Magazine Charts Arc of Awards Marketing

   April 3, 2017-New Yorker magazine published an in-depth story on the movie academy with its uneven response to charges of Oscars slighting people of color and also putting awards marketing under a microscope. The article is a long (but interesting) read with context

and history. It’s a few weeks old, but I just spotted.

   The article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) reveals these tidbits on Oscar marketing:
  • The policy to make members who don’t have recent film credits ineligible for voting resulted in 70 members, or about 1% of the academy’s membership, removed from the Oscar voting.
  • “Some actors (Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington) are known to be charismatic on cue; others (Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara) can’t hide their distaste for electioneering,” says the article by Michael Schulman. “Whether campaigning is even effective is an open question. In 2010, when Mo’Nique was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for Precious, she refused to glad-hand the press and voters at awards-season parties.”
  • In 1970, the academy conducted another purge of older voting members in response to counter-culture cinema like edgy Easy Riders and Midnight Cowboy reflecting a sharp change in movie tastes.
  • In the 1990s, then Miramax co-chief Harvey Weinstein revolutionized awards marketing with intense publicity and arranging for talent to pop up wherever awards voters congregated. His efforts propelled modest-budgeted indie films to Oscar glories. By the 2000s, a cottage industry of awards marketing consultants ran campaigns working for movie distributors.
  • “The cost of Oscar campaigns can run up to fifteen million dollars, with strategists collecting five-figure bonuses for nominations and wins—enough, in all, to wipe out potential revenue gains,” says the article.

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