I saw a commercial for The Shape of Water being released on DVD earlier today and noticed the tagline was “Watch before the awards” and thought it was odd. Yes, it’s implied that it’s about the Oscars but awards sounds so generic.
This was something that I also noticed when Alamo Drafthouse was promoting their annual watch-party. It’s currently being marketed as “The Awards Show”. In the past I’ve never noticed theaters, movies, etc being so careful to avoid the term “Oscar” and was wondering if this is something the Academy is getting stricter on….
We hold an Awards Night at our theater and in the past, the Academy would sanction certain functions (which would allow us to use the Oscar trademark in our marketing), but they’ve significantly reduced the number of them now. When we were “official”, they would send us some of the official programs, Oscar poster, etc. I don’t know if there was any licensing fee involved (we’re a non-profit so that might’ve played a part in it), but regardless of price, access is now much narrower.