Academy Awards rebranded as ‘The Oscars’

AFP-JIJI

They are the climax of Hollywood’s awards season, the 85th Academy Awards — except officially they’re not. This year, they’ve been rebranded as “The Oscars.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which organizes Tinseltown’s biggest awards, did not confirm the change revealed by show coproducer Neil Meron, who said “85th Academy Awards” was too “musty.”

But it seems it’s true, for this year at least: References to Academy Awards and that it’s the 85th show — a significant anniversary, one might have thought — quietly disappeared from official AMPAS materials a few weeks ago.

“We’re rebranding it,” Meron told entertainment news website TheWrap in an interview with coproducer Craig Zadan this week, days before Hollywood’s finest take to the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.

“We’re not calling it ‘The 85th annual Academy Awards,’ which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars,’ ” he said, adding that he believed the new approach would continue in years to come.

An AMPAS spokeswoman declined to confirm the change, but said: “We use Academy Awards and the Oscars interchangeably. We’ll begin considering next year’s marketing campaign in the spring.”

Last year’s Oscars poster was quite clearly emblazoned with “The 84th Academy Awards.” This year’s shows a picture of smiling host Seth MacFarlane under “The Oscars,” in gold.

The Oscars organizers are widely understood to be targeting a younger audience for their annual show — and “Family Guy” creator MacFarlane could be part of that strategy.