Social Analytics Reveals Some Oscars Surprises

Jeremy Whitham |
 03/10/23 |
3 min read

Social Analytics Reveals Some Oscars Surprises

With the 95th Academy Awards happening in just two days, the buzz online is ‘everything Oscars.’ There’s a ton of talk about the nominees, naturally, but there are also surprises. And it’s the sort of insight that could impact how the entertainment industry engages viewers going forward. Let’s look!

Pass The Envelope Please

No discussion of this storied event would be complete without a rundown of the best picture nominees—and we have them here, tallied by mentions, with Everything, Everywhere, All at Once living up to its name and dominating the conversation:

Oscars best picture nominees by mentions

Oscar Best Picture Nominees by Mentions

Beyond that, we have a Who’s Who list of contenders, with shows examining tragic pieces of the human condition winning less buzz when compared against action-packed competitors inhabiting a range of genres. The adrenaline rush viewers ultimately feel seems to pack a more viral punch than one eliciting a sense of discomfort or shock. It makes sense that the desire for distraction and humor is a larger draw than one calling for deep introspection, of course.

But that’s just one element of this awards show. How does the overall Oscars conversation shake out?

Zooming Out for a Better View

Our Quid analysis of this reveals some of the surprises we mentioned, as Quid is great for discovering unexpected insight in a category:

using quid to find unexpected insight

cluster percentages

Trailing behind talk of former Oscar winners and this year’s nominees, we see the specter of the slap heard around the world looming large, with the Chris Rock vs. Will Smith controversy gaining renewed amplification this past week.

It was due to Rock’s Netflix special where he finally addressed the ill-timed and outrageous assault.

These specific conversations were already experiencing a series of spikes as the show’s airing approached, but the special added fuel to the smoldering fire.

There’s also a new emphasis on having a “crisis team” ready to step in should things spin sideways somehow this year.

But a few other points of interest pop out here and offer valuable audience intel.

Conversation related to Chris Rock’s Netflix Special last weekend

Conversation related to Chris Rock’s Netflix Special last weekend

Audience Feedback & Forging New Relationships

Beyond the incredibly talented Michelle Yeoh (Everything) and Austin Butler (Elvis) earning acclaim online, we see an audience smarting from the snub of several talented actors and incredible films. Leading that charge and capturing a percentage of the conversation shows Danielle Deadwyler (Till). Not shown above but equally ignored are The Woman King and Nope.

The industry will need to come to terms with this oversight soon and address the strong backlash that will undoubtedly build to a crescendo the night of the awards.

We also see Rihanna with a sizeable chunk of attention. She has become the performer du jour as her pending Oscars performance follows fast on the heels of her recent Superbowl Halftime Show.

The pregnant performer joked about the jealousy her 9-month-old feels toward his unborn sibling. This bit of promotional prowess added to the fan frenzy and eclipsed most actors (and films) earning an Oscars nod this year. The internet loves babies—and Riri.

The lessons here (from the snubs to Rihanna love) are myriad and have the power to dispel stereotypes and inequities.

  • Pregnant performers can still draw a crowd, so let’s normalize offering those opportunities.
  • Families exist and are appreciated in every genre.
  • Diversity is good for everyone, and younger generations are demanding it.
  • And brands can’t go wrong with Rihanna.

And finally, we have the Bollywood elephant in the room—the movie RRR and its song, Naatu Naatu.

First, it’s important to note that this is not, in fact, a Bollywood film at all – it is “a Telugu film from the south of India,” which is where its director, Rajamouli, grew up and acts as the backdrop for the freedom-fighting extravaganza.

It has become a breakaway hit that has taken over the most popular hashtags by mention, as we can see below:

oscars hashtags

Interestingly, when we filter conversation results, we can see where in the world these posts originate. Perhaps unsurprisingly (due to what we’ve discovered above), our geo-mapping shows India offering 21% of the Oscars engaged audience.

What does this mean for the future of film? Has Indian culture become mainstream globally, and has this cracked the door for other amazing cinematographers to break through geographical boundaries and meaningfully engage audiences on the other side of the world?

The possibilities are exciting as we track the response. And we expect to learn more about everything detailed here and more in the next few days. Stay tuned as we share more insight as it becomes available on our social channels and perhaps with a follow-up blog! And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.


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