The Oscars Generation Gap

Since the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 there has always been a prestige and honor surrounding the awards.  But lets face it, the era of Hollywood glamour has been replaced by Joan Rivers and obnoxiously unfunny skits between Anne Hathaway and James Franco.  The Oscars prove time and time again to be the most “stuffy” of all awards shows and continues to try to appeal to their top viewers, the 50+ age group, while vaguely attempting to reel in younger viewers. Through choosing young popular actors such as Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the Oscars attempted marketing to a younger age group.  What had much potential turned out to be a disaster as numerous news sources called it an “Oscars Bomb.” In a promo video for the 84th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, Funny or Die released a long drawn out parody between Michael Myers and Kevin Kline.  Needless to say, the Academy was making an effort to appeal to the majority of moviegoers, 18-29 year olds, by joining forces with a popular online comedy troupe.  Will the Academy reach their much-needed younger audience this year? Or will the Academy fall behind  to become the old stuffy grandfather of awards shows?

By: Molly Jacques, Hunter Wilson, Josh Vester, and Ashley Oliver.

10 thoughts on “The Oscars Generation Gap

  1. I love the Oscar’s for one reason and one reason only, the outfits. The red carpet before hand is my favorite part, and usually the only part I pay attention to. While I am an avid movie goer and love seeing who wins what awards, the recently incorporated humor has turned me off a bit. The Oscar’s are very prestigous and I think they should stay that way and be presented that way. It’s not that they need to be stuffy and boring, but it is a huge night with a lot of famous people and having some order to the show is neccessary. People watch the Oscar’s because it is old and well known. Trying to appeal to the younger crowd doesn’t mean incorporating something funny, just let the Oscar’s be and those who love them will watch.

  2. One of the things I always found to be very unattractive about the Oscars is that I never know most of the people who are nominated. Personally, as a person in the age range they are trying to attract, what usually makes me watch award shows is when I hear of a good performer is going to be there or if one of my favorite actresses is up for an award. I feel as if since the people who vote on awards, such as the Oscars, are usually in the 50ish age range that they don’t find the same things entertaining as people in my generation do.

  3. The Myers and Kline promo definitely did not target the 18-29 age group. First, it was just plain boring. Second, the actors were on the older side for this target audience. If the Oscars want to bring in more younger viewers they will need to consider who is “it” right now in pop culture.

  4. This was an interesting topic to discuss. I have noticed that the Oscars seem to be a dying trend. While at one point I am sure it was a prestigious and eventful ceremony, now it is an excuse for the hollywood elite to get together and celebrate themselves. I cannot speak for the rest of our generation (obviously) but I know that my personal disdain regarding the Academy Awards is a direct result of the fact that the people have absolutely no say in the movies that actually win! It is incredibly frustrating to tune in year after year and see the movies that you loved LOSE to obscure films that only went to independent theaters. Maybe the genere of movie also has to do with the divide- while I enjoy watching movies with my parents, it is hard to find movies that appeal to everyone.

  5. Award season in my opinion is all about the branding. These award shows are not about who wins but who is walking the red carpet, who is their plus one, and most importantly who are they wearing. I think the Oscars only get the attention they do is because people only watch it to the dresses being worn and designers have taken notice to that. In reference to your comments about Anne Hathaway being a co-host last year she had EIGHT dress changes and every single dress was a different designer. These designers have cashed in on getting their labels out there via the host because they know that no one is honestly watching for the awards, everyone waits to see who is wearing what and then instantly turning to social media to gossip about it. Even though Anne Hathaway and James Franco were horrible hosts I continued to watch just to see what she was wearing. I think the Oscars will always be “stuffy” but they will also continue to keep a wide variety of viewers because of the branding aspect of the awards show.

  6. I agree the Oscars are a dying trend. The young adult target audience is busy watching reality tv. So maybe having some reality tv stars would increase ratings among such age group but it would also degrade the integrity of the Oscars and the true art of acting. The results of the Oscars are also only based on votes from the academy as opposed to most reality shows were the viewer gets to be an active participant in picking the winner. The Oscars are just as much about branding as they are labeling. Receiving an Oscar gives the film a label and it also lets stars label themselves with fashion, it all goes back to profit.

  7. I love the Academy Awards. But again i am a Film Studies Double Major. I don’t believe it is a fair judgment to say that the awards show is stuffy. Stuffy is an overarching subjective term that, I feel, is unfairly applied. The Academy Awards is an Awards show for filmmakers. The issue in their marketing is that they are trying to attract an audience that is not the natural target. (The natural target being filmmakers and film geeks like me). The Academy has their own politics and definitions, and if it needs to keep an uninformed audiences attention, they should do everything it takes. By giving the show a nickname like “The Oscars”, creating buzz about what gown an actress wearing, and by throwing in a cutsie half funny host that people talk about a year later than… So Be It. The Academy is doing what it takes to survive in this market.

  8. Very interesting and unfortunately true. In today’s day and age the Oscars are a show that has long ago lost its young viewers to now catering to older people instead of the people who go to movies most. This commercial with Kevin Kline and Michael Myers is definitely the Oscars trying to reach out to a younger generation by making fun of the “elite status” that comes with winning an Oscar. I personally haven’t watched the Oscars in over 2 years myself and I still won’t because why watch something that I label as boring instead of fun, even with that commercial I am not motivated to watch the oscars.

  9. I agree taht the Oscars desperatly wants to reach out to the younger generations. I feel the Oscars is in a sort of crisis when it comes to what image they want to portray and who they want to target. The oscars is trying to please a vast array of audience memebers and they seem to be outstretching themselves in to many areas to the point that no one in the audience can connect. To add to the point about Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosting the Oscars i saw a interview with James previous to his hosting and he was not thrilled to be the host. If the own howst of the awards show could care less why would any other viewer care? The oscars only appeals to the younger audinece members to make fun of the event by calling out actors and actresses who dressed “wrong”. The Oscars image has changed from glamouress hollywood to who can be the flashiest which does not appeal to the older generation.

  10. The age demographic of the Oscars is spiraling downward not as much because of their poor advertising but because of the younger actor’s classless culture. The Oscars are prestigious and new actors coming onto the stage of Hollywood lack prestige and class. Therefore, attracting a younger audience who are captivated by primitive and cheap dialogue is nearly impossible. If you want to attract a younger demographic you must start with the character, PR and talent of the younger actors. Not with advertising. The Oscars will not attract younger viewers unless one of these two things change: The Oscars change their act and become less stuffy or the actors change in character and become more classy.

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