A technique called "look-a-like" modelling, in which the web surfing habits of people with similar demographics to Oscar voters, is on course to successfully predict the 4th consecutive Oscar winner for Best Picture.

It comes from digital advertising specialist Exponential who analyse the behaviour of 32,000 people working in the LA Film industry with similar characteristics to Oscar voters. The voters are very narrow demographically – 94% Caucasian, 77% male, average age 62.

“We know the typical Oscar voter is a frequent traveller, invests heavily in home theatre systems, follows tennis and baseball, is concerned about privacy and Social Security, buys expensive watches, and drives a European luxury car,” explains Bryan Melmed, Exponential’s VP of Insights. “Thus, the film interests of people with similar interests give us a strong clue as to where votes would go.”

After ruling out the other contenders for having too diverse audiences, or too young, or too female, Melmed identifies the winner: “This left The Big Short and Spotlight but it was incredibly difficult to predict the winner as these two have the strongest overlapping audiences, sharing 95% of the 10,000+ behavioural indicators we identified. However, The Big Short edged it on mirroring the key interests of Oscar voters.”

Melmed goes on to say why the look-a-like modelling technique is very important for marketers: “It identifies groups of people with shared interests which can be modelled against a brand’s customers to find new people who are most likely to convert. This improved targeting minimises wasted ad budgets and serves people more relevant ads, which reduces a motivation to block them.”

Published on: 8:15AM on 26th February 2016