A New Digital Strategy in Hand, the Golden Globes Look to Create a Second-Screen Experience


The 2014 Golden Globe Awards are upon us, airing this Sunday, Jan. 13 on NBC. After making a memorable splash last year, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to the stage, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has decided to put some of its eggs in another basket: digital content. 

In a partnership with Bluefin Media, the HFPA launched a new GoldenGlobes.com site in December, just in time to live-stream the 71st annual award show nominations. And since then, Bluefin and the HFPA have been hard at work creating original, engaging content to broaden the show’s audience ahead of this weekend’s broadcast. 

“Digital content offers the opportunity to engage a wider audience and to make a stronger impact with advertising dollars. It also enables us to engage with our viewers in real-time,” Lorenzo Soria, vice president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, told brandchannel.

The new site has already averaged 200,000 viewers per day, up from roughly 1,000 viewers per day last year on the old Golden Globe’s website. The redesigned site garnered over 1 million unique visitors in the first month of launch. But the goal of the Globes this year is to capture the second-screen phenomenon that other awards shows, like The Oscars, have mastered. To do so, the Globes will utilize a newly-formed social media presence, especially on Facebook and Instagram.[more]

To start, the red carpet will include an Instagram “InstaStop” and a “thank you cam” backstage. Fans can use Instagram to send a video questions, tagged with #AskGlobes, which could be answered by a star live at the show. Responses will be posted on the Golden Globes Instagram account. 

“Up until now, the Globes had no digital presence. The HFPA site was informational, but the new site is user-friendly, and attracting the 18-34 demo,” Bluefin Media CEO Brad Mandell told brandchannel

Bluefin decided to use HFPA’s 85 journalists to create original, premium content for the site, as well as producing a slew of videos that skew to a younger crowd, like one on Taylor Swift which garnered 65,000 shares on Facebook, whereas previously, total prior shares were less than 1,000. 

“The status quo is shifting,” said Mandell. “It’s a 71-year-old brand, just moving into the digital space, and learning that they must be responsive to what people want—and open to change. We had to do some education about best-practices in digital—and we really had just two months to build the site out. I was hoping for at least four.”


As the main goal is to make the Globes an interactive, second-screen event, the new website will run a crawl during the telecast with all social activities trending on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Attracting advertisers to the digital opportunities around the Golden Globe’s brand is another task. “The HFPA steers away from the Target’s and Walmarts—it’s not their image and you can’t buy your way in. 70 to 80 percent of potential digital advertisers, they don’t want, which leaves about 20 percent they do, such as Porsche and Moet Chandon,” Mandell explained.

As the Globes have traditionally attracted an older audience, Mandell says digital is the bridge to a younger one. “The website is not a mirror image of the TV show, and it’s not just about the show. The site brings the demographic skew down one notch. Younger celebrities comprise 98 to 99 percent of social activity.”

The website will continue to push out new content on a daily basis rather than just a month before and after the telecast. “It won’t be paparazzi snippets, but more substantial content—less gossip and more entertainment,” said Mandell.

“Our goal was to transform our site into the go-to source for up-to-the-minute entertainment news, fashion content and videos, and to engage our audience not only leading up to the show, but year-round,” Soria said. “We’re adapting to the changing media landscape by embracing digital… It’s also a way for us to adapt to an audience that may not watch network television, but often monitors news via other devices. This year, we’re creating excitement around the Golden Globes through new mediums.”

Film and fashion fans alike will no doubt be tuning in this Sunday, but only time will tell if HFPA’s investment in social engagement will have them tweeting, too.