My RA Doesn’t Know What the BAFTAs Are… Do You?

A couple nights ago, my RA was doing her door-to-door checkups when she came across my roommate and I discussing the BAFTAs (aka the British Academy of Film and Television Awards). We were talking about the typical stuff such as who was there and who we think had won when my RA interrupted and asked puzzledly, “The BA-who?”

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For her, she hadn’t heard of the BAFTAs and didn’t know what they were. Even when I explained what the acronym stood for, she still didn’t understand. Eventually, I referred to them as the ‘British’ Oscars.

Although this explanation gave my RA a better grasp on what the ceremony was, it led me to wonder just how popular the BAFTAs were in the U.S. To be honest, the only reason why I knew about the ceremony was because some of my favorite celebrities, Prince William and Kate Middleton, advertised it on Twitter. Does social media always attract the BAFTAs’ viewers?

To find my answer, I first had to watch their most recent show which were the British Academy Film Awards.

The British Academy Film Awards were held on February 10, 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK. The show featured notable (and nominated) actors like A Star Is Born’s Bradley Cooper, Black Panther’s Letitia Wright, The Queen of Scots and Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie, and many more. Some of the film industry’s biggest winners were movies such as The Favourite and Roma which together won 10 BAFTAs.

The awards were televised on the British network BBC One, but for North Americans, it was on the American network, BBC America. Although having them broadcasted on BBC America was a great tactic to bring in an American audience, not that many people have access to that channel. This led the BAFTAs in recent years to heavily rely on social media platforms to advertise their show.

According to BAFTAs’ 2017 annual report, they create awareness by paying and partnering with Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter to increase social engagement. This includes streaming live footage from the event along with hashtagging #BAFTAs or #EEBAFTAs. I have to say this strategy is smart since according to Edison Research, about 80 percent of North Americans had an online presence by 2017.

Thanks to BAFTAs’ tactics and others, their 2017 online engagement totaled in 104,509,190 people. These engagements also include visits to BAFTAs’ website, organic visits on Facebook, and organic impressions on Twitter. This was an increase of 96 million from 2016.

Another strategy the BAFTAs use is posting videos from their shows on to YouTube. Currently, their most popular video from the British Academy Film Awards is Dev Patel’s Supporting Actor acceptance speech for 2016’s Lion. It has about 820,000 views.

The BAFTAs are killing their social media marketing and I hope by then end of 2019, they gain an even a bigger audience.

Have you watched the BAFTAs this year? What do you think of their marketing strategies?

Let me know in the comments!

⎼ Aliyah Harris