Who’s Your Audience

One of the first and most prominent lessons we learn as new-born-communication studies students is to intimately know our audience. We have it engrained in our heads that in order to receive the desired feedback and reactions, we must know who is going to be engaging their minds and opinions into our message.

So how could the Oscars be a supreme example of Communication Studies Lesson #1 gone bad?

With a new generation filing into the spotlight (Generation Y-ages 18-34) it is obvious that one may wish to gear the entertainment spectacle towards these younger minds. But did the renowned and prestigious award show take it too far in the form of auto-tuned youtube videos, flashy gowns, and less than sophisticated jokes?
According to the Wall Street Journal,  “A smaller audience tuned in for the Academy Awards Sunday night on ABC, reversing two years of growth for one of television’s biggest events.” Organizers of the Oscars Ceremony set out to reach a more youthful audience by bringing in James Franco, 32, and Anne Hathaway, 28 to host the event, which ultimately fell short of enjoyable.

It was reviewed as an overall “futile attempt” in reaching the younger crowd, as most of them only tuned in to the red carpet fashion pre-award show. The Oscars, which was originally viewed as a classy, elegant award show to showcase the greatest in the Film Industry, had a median age above or around 50 years old.

As the overall ratings and viewings sank, so did the interest of younger audiences, proving their attempts to reach these crowds was unsuccessful. Wall Street reports, “ratings among people ages 18 to 34 declined about 4.5% compared to a year ago.”

Could advice from a Communication Studies Student may have aided in the construction of this years Oscars hosts? May we hope that next year, our lessons be put into practice, and a better suited host(s) be implemented to keep the Oscars alive.

-Maxann Keller
Thursday: March 3, 2011

Pictures courtesy of Google Image Search: Oscars 2011 Hosts


2 thoughts on “Who’s Your Audience

  1. I was serious when I told you that I thought this was very well written and insightful. I only caught part of the broadcast, but it did seem like they were trying a little too hard to reach that younger audience. In doing so, it seems like they lost track of the older audience that tunes in regualry every year which ultimately led to a drop in the number of viewers. Hopefully they have learned a lesson and can redeem themselves in the years to come.

  2. It’s too bad the event fell short considering most of the films nominated were better than the past couple years.

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