ABC Wraps Up Academy Award Ad Sales

This year’s Academy Awards won’t have a host, but it will have a full roster of sponsors.

ABC, which will broadcast the Oscars on Sunday, said it sold out its commercials for the awards show.

The network declined to say how much spots sold for, but sources indicated prices ranged from $2 million to $2.6 million.

There are a couple of new sponsors of the Academy Awards this year, with Marriott promoting its new loyalty program and Hennessy Cognac, which will be launching a new global ad campaign.

Cadillac, Google, Rolex, Samsung, Verizon and Walmart return as proud sponsors, which, in return for buying a certain amount of ad inventory are entitled to used the Oscar marque in their spots. Marriott is also a proud sponsor.

ABC said other participating sponsors in the broadcast include Budweiser, Ferrero, IBM, Intuit (TurboTax), McDonald’s and Walt Disney Studios.

Netflix, which has one of its films, Roma, nominated for an Oscar, is also expected to be an Academy Awards advertiser.

Nike, which ran a new ad featuring tennis star Serena Williams, is expected to return to the broadcast. Williams was named an Oscar presenter.

Jerry Daniello, senior VP, entertainment brand solutions at Disney Ad Sales, said that many advertisers were looking to maximize the impact of their Oscar sponsorships by using special advertising campaigns designed to be especially relevant to viewers of the award show.

Several ads are either made by awards winning or nominated directors and cinematographers, while others celebrate the people who make movies. For example, Hennessey’s ad was directed by Ridley Scott, most recently nominated for The Martian, and Marriott’s ads are directed by by Jean-PIerre Jeunet, who won an Oscar for Amelie.

Walmart will be running a series of six different six-second spots that style the people who work behind the scenes and outfits them in clothing from the retailer. The campaign was previewed Wednesday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Verizon is sponsoring the Official Oscar Game, which will let viewers play along in real time during the broadcast and possibly win a $50,000 prize.

Fans can win points by predicting Oscar winners in each category.They will also be able to answer trivia questions and share their reactions to the broadcast via polls. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.