The Oscars Online

I’ll admit here to being a bit of an award show junkie. I enjoy the red carpet commentary, the general glamour, and those wonderfully awkward “he/she didn’t know the camera was right there” moments. Of course, the creme de la creme of the award season — the Academy Awards — are coming up soon. I recently read an Ad Age article about how the Oscars have gotten a social media makeover this year in attempt to drive the median viewer age from 49.5 to something in the Gen Y range. Their efforts include an active Facebook page where nominations were streamed live and an iPhone app (coming soon) that will allow users to make predictions and see how their guesses stack up against others. The main goal of all efforts: to make the show relevant to a younger age group and drive their viewership. The key takeaway points of this endeavor for me were from Joseph Jaffe, a social-media blogger for Powered, who said, “One of the biggest mistakes being made is this idea that leaning forward is better than leaning back” […] All I can say is, it’s not too late for the Academy to achieve three goals with social media — one, to drive live tune-in; two, to enhance the experience; and three, continue the conversation afterward. It’s an elementary strategy, yet people are still neglecting the pre-, neglecting the post-, and butchering the during.” For more, read the rest of the Ad Age article here.

(Header image from The Oscars’ Facebook page.)

28 Comments

  1. Anne

    They could do something really radical for an Academy as staid as they are — have their voters narrow the big categories down to two, and then all of us real, non-movie people get to vote via numerous methods (email, Facebook, Twitter, special Apps, web, texts, etc.) on which of those two should win.

  2. Peter

    Interesting, Grace. I was initially shocked to read that the median age of Academy Awards watchers is 49.5. But, then I’ve also read that the median age of bloggers and Facebookers is also creeping higher and higher into the upper 30s and lower 40s. This all begs the question, what media should advertisers be targeting to find all the affluent gen Yers for whom they are so avidly looking? With media options proliferating, it seems as though each generation’s attention becomes more fragmented (atomized/specialized/Balkanized?). Is the concept of mass media becoming anachronistic?

    And what is it about the Academy Awards that is so toxic for the young? The self-congratulatory excess? The dominant studios’ ever more evident promotion of mediocre films? Joan Rivers? Maybe the future of the nation is in good hands, after all!

  3. Stephania Cruz

    Really Cool

  4. Monkey

    I’m looking forward to the iPhone app, I think it will add a fun, interactive component which will make seeing who actually wins all the more fun and incease viewership.

  5. Kyle

    I’ve never been a big fan of awards ceremonies, especially the ones aimed at younger viewers. But I do enjoy the red/yellow/green carpet interactions. I hope they’d conglomerate interactions like that to make that more interesting.

  6. Gretchen

    Interesting. I don’t usually watch award shows, but I think it’s more due to time – I am interested in them. I agree with Peter than the average age of 49.5 was a surprise. Very nice post, Grace!

  7. Gretchen

    Interesting. I don’t usually watch award shows, but I think it’s more due to time – I am interested in them. I agree with Peter than the average age of 49.5 was a surprise. Very nice post, Grace!

  8. Erik (not the one you're thinking)

    I think that the problem is that the awards seem arbitrary. Why did one picture or actor win over the other? The show would be even longer if they actually put this kind of stuff into the broadcast, but social media seems like the perfect avenue for enhancing the content of the show (and give you something to do during the categories that you don’t care about). I don’t really care if my predictions were right or not, but I want to know why. Just having “social media” associated with the Oscars isn’t going to attract people to watch it if the content of that media is boring.

  9. Erik (not the one you're thinking)

    I think that the problem is that the awards seem arbitrary. Why did one picture or actor win over the other? The show would be even longer if they actually put this kind of stuff into the broadcast, but social media seems like the perfect avenue for enhancing the content of the show (and give you something to do during the categories that you don’t care about). I don’t really care if my predictions were right or not, but I want to know why. Just having “social media” associated with the Oscars isn’t going to attract people to watch it if the content of that media is boring.

  10. Anne

    But how would they tabulate the why? That’s an essay vs. a multiple choice. Or perhaps just a sampling of the whys for the winners?

  11. Anne

    But how would they tabulate the why? That’s an essay vs. a multiple choice. Or perhaps just a sampling of the whys for the winners?

