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And the Winner is?? New Technology helps Rate Oscar's Show

March 24, 2002--CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.-- We all know the Best Picture and other Oscar winners from the Academy Awards Ceremony. But, how did Whoopi do as emcee? Who gave the best acceptance speech? Who gave the worst speech. And what about the show overall? What were the best and worst moments?

During Sunday's Academy Awards, PeopleSpace used its newest technology, the Real-Time Rating Tool (tm), to answer these questions, and others. The RTRT lets thousands of users rate a TV show or event as it progresses and continuously view the accumulated tally. Participants can vote in intervals as short as every five seconds, giving a timeline of in-depth feedback for everything from advertisements to political speeches to the newest TV series. Users can vote using their computer, interactive TV systems or even wireless devices and cell phones. The collected data is a valuable resource to advertisers and agencies.

And Sunday night, the users voted! PeopleSpace President Jack Smith says, "This isn't based on some isolated focus group sitting in a hotel meeting room. This is the opinion of real viewers in real time. People were voting from home and from parties. They were hanging with friends, not in a darkened room with a bunch of strangers and a moderator. We wanted a good test for our new technology, and it worked flawlessly. We've evaluated the thousands of responses and the results are fascinating."

PeopleSpace creates and runs online marketing and community events for companies ranging from Sesame Street to Lifetime TV to Playboy. PeopleSpace asked participants to rate the various components of the Academy Awards Ceremony for their impact and entertainment value. The users could vote as often as every 5 seconds. The database tracked the time of the vote and basic information about the voter (location by zip code, age and sex).

Smith says, "We can run these as purely scientific polls with a balanced pool of people. We were using this as a tune-up for the commercial launch of our iTV technology. In this case, it was all just for fun!"

Smith continues, "The results from the awards ceremony vary from a traditional 'what did you think' poll. Our data is based on an ongoing and evolving opinion of the show moment by moment. We got some interesting results. There were some definite high points, but overall the ratings for the Ceremony hovered at the mid-point of the rating scale."

Rating Basis

The following results are based on votes cast using a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being Bad, 3 being Ok and 5 being Great. The average, overall response was determined for various segments, presenters and winners. The voting is based on thousands of responses from registered users of the Real-Time Rating Tool.

Red Carpet Entrance

ABC's production of the Red Carpet portion before the main awards show failed to excite the audience. Almost in every case, the ratings were high at the beginning of an interview and then faded as the Q & A progressed. The two stars that rated highest were:

Will Smith - 4.55
Halle Berry - 4.40

Both stars also rated highest on the ratings for the best tuxes and dresses seen on the Red Carpet. Sissy Spacek rated the lowest with a 2.8.

Summary (Top Dozen Moments)

Halle Berry Acceptance - 4.85
Cirque du Soleil - 4.75
Sidney Poitier Tribute - 4.65
Denzel Washington Acceptance 4.65
Whoopi Trapeze Opening - 4.6
Randy Newman Acceptance - 4.6
Woody Allen (NY Tribute) - 4.55
Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson Bit (Best Costume Presenters) - 4.50
Best Song Compilation - 4.40
Ron Howard Acceptance - 4.40
Roberto Benigni (Ben Hur discussion) - 4.35
Julian Fellows (Best Original Screenplay Acceptance Speech) - 4.30

The Best Speech

Most speeches on award's night fell in the middle ground (see below). Perhaps it was all of the reading from notes rather than expressions of emotion. Based on the votes of the viewers, Randy Newman seemed to hit a chord (no pun intended). But the award for the best speech goes to Halle Berry. There was no mistaking the excitement and emotion of her acceptance. The teary and joyful speech garnered the highest rating with a 4.85.

The Best Moments

The audience seemed ready for a good time and rated Whoopi's trapeze entrance among the highest of the show with a 4.6 out of a possible 5. But Sidney Poitier topped her with his moving speech (4.65). Another hit (probably because it was the second most energetic thing of the evening) was the Cirque du Soleil acrobatics synched to movie scenes (4.75). Then, of course, for the best moment, see Best Speech above. Our raters connected with Halle Berry and gave her the highest rating of the evening.

The Middle Ground

Supposedly the nominees had been coached before the show to forgo lists of names of friends and co-workers and to instead show emotion and energy. Winners did indeed avoid long lists, but they seemed to have forgotten their emotion as well. Most of the winners fell in the middle ground with ratings in the 3.2 to 3.8 range.

Worst Moments

The lowest ratings of the evening went to many of the presenters (who averaged in the low 3's). So, perhaps luckily, most of the worst moments were just that... moments. A badly timed joke here or a muffed line there. Of all the major category winners, Jennifer Connelly who won for Best Supporting Actress rated the worst with a 3.7 (not horrible, but the lowest of the group).

Additional Results

For more feedback, contact company President, Jack Smith (434-825-2168) or send email to

PeopleSpace, Inc. is a leading developer of Internet marketing and promotional tools, featuring games and other interactive products designed to attract, retain and entertain web visitors. PeopleSpace clients include Sesame Street, Playboy, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Electronic Arts, Fox Sports, iVillage, NBC, The House Armed Services Committee and others. From initial concepts to hosting, maintenance, and data mining, PeopleSpace develops a broad range of interactive marketing solutions. Products and services include games, interactive events, promotional activities and tools for viral marketing campaigns. All can be branded to market any company or product. More information, as well as free games, can be found at