Google wants to be an Oscar Night viewer's best friend with the creation of its first-ever "Google The Oscars" website, just in time for the live broadcast of the 85th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 24.
The new website is offering Oscar watchers a bit of everything, from information about the films, actors, actresses, directors and others who are up for the coveted awards, to details about Oscar history, the fashion on the red carpets and tips on throwing a "virtual Oscar party" with your friends by using Google+ Hangouts to watch the proceedings.
"We all love a night at the movies," wrote Liz Wessel, associate product marketing manager for Google, in a Feb. 21 post on the Google official Blog. "Whether it's romance, horror, or action adventure, there's no better way to step into another world—even if just for a couple of hours. And for the past 85 years, millions of people throughout the world have gathered around their TVs to watch the Oscars and celebrate the people who make these moments possible."
That's why Google created the new Oscars website for the first time, wrote Wessel, to offer a
"one-stop shop to help you get more of what you love about the Oscars."
The site is filled with fun and cool features from a "Year in Review Video" of 2012's top movies to click-though "knowledge graphs about movies and celebrities.
There's even a customized Google Map to show viewers where some of the nominated movies were filmed, as well as where the nominees were born, according to Wessel's post.
And of course, Android users can go to the Google Play Store to download the all-new Official Oscars App for Android.
Google Search got involved in the Oscars site, as well, offering up lots of intriguing information, such as rankings of which Oscar nominees would win this year if it was only based on how many Google searches were conducted about them.
"For those of you with the itch to win an Oscar yourself see what it feels like in a Google+ Hangout—we've got a new effect that will make you feel like a star," wrote Wessel. "And if you end up being so inspired by the idea of holding an Oscar, then we'd also like to hear what you'd say if you won the real thing, using the Oscars "Acceptance Speech" widget," where entrants can film and post their own acceptance speeches to vie for a chance at 15 minutes of fame.
"Oscars night is about celebrating the movies—whether you starred in them or just dreamed about the stars," wrote Wessel. "We hope this site will help you get the most out of the night, so go ahead and join Google on the red carpet at google.com/oscars. And don’t forget to tune in on February 24 at 7pm EST / 4pm PST on ABC to see who this year’s lucky winners are."
This is certainly not the first time that the self-promotion wizards at Google found innovative ways to tie in Google content with trending and popular public events.
During the 2012 U.S. elections, Google built and released a new Voter Information Tool website to help voters find information on everything they needed to know for the Nov. 6 general elections. The tool allowed users to enter their address to find information on their polling place, early voting locations, ballot information with links to candidates’ social media sites along with the voting rules and requirements in their voting districts.
Google also provided information resources for the election campaign last October when it created the ability for online users to hold virtual presidential debate-watching parties that allowed them to "watch" one of the debates between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney inside a Google+ Hangout where their friends could also gather.
The first presidential and vice presidential debates were also both streamed live on network television as well as online, including on YouTube's Election Hub site.
And when Hurricane Sandy smashed into the East Coast in late October 2012, Google offered online tools to help voters in New Jersey and New York who were affected by the destruction from Hurricane Sandy to find their polling places for the elections.