This year, the 85th Academy Awards takes on a new name with a younger tone, “The Oscars.”
“We’re rebranding it,” Oscars co-producer Neil Meron told The Wrap. “We’re not calling it ‘the 85th annual Academy Awards,’ which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars.'”
Still pursuing a younger demographic despite the failure of James Franco and Anne Hathaway as co-hosts in 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicist Teni Melidonian said, “It is right for this show, but we could easily go back to using ‘Academy Awards’ next year.”
“It’ll be like the Grammys,” Meron added. “The Grammys don’t get a number, and neither will the Oscars.” The awards show hit a ratings high of 55 million in 1998, the year of Titanic, but have been on a decline ever since.[more]
“There’s been criticism in the past about The Academy being very stuffy and mired in tradition, but I think what we’re doing… is kind of blowing some of the cobwebs and dust away and allowing this to really be relevant,” said Meron.
The Oscars appointed Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane as host this year on the heels of the “hipper, shaper-tongued,” Golden Globes, which spiffed up their brand image this year with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as co-hosts.
McFarlane, who has hosted SNL and is nominated for Best Song for a tune he created for the movie Ted, is a second attempt to touch a more youthful audience after The Academy reinstated veteran host Billy Crystal after the 2011 disaster—and let’s not forget Jon Stewart or David Letterman.
“If McFarlane can keep it classy—while cracking us up—he’ll uphold the show’s legacy while helping a broader audience relate to the brand,” notes an Interbrand blog.
Still, while the Oscars is skewing younger, don’t expect such traditions as the gold envelope to go digital any time soon.
Tune in Sunday night and let us know if you think MacFarlane has got the chops to help rebrand the Oscars.