Nope. After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at Sunday’s ceremony, that argument, often made by many, seemed passe. Also gone was the idea that the awards ceremony is an oasis from the rough-and-tumble worlds of politics or sports.
With ratings down in recent years -- 2021’s show drew just 10.4 million viewers, while the 2020 Oscars suffered the lowest audience on record with 23.6 million viewers, compared to 55.2 million viewers in 1998 -- it could be argued that such unscripted moments are the key to winning back viewers.
Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant, didn’t make that argument. Adgate told Marketing Daily he didn’t think the Oscars are the Super Bowl for women because, according to Nielsen, women made up about 46% of the Super Bowl viewing audience. So the Super Bowl is actually the Super Bowl for women.
“I think the Oscars have always been skewed towardsa female audience,” he said. But Adgate said that’s true of most TV shows, except for sports and a few other genres.
“For women, probably a lot of it has to do with how people are dressed,” he said, alluding to the regular media coverage of everyone’s designer clothes on the red carpet. He also noted that the MPAA shows slightly more women go to the movies than men.
Adgate also noted that modern audiences aren’t willing to sit through a long awards show anymore. “It’s kind of like sporting events. You don't have to watch the game, you could just watch the highlights,” he said. “There's so many other platforms and media outlets that are going to cover the highlights that you don't have to sit down for three hours.”
Still, Variety reported that ABC sold all 60 slots for the show, and a 30-second spot during the show went for between $1.7 million and $2.2 million.
Among the notable spots running during the telecast were Snapchat’s “fingerspelling lessons,” which showed a family using Snapchat to learn sign language, and Crypto.com’s ad, which made a humanitarian plea for aid for Ukraine.