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The Goals

  • Be at the heart of the conversation in the UK by owning key Oscar moments
  • Increase brand affinity
  • Drive category leadership

The Approach

  • Created dynamic display ads showcasing key Oscars moments
  • Bought premium display using Programmatic Guaranteed
  • Hosted all the highlights in a playlist on the Sky Movies YouTube channel

The Results

  • Click-through rate jumped 190% as real-time ads went live
  • Exceeded Google CTR benchmark by 300%
  • Display viewability 32% above industry average
  • YouTube channel subscribers increased by 1,300


Published September 2016

The Academy Awards ceremony is the pinnacle movie event of the year. Coverage and, in turn, buzz around the Oscars increase as the world discusses nominations, predictions, upsets and speeches. 

Sky Movies is the exclusive rights holder for distributing the Oscars ceremony within the UK. The challenge Sky Movies set themselves was to act like a news publisher, delivering content that would help them to own the Oscars conversation in a way that only Sky Movies could. Insights from Google showed Sky that searches for the event and the winners in the UK tend to peak as people wake up on Monday morning. So for Sky to be successful, they would need to be working in almost real-time.

This year we really wanted to put Sky Movies in the heart of the Oscars conversation, and digital media allowed us to do that.

Abbey McGhee, Brand Marketing Manager, Sky Movies

On the night of the Oscars, Sky Movies set up a ‘war room’ in which they monitored the awards, and selected the best moments from the ceremony as they happened. A total of 17 clips were selected, edited and then uploaded to the Sky Movies channel on YouTube to become the key hero assets for the campaign. Display advertising would then become the hook to drive people to the content.

By using DoubleClick’s Dynamic Creative solution, the most engaging clips were selected and combined with bespoke copy to create some truly impactful and newsworthy display creative. For content distribution, Sky Movies used DoubleClick’s Programmatic Guaranteed facility which enabled ads to be live across the web in high impact placements on premium publisher sites (including the likes of The Sun and Mail Online) within just 30 minutes. All content was live before 8am and in time for everyone to get their Oscars news fix over breakfast and on their commute.

The display activity was supported further with YouTube TrueView, promoting a highlights mash-up video from the ceremony. Google Search also ensured that when people searched, browsed or watched any Oscars content that Monday morning, Sky Movies was there to give them all the news from the night.

Performance massively exceeded expectations. As the real-time ads went live and people were drawn into the content story, the click-through rate to Sky Movies’ Oscars content leapt by 190% compared with the control creative, exceeding benchmark by 300%. In just 24 hours, the Sky Movies YouTube channel gained 1,300 subscribers and watch time was up 1,278% YoY. Subsequent searches for Sky Movies were 65% higher amongst those exposed to the YouTube TrueView activity, demonstrating how video activity can drive real brand interest.


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