First Time in AMPAS History: The Oscars

They are no longer the “Academy Awards” because the public has been calling them, for many years now, The Oscars. And the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is finally taking what they consider to be the right initiative:

“We’re not calling it ‘The 85th annual Academy Awards,’ which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars’,” Oscar show co-producer Neil Meron told The Wrap on Monday.

The Oscars: Live Tonight

The rebranding makes sense, if the Academy wants to keep this event relevant for the young generation, which may have influenced the change. And, unlike other stories of rebranding, for this one seems to go on smoothly, generally acclaimed by the media.

AMPAS made sure that the message went through loud and clear, on all channels promoting the rebranded event. On Facebook, The Oscars 2013 still give a hint that they refer to the 85th Academy Awards edition, but only in the page title. The cover photo, featured above, shows Seth MacFarlane near the new brand typed in golden letters on a black background. And Seth MacFarlane seems to be part of the big rebranding picture too, as his appeal to younger public is a proven proposition:

“If McFarlane can keep it classy — while cracking us up —he’ll uphold the show’s legacy while helping a broader audience relate to the brand,” noted Interbrand writers Darcy Newell and Jennifer Vano.

Although the official website is also updated to reflect the change, the rebranding is not consistent on Twitter, where the new profile @OscarCeremony is still introduced as the 85th Academy Awards.


AMPAS fails to convey the new brand on Twitter.

It may be a bit confusing, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could get away with it, because nothing is set in stone. It appears that AMPAS is just “testing” – publicist Teni Melidonian said somewhere that they could easily go back to using the term Academy Awards next year. A back-and-forth that may not make sense to some brand strategists, yet something the public may never even notice without a bit of help from the media. And this may never come.

The “rebranding” was announced earlier this week, although it was being rumored since the 84th Academy Awards edition, without big fuss. Despite massive international media coverage, very few noticed, or cared. In popular culture, the Academy Awards have been The Oscars for years now. And tonight, the public and the media are more interested in watching the show to see McFarlane and the winners. Very few will notice the name change, and, at the end of the day, no one will care. Instead, like many years before, the media will relate in depth who won what, which actress had the prettiest dress on the red carpet, and so on.

No matter what they will call it in the end, there is one thing that will remain iconic: the little golden statuette sculpted by George Stanley in 1928. For those interested in trivia facts, the staute depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style, and the model for the knight was Emilio “El Indio” Fernández.

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