Social Media & Justin Bieber Selected As Presenters At The Oscars?

Was it any wonder, with 'The Social Network' movie nominated for 'best picture,' that social media would be featured center stage at the 83rd Academy Awards? At the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, February 27, big brands are attaching themselves to celebs and are capitalizing on their Facebook and Twitter pages to hype activities leading up to and at the event.

This coupled with mobile apps that will allow fans around the globe to feel like they are teleported into the night's activity, this year's award show will provide Suzy and Sammy Social Networker real-time access - and a touch of The Bieb thrown in for equal measure - if interested?

Mixing celebrities and social media for an event is not new, but brands know that the Academy Awards is the second best bet to the Super Bowl, and with marketers paying $1.75 million for each 30-second slot on ABC's telecast, the stakes are pretty high to get it right.

The social shopping site Gilt Groupe working with its social marketing firm MyLikes will plug into blog chatter about the red carpet, with bloggers linking to a Gilt-sponsored site to vote on the evening gowns worn by the female celebrities (sounds like the Fashion Police, on overdrive!)

In addition to using the red carpet as a backdrop to introduce its 'rebranding' to jcpenney, the department store chain will post fashions featured in its TV commercials on its Facebook page. To launch its new tagline and logo, it will air seven spots on the Award show, soliciting viewers to comment about their clothes on their Facebook and Twitter sites. With over 1.4 millions fans, "The consumer is the marketer," says chief Michael Boylson. "What customers say about you is more important than what you say about yourself."

Dove's VisibleCare Body Wash is kicking off a social-media campaign that is not only using the Academy Awards for leverage, but also the very popular Dancing With The Stars TV Show. A contest called "The Dove Close-Up Challenge," will select winners to dance in a Dove ad that will air during a break on DWTS, where they will learn steps from actress and former DWTS contestant Jennie Garth, says Rob Candelino, marketing director.

As far as mobile apps getting up close and personal at the Oscars, the NY Times suggests the 'Oscar Backstage Pass'  looks like the most promising. For 99 cents, you can download the app from Apple's iTunes App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Dissimilar to most other apps, Backstage Pass will change significantly as Sunday's festivities unfold. Pre-show, it will provide video segments about various Oscar elements, along with a countdown to the event. Then once ABC's televised coverage begins (at 7PM EST) the app's screen will reset for the 90-minute red carpet coverage. As an extra advantage, the network plans to provide users with options for eight camera angles that will not be shown to the TV audience.

Here, Robin Rhys, senior editor at AppAdvice Extra gives you a complete run-down of all the other Oscar apps available (some of which are free), in her YouTube report.

If you are a Hollywood trivia aficionado who is competitive, the Obsessed With Hollywood iPhone app is a solid bet. The app is featured in Apple’s Game Center, and it includes 2,500 questions and 200 hours of game play. Downloads are available for $1.99 at the iTunes app store.

Best Buy seems to think it can tie the season's two largest events together - the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards - and social networkers will follow. The chain engineered an online vote to attract Justin Bieber fans to pick an alternate ending to the pop star's ad that aired during the Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers match-up. It will then feature the subsequent commercial with the winning new ending at the Oscars.

Will a social media campaign of that type bring in new viewers for the Academy Awards? Possibly- but I have my doubts - since the YouTube phenom known as "Bieber Fever" has about just as much to do with a sporting event, as he does a motion picture award ceremony - even if Best Buy is paying him a cool one million dollars to pull it off.

(Note: no word as to why Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne were picked to co-star, nor if they were paid anything close to the Bieb!)

As the Academy Awards gets more social with each passing year - you have to wonder if it's worth all the hype? In this age of hyper-distraction that we live in, is it possible to follow all of these social media interconnections? Even - selecting one and going with it - sounds like a chore? Or, do you chuck it all and settle for being a couch potato for the evening?