“The campaign is very cinematic, and the Oscars is a night that celebrates story-tellers and creators,” the DPA’s Deborah Marquardt said of the decision to buy airtime for “Runaways” during the awards show. “From that perspective, I think the ad is a really beautiful fit for what Oscar night is all about.”
New York--First it was Tiffany & Co. during the Super Bowl. Now, it’s generic diamond advertising at the Academy Awards.

The Diamond Producers Association, the body organized by diamond miners in 2015 to help promote and support the category, said it has purchased a 15-second spot from ABC that will be seen sometime between 9 and 10:45 p.m. during the Oscars broadcast.

In that slot, the DPA will air “Runaways,” one of the two commercials it debuted late last year as it launched “Real is Rare,” the campaign designed to increase millennials’ desire for diamonds.

Deborah Marquardt, the DPA’s chief marketing officer, said while this is not the first time a “Real is Rare” commercial has been seen on TV, it is the TV debut of “Runaways.” The DPA ran its other commercial, “Wild & Kind,” on television in the fourth quarter 2016.

She declined to say how much the DPA spent on the Oscars ad or to discuss specifics about the DPA’s budget for 2017, though both Bloomberg and Rapaport have reported that the DPA has asked the mining companies to contribute $60 million for this year.

The 89th annual Academy Awards is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. EST (the red carpet coverage will start an hour and a half prior) on Sunday, Feb. 26, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.

The awards show is regularly the most-watched entertainment program of the year, pulling in upward of 30 million viewers and, predictably, peaking in years when the Best Picture nominee list includes films that were also big box office draws. (For example, according to AdWeek, viewership was around 55 million in 1998, the year “Titanic” won Best Picture.)

If this trend holds true, this year’s Oscars should see an upswing in viewership from last year as two Best Picture nominees, “Hidden Figures,” and “La La Land,” have topped $100 million at the domestic box office.

The Oscars audience also is predominately female. Marquardt said last year, 67 percent of the show’s 31.5 million viewers were women.

She said she did not have figures on how many of the total number of viewers were millennials--the DPA’s target demographic--but said the Oscars broadcast is one of the biggest live millennial audiences for advertisers to reach during the year.

“Right now, viewership across all media is large, but it’s fragmented,” she said. “That’s why it’s important (for advertisers) to buy marquee moments where there is a big live audience.”

It’s also a night when diamonds get plenty of play on the red carpet; consider Charlize Theron’s necklace and Olivia Munn’s bracelet from last year’s Oscars.
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The DPA debuted the first two commercials for “Real is Rare”--“Runaways” and Wild & Kind”--at an event held in New York in October.

Marquardt said the DPA plans to debut a third commercial in the second quarter of 2017 but declined to release any details on its content.

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