Priyanka Bose in winning Swarovski ‘Red Carpet, Green Dress’ designs. Credit: @redcarpetgreendress Instagram

Best Verbal Product Placement

To a brand, a name check is seen as the Holy Grail of product placement and this year’s clear winner is Amazon. Not only did founder, Jeff Bezos, receive an honorable mention in Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue but his studio earned three Oscar wins for ‘Manchester By The Sea’ and ‘The Salesman’. Amazon wasn’t the only streaming service to receive an award, with Netflix taking home an Oscar for Documentary Short ‘The White Helmets’.

Most Timely Product Placement

With Rolex coming on board as the official sponsor, the partnership involved designing the Oscars Greenroom and having their clock-face a permanent feature on However, arguably the most valuable asset Rolex received was access to the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rolex duly raided the archive to compile a 60 second homage featuring the product placement of their timepieces in cinematic classics over the years, including a poignant reference to Bill Paxton, who sadly passed away the morning of the Oscars.

Best Traditional Media Spend

With the Oscar ceremony still being one television’s biggest draws, a number of brands still turn to the traditional ad-space to promote their companies. This year that included Haribo, Cadillac, Hyatt, Walmart, Samsung and Audiable, all of whom thought the $2.5mil price-tag for a 30 second spot still represented great value to hit just shy of 33 million viewers.

Most Unwanted Brand Mention

Without doubt, the award for the company benefitted the least from this year’s Oscars has to go to PwC. Their unfortunate stage-side blunder resulted in unprecedented media coverage for the company, which sent their crisis management team into overdrive, issuing two apologies in the space on 24 hours.

PwC’s mistake opened the doors for other brands to affiliate themselves with the glamour of the high profile awards ceremony by responding to the debacle with humour, with honourable mentions going to Specsavers, Denny’s and ironically Miss Universe, all of which can be seen here.

The Envelope Credit:

Most Charitable Product Placement

As with most award ceremonies this year, many have used the platform to raise awareness for causes they believe in. And this year it was Stella Artois and’s turn, dressing Miss Universe (Olivia Culp) in a stunning gown designed by Marchesa. The dress, inspired by water and adorned with sparkling crystals made from pieces of glass from the Stella Artois Chalices, highlights their commitment to providing clean water to developing countries.

olivia culpo red carpet Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images from

That rounds up this year’s product placement award awards and just goes to prove that whether it’s the worlds most viewed selfie, a lack of diversity or a simple red envelope, like any good Hollywood blockbuster, the Oscars will always have audiences talking about what they saw on screen long after the final credits.

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