Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Stephen Upstone, CEO of LoopMe.
Sunday night saw familiar faces and rising stars alike take to the red carpet, both groups vying for the most coveted awards in the film industry. But is there anything that marketers, in particular, can take away from the Academy Awards this year?
In the spirit of award-winning visual and audio experiences, the marketer who can successfully balance a media mix across a range of channels will be the one stepping up to give their teary acceptance speech. Here's what you need to keep in mind if you want to be a winner:
If you want to be the Guillermo del Toro of the advertising world and replicate the success of "The Shape of Water," the one word that counts is personalization. Del Toro has a real gift for creating cinema in which everyone can find something that relates to them personally. For campaigns that run across multiple channels — and work together in sync — you need to move from mass reach to reaching individuals, identifying customers based on what makes them unique — not how they fit into a standard audience segment. Predictive modeling and artificial intelligence (AI) can help marketers do this with even greater accuracy. Personalization could well be digital advertising's greatest achievement, and it can give your campaigns the edge to get ahead.
Roger Deakins' visual expertise was at last recognized at the Oscars this year, as his work on "Blade Runner 2049" won the award for best cinematography. Advertisers today can learn from the beautiful visuals by leveraging powerful video creative and rich media as far as possible to create lasting brand experiences. The art of capturing audiences lies in the ability to connect emotionally and tell a story that distinguishes you from the rest. And don't forget: video is increasingly being consumed across screens, so that means keeping the interplay between desktop, tablet and mobile in mind.
Best visual effects
If you want to be the next "Blade Runner 2049" and land the award for visual effects, make augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) your new best friend. With the likes of Pokemon Go, Snapchat and Instagram, this technology is becoming increasingly mainstream. AR and VR pave the way for rich and interactive media, and are best suited to campaigns that run across tablets and mobile. Brands can create a much deeper connection through immersive experiences, so make sure they're part of your multichannel strategy.
Best animated short film
It was "Dear Basketball" that scooped up the golden statue for "Best Animated Short" at the Oscars this year. In the multichannel marketing universe, that award goes to the marketer who can successfully produce short, snappy video creative to their advantage. Keep ads — especially unskippable pre-roll — to the minimum. Digital video should have a maximum length of 15 seconds, and ideally last just five or six, as these formats are much more user-friendly and can achieve better engagement rates due to their socially shareable nature. Making your message short and sweet, while still creating a memorable story, will turn your efforts into winners.
Best sound editing
Richard King and Alex Gibson's work on "Dunkirk" gave movie-goers the audio experience of a lifetime. Video advertising is not just powerful due to its visuals, but also in the way it harnesses sound. The popularity of audio as part of the advertising mix should not be underestimated. On average, Americans listen to four and a half hours of audio every day. Video ads in pre-roll environments can take full advantage of the power of sound at convincing audiences — there's nothing like a catchy musical score or jingle to get your message across. Your creative should ideally makes audiences want to turn the sound on. Think about how digital audio can add to your media mix, and it will put you on the A-list.