Five Things Brands Can Learn from Leo’s Acceptance Speech

in Branding | by Marisa Rando

Finally. After twenty-two years, Leonardo DiCaprio accepted his first Academy Award for best actor in The Revenant.

For a little over two minutes, Leo spoke to a teary-eyed crowd addressing his journey as an actor and causes dear to his heart. His candid delivery was flawless, and his message was simple: do not take anything for granted.

Just like an acceptance speech, a brand’s delivery of key messages to its audience is extremely important. Not only should your “speech” elevate your brand’s voice and meaning, but it should also tell a dynamic and engaging story.

Here are five things brands can learn from Leo’s Oscars® acceptance speech:

Stay true to your roots.
Really, we should be thanking Leo for gracing us with his presence in so many major feature film roles. But humble Leo started his speech thanking others—competing actors in his category, family and friends, and the producers and directors of The Revenant. But what was unique about Leo’s thank yous was his reference to the innovators of his career. Shout outs to cinematic icons such as Martin Scorsese showed that after all of these years of Hollywood magic, Leonardo DiCaprio would still give up his spot to save Rose in the limelight to give credit where it’s due.

Be clear and concise.
Viewers of the Oscars® were moved to tears as a result of Leo’s win. After all of these years, the Academy finally awarded him his degree. You’d think the speech would’ve been long and verbose on DiCaprio’s end, as this was a long time coming. But in true Leo fashion, it was concise, sophisticated and impactful. Leonardo DiCaprio thanked his mentors, family and co-stars gracefully and tied in his message for climate control powerfully and appropriately to his role in The Revenant. The speech was disruptive in content, but eloquent in delivery. And that is what made the audience listen.

Rise above.
This year’s 88th Academy Award Show was saturated in controversy. As addressed humorously in Chris Rock’s monologue, there was a lot of buzz about this year’s Oscars®, and its nominees, and not all of it was good. In Leo’s case, there have been endless memes and even an online video game circulating on social media poking fun at the fact that he’s never won an Oscar. Rather than retaliating against the public obsession, Leo decided to rise above the controversy. His speech was focused, grateful and had much higher aspirations than a “look at me now,” gloat. For this, among many other things, we salute you Mr. DiCaprio.

Be engaging.
It is safe to say the winning of an Academy Award by Leonardo DiCaprio was the most anticipated event of this year’s Oscars® . Since his youth, film enthusiasts around the world have been anxious to watch Leo cross the stage to accept his award. And last night when he finally did, we were all hanging on the edge of our seat to hear what he was going to say. Leonardo DiCaprio delivered his speech and engaged the audience on a personal level. DiCaprio motivated them to support each other, encouraged government leaders to come together and solve the issue of climate change and urged viewers to not undervalue anything.

Speak from the heart.
Leo skillfully addressed his platform to send a message to a global audience, demanding their attention on an important issue. As a well-known environmental activist, he used his Academy Awards’ speech not to flaunt the glamour of Hollywood, but to humble every celebrity to the reality of global warming. His speech acted as a warning and a plea for us to take responsibility for the planet we occupy by joining #TeamGreen. And, he did it in a tasteful way.

Your brand’s messaging should start with a standing ovation and end with a standing ovation, just like Leo’s speech. Utilize these five tips to disrupt the status-quo and start a viral conversation like a true Hollywood A-Lister.