Brand managers ride the wave as ‘Grease Live!’ TV ratings soar

Marketers capitalize on the attention of 12.2 million viewers that Fox Network’s latest musical drew in. Celebrities were the focal point for audiences on social media.

Fox’s “Grease Live!” electrified Twitter on Sunday night for the entirety of its three-hour broadcast.

The star-powered musical—a hybrid of the 1971 Broadway production and 1978 movie—pulled in 12.2 million viewers and featured celebrities with significant online followings.

Vanessa Hudgens, who played Rizzo in Sunday’s performance, has 5.7 million devoted Twitter followers, and Julianne Hough (Sandy) has nearly 1.2 million. Marketing technology group Amobee reported that these two names were among the top three mentioned in the nearly 1,400,000 Tweets using the #GreaseLive hashtag.

TV networks including Fox and NBC have marketed the live-musical format to sway viewers from using ad-skipping digital video recorders. This has proved successful in both ratings and engagement online. Brand managers are also getting in on the online action that surrounds these live broadcasts.

Rather than simply mentioning the hashtag to establish a presence online, some social media marketers opted to take a more clever, event-themed approach:

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