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February 8, 2011

You're Invited

The Oscars is a night for glitz and glam. Celebrities grace the red carpet in their most exquisite outfits and the iconic statues are presented to the most deserving actors. While the Academy Awards is the second most-watched TV event after the Super Bowl, the broadcast's median age is 50 years old ' much older than television's coveted 18-34 year old target. In an effort to capture a younger audience, this year's Oscars is getting a makeover.

The 2011 Oscars will be all about accessibility. The goal is to make viewers feel like they are a part of the action. The Oscar's 'You're Invited'? campaign involves new print, digital, and outdoor marketing efforts. The strategy will allow viewers to experience the red carpet, virtually, through interactive storefront installations in New York City and for the first time, will offer behind-the-scenes footage with live streaming of all-access coverage on Oscar.com. That's right, you (yeah, YOU), will be able to follow your favorite actor or actress from the red carpet, to the stage, to the control room, and finally, to the press room where they will get more time for additional thank-yous.  Move over Access Hollywood, there's a new dog in town that can give viewers even more behind the scenes footage.

In other efforts to make the award show more appealing to a younger demographic, the show will have new co-hosts, Anne Hathaway (28 years old) and James Franco (32 years old), both being more relevant to the target than past hosts, like Billy Crystal or Steve Martin.

While the 'You're Invited'? campaign is a new approach for the Oscars, it is an example of how a brand will evolve to cater to a specific target. I think this new strategy will be instrumental in helping boost the Oscars' appeal among the 18-34 year old target for several reasons.

  • 'You're Invited'? gives the Millennial target more of what they want. Let's be honest, Millennials are drawn to celebrities like bees are to honey. They read US Weekly and they visit Perez Hilton and TMZ for their daily dose of gossip - some more openly than others (you know who you are). Millennials CRAVE personal and intimate details about celebrities and tend to gravitate towards those channels that will give them a further glimpse of celebrity life.
  • The Oscars' new live streaming strategy will require some multi-tasking on the viewers' part, which fits perfectly with the Millennial generation. Interacting with multiple forms of media is a piece of cake to this generation. For them, watching TV isn't complete without a laptop and cell phone in hand.
  • Having co-hosts that are more target-relevant will be a draw to this younger audience. Don't get me wrong, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin are iconic figures in Hollywood, but they are no James Franco. Millennials have seen the new co-hosting pair in more movies than the former pair. Spiderman or City Slickers anyone?

I can let you all know now that come February 27th at 8:00pm, I will be sitting in front of my TV, with my laptop by my side, watching my favorite celebrities grace both screens. All I have to say is Oscar winners, try to avoid doing anything embarrassing, because I'll be watching.

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