  12. Erik (the one you're thinking)

    I think it is important for all businesses and programs to decrease the median age of their target. Social media seems to be the way to do it. It will be interesting to see what the median age is this year. Grace, do you think this will decrease the median age and will you post the actual media age after the event?

  13. Karissa

    Wow Grace it is cool that they are using social media. I think that beyond which voting for the actual awards, they should incorporate voting on the best outfits. I think that a lot of younger viewers would enjoy voting on the favorite celeb outfits.

  14. Karissa

    Wow Grace it is cool that they are using social media. I think that beyond which voting for the actual awards, they should incorporate voting on the best outfits. I think that a lot of younger viewers would enjoy voting on the favorite celeb outfits.

  15. Annaliese

    Wow, I was also really surprised that the median age was 49.5! I would think it would be younger than that. Last year was the first time I watched the Academy Awards, and I’m still planning on watching them this year. Maybe this will help bring the median age down!

  16. Erik (the one you're thinking)

    I agree with Karissa. I think it would be fun to vote on the clothes during the show and i think more people would watch, maybe not for the right reason at first, but then they may start to enjoy the actual content of the show.

  17. Erik (the one you're thinking)

    I agree with Karissa. I think it would be fun to vote on the clothes during the show and i think more people would watch, maybe not for the right reason at first, but then they may start to enjoy the actual content of the show.

  18. Katie

    The Oscars app is available. I just downloaded it!

  19. Meaghan

    Interesting topic, Grace. For me, awards shows are all about the glam and the red carpet pre-game…and the fashion at the Oscars, at the end of the awards season, is the extreme.

    Karissa makes a good point about incorporating this interest into the social-media sphere. I always turn to jezebel.com for a rundown of the good, bad, and the ugly…but it would be fun to have an interactive vote on facebook during the live event.

    On a side note, I think DVRs have impacted advertising for these live events. I always miss them because I didn’t see any ads. Facebook would be useful tool in that respect as well.

  20. Meaghan

    Interesting topic, Grace. For me, awards shows are all about the glam and the red carpet pre-game…and the fashion at the Oscars, at the end of the awards season, is the extreme.

    Karissa makes a good point about incorporating this interest into the social-media sphere. I always turn to jezebel.com for a rundown of the good, bad, and the ugly…but it would be fun to have an interactive vote on facebook during the live event.

    On a side note, I think DVRs have impacted advertising for these live events. I always miss them because I didn’t see any ads. Facebook would be useful tool in that respect as well.

  21. Matt

    Driving live views must be hard. I know I expect to see the good bits on the web tomorrow. Why watch live? I might have to endure an “Uma…Oprah” moment.

  22. John

    Whenever i can interact with my iPhone there is a better chance that i’m going to participate.

  23. Matt

    Also, if I were running the Academy Awards, I’d have 100% more Megan Fox. They’re really over thinking it with this social media stuff.

  24. Matt

    Also, if I were running the Academy Awards, I’d have 100% more Megan Fox. They’re really over thinking it with this social media stuff.

  25. Bill

    The Oscars don’t have much hope of attracting younger viewers as long as the people selecting the nominees and actually voting on the awards are so much older than the audience they’re trying to attract. The whole social media thing will only work if there’s interest in the contests. The move to 10 nominees for Best Picture is a blatant attempt to have more of the popular movies in the mix, in order to attract a bigger,more diverse audience. In my opinion, it won’t help much.
    All that being said, I’ll be helping to skew the demographic upward by watching the show live on the old fashioned television set in my family room. And call me a troglodyte if you will, but I’ll only be sharing my feelings about the winners and losers and the fashions with whomever is in the room with me.

  26. Rae Ann

    there already is an avenue for gen Xs and gen Ys—it’s called the People’s Choice Awards and most of the winners are popular but mediocre at best.

  27. Karen

    As someone who rarely watches the Oscars and sees only a few films per year, I can’t help but wonder if movies are really worthy of all the hoopla—why not books?

  28. Karen

    As someone who rarely watches the Oscars and sees only a few films per year, I can’t help but wonder if movies are really worthy of all the hoopla—why not books?

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