And the Oscar for the worst social media campaign of the night goes to…

…ABC’s #mysterybox!  Just several weeks ago, we witnessed how the web played a major role in the 2013 Super Bowl. For one, during the infamous blackout, many brands took the opportunity to engage viewers through social media. Second, did you not notice that more than half the commercials included Twitter hashtags?

Well, the Oscars took all that to a whole new level. Viewers at home were told to join Twitter and Facebook conversations left and right. People chatted about everything from the best dressed to #oscarnoms (oscar + noms = food at the Oscars). There was even an official app! But #mysterybox takes the Oscar for being one of the, if not the worst, social media campaign of the night.

During ABC’s coverage of the Oscars, there was literally a mystery box set on the side of Kristin Chenoweth’s interview area. After interviewing celebrities, she would ask them to guess what was inside and ask viewers at home to join the conversation online with the hashtag “#mysterybox”. Celebrities didn’t look all too interested and the covered box wasn’t too presentable at such a classic, Hollywood red carpet event. With close to 40 million viewers last year, it is safe to assume that this year’s viewership was in that vicinity. But according to, a site that analyzes hashtags, #mysterybox was estimated to be Tweeted only 154 times at its peak hour. That means, only about 0.00118% of viewers participated in this social media campaign.

What was in the mystery box, you might ask? It was a pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, which obviously was a nod to the new Disney movie Oz: The Great and Powerful, due out next week (if you forgot, ABC and Disney properties are managed under the same group). The campaign was definitely a stretch and sadly a failure.

Think another social media campaign was worse? Leave a comment below!


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