Social Media and Awards Season Drama

Phil Pallen is a Social Media Designer based in Los Angeles, managing brands for celebrity and high-profile clients throughout North America.

Everybody is hopping on the new media train these days, and I mean everybody.

But here in Hollywood, the transition has been slow. Big studios are having a hard time letting go of old fashioned ways. They still tend to resist new methods of distribution like instant streaming and online purchases. Due to this lack of adaptation there have been many social media mishaps along the way.

Social Media + Awards Shows = Celeb Overdose

Celebrities usually do well in the social media realm-Why? It’s how we all satisfy our unhealthy obsession with them.

Awards season is a total Hollywood gossip feast. When you combine celebrity and social media, they have the potential to be powerful.

Working The Red Carpet (and The Timeline)

Although the show has gotten a bit dull (in my opinion), the Glee cast still manages to slip their names on nomination ballots, hit the red carpet in style, and tweet like crazy. Glee is one of those shows with a pretty psychotic group of fans who are rabid for the latest scoop on their favorite cast members.

When Lea Michele starts posting Twitpics during commercial breaks, the fandom collectively squeals.

The Drama

Social media creates just as many problems as it solves. Just last year, Modern family star Sarah Hyland mocked Lea Michele’s dramatic red carpet poses. We all got to watch as the drama played out.

It’s no longer a publicist’s world, where they fully control what we see. Social media is a front row seat where things are so much juicier.

Social media is changing fan interaction in a big way.  An @reply from a favorite celebrity can make a fangirl’s life. A quick Twitpic from the red carpet makes people watching at home feel as if they are there. Any crises can be managed without calling a press conference. The old media publicist has to adapt (or disappear).

Industry Impact

Social media affects more than just celebrities. It’s shaping the entertainment industry.

Before this, awards shows were somewhat mysterious. It felt like an elitist club. Now, thanks to new media transparency, the magic is gone. Now we are just plain vocal about whether or not we agree with how the academy votes. Better yet, we are vocal about whom they don’t include for a nomination (ahem, read below).

Harry Potter (Or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Nominated)

In October, a rash of Harry Potter billboards started cropping up around Los Angeles, reading “For your consideration.” The passive aggressive way to phrase, “Vote for me!”

Facebook pages were popping up, demanding an Oscar nod. These pages weren’t created by studios, but by fans. The result was underwhelming, three technical nominations and one great big “Best Picture” snub.

Live and Learn

The industry is learning from mistakes and successes. In spite of their omnipresent fight against Internet piracy, they are reluctantly embracing digital marketing. For an industry that is used to having 100 percent control, it’s fascinating to watch how graceful they are about losing it.

The Verdict

I declare this year, “Year of the fan”. If you’ve got a celebrity you follow closely on Facebook and/or Twitter, then you know what I mean. If you don’t, you better get with it.

The Internet will continue to turn our favorites stars life into our personal entertainment. Enjoy awards season and embrace how social media gives you a front row seat.