Technology The Oscars Social Media

Oscars 2019: who won the social media battle?

By Lucy Willis | junior strategist



The Drum Network article

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March 6, 2019 | 6 min read

Now that the dust has settled on the Academy Awards for another year, we thought we would run the numbers on the social media conversations taking place before, during and after the ceremony.

oscar 'social' winners on plinths.

Lady Gaga, Black Panther and Billy Porter's tuxedo dress drove conversation on social at the 91st Academy Awards.

We found that although certain movies have now gained award-winning status, they didn’t quite gain social audience approval. Greenbook may have taken home the coveted award for ‘Best Picture’, however Lady Gaga and Black Panther won out on social in terms of conversation.

Overall conversation (2m mentions) has risen in comparison to last year (900k), however is yet to break the numbers received in 2017 (3m). This is unsurprising as 2017 saw the major La La Land and Moonlight mix up, going to show how quality positive conversation often outweighs quantity.


Overall audience sentiment when talking about the Oscars was 78% positive (in comparison to 79% in 2018), which is surprisingly high considering the number of controversies surrounding the Oscars this year, although recent years are yet to see a controversy free awards season. Taking a deeper look into the top themes that were talked about positively, Black Panther was a clear standout. This is no surprise as fans spoke out about the history breaking wins for ‘Best Costume Design’ and ‘Best Production Design’.

Among the top words used with negative sentiment was ‘commercial break’ as fans spoke up on social media regarding the announcement of certain awards being presented within the advertisement breaks, this was quickly reverted in response to this social uproar.

Audience interests

Those that were talking about the 91st Academy Awards are unsurprisingly interested in Television and Movies, however following this is Politics. In recent years the Oscars have become a pinnacle moment in the Hollywood calendar to highlight the negative issues within the industry which has attracted widespread attention for social and political change. This years controversy surrounding the host, along with political based film nominees such as Vice continued to attract this audience.

Most talked about movies

Black Panther was the clear winner in terms of most conversation with 186,000 mentions within the wider Oscars conversation, which is staggering in comparison to the ‘Best Picture’ winner Green Book only receiving 78,000. #BlackPanther was also the most used film hashtag when discussing the Oscars, with only #Roma and #BohemianRhaposdy also making the top 10.

While Black Panther saw the highest volume of conversation, Roma received the highest positive sentiment at 85%. This is particularly interesting as Roma earned Netflix thier first ‘Best Picture’ nomination, this has led to widespread industry scrutiny for the films inclusion within major awards this year, including the CEO of Vue Timothy Richards writing an open letter to BAFTA. However, this is clearly not reciprocated by the public, with many praising its mass availability on the streaming service.

Greenbook took away the prestigious ‘Best Picture’ award, however it was the only movie nominated that received higher negative sentiment than positive. With 64% negative sentiment and only 34% positive, it’s very clear that this film did not resonate well with the audience and it’s win was not well received.

Gaga with Oscar.

Most talked about talent

It’s no surprise that Lady Gaga was talk of the town during Oscars season, with her win for ‘Best Original Song’ securing her the title of first person to win an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe within the same year. Gaga received over 167,000 mentions within the Oscars conversion, only followed by Rami Malek at 101,000.

One of the main reasons for the high volume of conversation around Lady Gaga and additionally Bradley Cooper was due to their performance of Shallow during the ceremony, which has continued to be a source of discussion days later. These prominent and sometimes controversial moments are what foster social conversation and allow you reach out above the general noise.

Interestingly, when looking into search patterns around the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were within the top 5 related search topics (no films themselves were included in this). This goes to show the importance of talent within cinema and the impact they can have on the success of a film aside from critical acclaim.

Standout moments

Billy Porter in Tuxedo dress.

As mentioned, standout moments are where conversation spikes on social and this years awards didn’t disappoint in terms of memorable moments.

Billy Porter was arguably one of the most talked about attendees at this years awards with conversation centered around his tuxedo dress. Mentions of the dress alone were over 267,000 on awards night and the most common positive words used were “masterpiece” and “outdone”. Making the tuxedo dress easily the most talked about fashion statement of the 91st Academy Awards.

Olivia Colman took away the award for ‘Best Actress’ however it was her acceptance speech that captured the social media audience. With over 33,000 mentions of her speech, fans were outpouring in support of the British actress. The most common positive words used were “ genuine”, “heartfelt” and “inspiring”, which within the current industry climate is much needed, hence the particular success of this speech.

Lucy Willis is a junior strategist at Wilderness Agency

Technology The Oscars Social Media

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