More than an Award

Admit it. Oscars is one of the most attention-provoking and entertaining events that are screened throughout the whole year. Several companies invest and sponsor the show in order to display their advertisements during the break times. So, what’s so special about the Oscars?

Oscars has several public relations components that are connected to the ratings system. Compared to Super Bowl, Oscars’ ratings tend to vary based on the nominees and films that are produced every year. For instance, Titanic won the best picture in 1998 and had the highest number of viewers in Oscars history. Oscars 1998 nearly reached 55 million viewers, whereas Oscars 2016 reached approximately 34 million viewers. The ratings for Oscars 2016 had the smallest 18-to-49-year-old audience in the last twenty years. However, despite the reduction, the Oscars is still most likely to become the year’s most-watched entertaining program.

So, why? And How? The Oscars uses various strategies in order to attract the viewers. This year it certainly used social media accounts and controversies to increase the number of  total viewers. The greatest controversy for Oscars 2016 was the #OscarsSoWhitemovement, which emphasized the importance of diversity and the racial issues behind the Oscars nomination. This year’s host Chris Rock promoted this movement  using the hashtag features on twitter and promoting the show in various social media accounts. By producing this controversy, the #OscarsSoWhite movement became the “top hashtags” on Twitter, which attracted numerous social media users.

Chris Rock was one of the greatest contributors who succeeded to attract the audience for the award ceremony. He used ironic features to criticize, yet contribute to the show at the same time. Chris succeeded to catch the audience’s attention by promoting the show while advocating for change.

The main purpose behind the #OscarsSoWhite movement was to uncover the racial discriminations among the nominees for the awards, and people definitely acknowledged the message behind this controversy. The irony behind this particular hashtag kicks in when considering the purpose of this movement. Though it provoked interest toward many individuals, it also prevented many actors and potential viewers from watching the show due to its controversial factors.

Various social media accounts, such as Instagram and Snapchat, successfully promoted the Oscars as well. Celebrities uploaded pictures to Instagram to show previews of the Oscars. Uploading pictures that are more personalized than the actual show, Instagram effectively connected the audience and celebrities to an intimate level. Similarly, Snapchat had a Live feature that allowed users to upload “Snap Stories” that were related to the ceremony. Through displaying a glimpse of photos and previews for the Oscars, the show successfully promoted the program by creating personal connections.

The Oscars certainly knows how to use sponsorships and social media to attract their viewers, and it is crucial to acknowledge the various strategies that lie behind the flashy spotlights.

However, the choice to either criticize or support the Oscars is all on us. It is simply a part of the entertainment industry, and individuals may feel comfortable with these methods. In the end, it’s society that created this system. 

AAF Illinois