The Oscars are second only to the Super Bowl?

Photo: johnfarr.typepad.com

We're five days out from the Academy Awards so, naturally, there's ample buzz around the internet about what the celebs will be wearing on the red carpet, whether or not the "Best Picture" nominees deserve their accolades and, of course, Bill Crystal - whom many think is the best emcee to have ever graced the Oscar stage. The buzz that surprised me the most, however, was that the ad space for this year's Oscars sold much earlier than usual, and at a higher price. The price for a 30 second ad during the Academy Awards increased from $1.5 million last year to $1.7 million this year (in 2008, pre-recession, 30 seconds during the Oscars went for $1.8 million). This is interesting because most of what you read about the Oscars is virtual "tomato chucking." People rant about the award show being over-hyped, way too long, dreadfully boring and need we mention last year's Anne Hathway/James Franco train wreck? Poking fun at the Oscars has become a sport, if you will, and the ratings are abysmal - having dipped more than 15% during the past five years. Regardless, companies in search of prime ad space continue to disregard the award show's decreasing popularity and drop the big bucks. But, if you think about it, this makes sense. After the Super Bowl, the Oscars is the only other "big night" on T.V. - millions of people gather together to sit in front of the television on the same day to watch the same thing, some people even throw parties, and hype about the Oscars begins well before the month of February. This year, Hyundai takes the reins as the primary sponsor for the Academy Awards with a reported eight commercials to air during the show, joined by other big-buyers like Coca-Cola and JCPenney. A rep from Hyundai said that the Oscars is the perfect outlet to promote their snazzy new cars because they're looking to reach upper middle class females. Who watches the Oscars? "An upscale audience that's 70% female." So, best of luck to those who purchased Oscar ad space! With the abundance of online and social media promotion for this year's Oscars, and with Billy Crystal at the helm, it's a safe prediction that the 2012 Academy Awards will at least be more entertaining, if not higher rated, than the Academy Award Disaster of 2011.

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Posted by Emily

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