Oscars Marketing Team Forced to Rethink Strategy

Last year's production was a huge flop

With producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy out, and Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal picking up those duties respectively, the Oscars’ marketing department and ad agency partners are now rushing to overhaul their previous plans, according to the New York Post. 

With the February 26 telecast just a little more than three months away, the Oscars team is being forced to replace all of the ads and promotions that featured ex-host Murphy, while facing the challenge of increasing viewership, which has been poor in recent years.

Last year, the Academy attempted to draw a younger crowd by tapping James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host, and launching a “You’re Invited” campaign featuring live streaming and behind-the-scenes footage. The “social media Oscars” were deemed a flop—the median age of its audience actually rose to its highest ever, and viewership dropped 10 percent.

In hopes of reviving the show, Oscars marketing director Janet Weiss was replaced by New Line PR exec Christina Kounelias, while newly created positions for chief executive and chief operating officer were filled by Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson, respectively.

As for whether the show’s most recent marketing agency will also be replaced—last year, Los Angeles-based Omelet was hire to oversee those duties—the Academy has yet to make an official announcement.