Mar 10 2023
Media Coverage

Disney Sells Out Ad Inventory for 95th Oscars With Pricing Slightly Down

Ads ranged between $1.6 million to $2.1 million for the 2023 show

The 95th Academy Awards are airing on Sunday, March 12, but Disney is already starting the celebration early with its ad sales announcement.

On Friday, the company confirmed that it had sold out ad inventory for the 95th Oscars telecast, with The Academy and Disney Advertising Sales securing a broad range of sponsors representing 15 categories.

“Our sponsors showed up in full force, across every major category with new and custom creative, joining a spectacular evening celebrating the biggest achievements in storytelling and the moments that bring us together,” Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising, said in a statement.   

According to a source familiar with negotiations, pricing ranged from $1.6 million to $2.1 million for 30-second ads at the 2023 show. That is slightly down from 2022 when Disney reportedly asked for between $1.7 million and $2.2 million for a 30-second ad, which is similar to 2021’s Oscars ad sales numbers.

However, the majority of the sales came from the company’s upfront, which is a change from 2022

For the 94th Oscars, many advertisers chose to buy spots closer to the time of the show, but the company looked to change that this year, with Ferro previously telling Adweek the Academy Awards were “definitely” part of the publisher’s upfront offering.

The company isn’t releasing its total Oscars intake, though Oscar Sunday usually generates more ad revenue for the network than any other day of the year. In 2020, the company generated an estimated $150 million in ad revenue for ABC ($129 million for the awards ceremony, and $21 million for ABC’s red carpet pre-show).

Silver screen sponsors

According to Disney Advertising, the categories include apparel, auto, beverage, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, financial services, insurance, luxury spirits, media and entertainment, pharmaceutical, retail, streaming, technology and telecom and travel.  

Proud sponsors for this year’s program are Pfizer; Rolex and Verizon. That’s a slight change from the 2022 lineup, with dropping out as a top sponsor.

And participating sponsors include Allstate; Amazon XCM; Applebee’s; Audible; AutoDesk;; Carnival (Orion); (CBS) Paramount +; Chase; EJ Gallo; Constellation Brands; GSK; Henkel; Hulu; Hyundai; Intuit Turbo Tax; KDP Dr. Pepper; Liberty Mutual; Lucid Motors; Novartis; Progressive; Rocket Mortgage (Quicken Loans); Snapchat; Sony; Starbucks; Stellantis; TIAA Cref; Universal; Volvo; Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Motion Pictures, among others. 

The company noted that it’s also building successful multi-media campaigns for local clients with unique ad products, integrations and sponsorships that go down to a geo-targeted level. This year, 14 new advertisers join Disney’s roster of clients sponsoring The Academy Awards on a local level, including ELF Cosmetics; Haverty’s; Lexus; The Honest Company; BMW; LAPAM / Israel Tourism; Mazda and Rolex, among others. These local clients will showcase messaging across our ABC owned television stations, streaming and social campaigns, including On The Red Carpet Live: Countdown to Oscars 95.

Disney Advertising noted that brands saw an average of 49% search engagement rate at the Oscars in 2022 over the average primetime broadcast, according to numbers from EDO. The company added that it would take almost nine ad exposures in primetime entertainment to match the search impact of one ad at the Academy Awards. 

Additionally, Disney is allowing brands to measure advanced audiences in the Oscars through an integration through VideoAmp for the first time, giving advertisers advanced audience analytics to better understand precision, reach and frequency.

Looking to build on ratings

Last year was a rebuilding year for the Oscars, as the broadcast rebounded from a record-low to reach an average of 16.6 million viewers and a 3.8 rating in the key adults 18-49 demo. The numbers were up 58% from 2021’s ceremony, which was postponed two months due to Covid-19, averaging 10.5 million total viewers and a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49.

Part of the ratings rebound came from Will Smith surprisingly slapping Chris Rock during the ceremony. So at an Oscars Creative Team virtual press conference on Wednesday, Adweek asked producers about living up to last year’s ratings, considering they had an unexpected boost.

“There’s always concerns, but at the end of the day, what we have to do is keep going forward and make this as great and entertaining and respectful and reverent show as we possibly can,” said Glenn Weiss, executive producer and showrunner for the Oscars.

Of course, Ferro also previously told Adweek that the incident didn’t truly affect overall ratings.

“If you look at the minute by minute an hour ratings, it was already trending up before that happened, so the lift was part of the overall show,” Ferro told Adweek following Disney’s 2022 upfront week presentation.

Elsewhere at the Oscars Creative Team press conference, Weiss said Sunday’s show would be a, “visually stunning experience,” which apparently even includes the promos. During the ceremony, Disney will unveil the first trailer for The Little Mermaid, and Hulu will showcase a first look at Meryl Streep’s character in Only Murders in the Building

Because even when she’s not nominated, the Oscars don’t really count unless they include Meryl Streep.

Source: ADWEEK