Which Awards Show Has the Best Viewer Brand Awareness?

oscarsIf you’ve lost interest in awards shows as of late, you’re not alone. It seems that despite the millions of dollars marketers are spending to promote viewership each year, there’s a perpetual need to increase these numbers due to plummeting ratings.

So how exactly can these dimming productions keep the spotlight on them to gain ratings? Well, that’s what we wanted to know. And as it turns out, it takes a lot more than Hollywood magic!

Whether you’re a major media corporation or a local coffee shop, the key to brand recognition is standing out from the crowd. And when it comes to the glamour and glitz of an awards show, differentiating yourself from your competitors is no easy feat. In order to boost ratings, producers and media marketers must first look behind the curtain and get to know their viewers and see where the brand stands.

We used SurveyMonkey Audience to ask more than 400 people how they perceive five different awards shows: The Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys.

So, let’s see who the big winner amongst viewers is, shall we?

Know your audience

As celebrities stop and chat with reporters on the red carpet, they rattle off who they’re wearing, their hairstylist, and whose party (or parties) they’ll be attending at the end of the night. These days celebrities are a brand unto themselves and their agents are promoting that brand. Promoting these products on the red carpet results in brand awareness and can lead to sponsorship opportunities for the celebrity.

Marketers behind all those pricy award show campaigns could take a cue from these celebrities. They know who their audience (aka fan base) is, and what they want. And that’s where surveying can become a marketer’s best friend.

Through our brand awareness survey, we found that only 53% of respondents have watched an awards show on TV in the past 2 years, confirming that viewership across the board is weak. But how does brand awareness across each award show compare?


The Oscars were the big winners in this category. In an open-ended question, it was the first awards show to come to mind of our respondents and it was the most commonly recalled brand. The Oscars also came out on top as the most commonly watched awards show.

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Keep them wanting more

Once you know how aware consumers are of your brand and whether they’ve consumed it before, you’re closer to understanding how you stack up against others in your industry. But having great awareness and past consumption won’t help very much if your customers don’t return again. When we asked respondents which show they intend to watch, once again they chose the Academy Awards’s biggest night.

So what is it that the Oscars are doing to make them shine above their major media competitors? When we dug into our results, the answer here came down to gender. Naturally, most people watched to see who and what won. But there wasn’t a single male in our survey that chose the option to see what people are wearing.

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That may seem like common sense, but having this data helps marketers target a wider demographic of viewers based on their interests, or lack thereof. This is undoubtably why the Oscars (and Tonys) choose a familiar pop icon like Neil Patrick Harris to host. This year 55% of people knew that NPH was going to be hosting. Setting the bar by always having interesting, current and entertaining hosts that can resonate with multiple audiences may just be what keeps the Oscars at the top of viewers’ must-see list.

Be the star of the show

As we all know, awards shows recognize excellence in particular industries and each show’s brand attributes are their key differentiators. We were curious to see just how well viewers were able to differentiate the attributes between these awards shows, so we asked people to identify the industry/industries that are being recognized at each show:

  • Only 47% of the people of Emmy watchers knew the awards show recognized excellence in film and television
  • 77% of Grammys watchers knew the awards show recognized excellence in the music industry
  • And a whopping 84% of people knew The Oscars recognized excellence in the film industry

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These results clearly show that some brands are making their presence known better than others. Emmy viewers seem to be confused on exactly what this show’s brand attribute is, which is not good for their ratings. The good news is some shows are definitely hitting their mark and are taking center center stage in the world of brand awareness.


Authored by Aliza Edelstein, Marketing, SurveyMonkey.