Prestigious Branding in the Entertainment Industry: Are the Oscars and Academy Awards the Same Thing?

With the Oscars making headlines across the world, it hasn’t been always the “The Oscars”. The Academy Awards, 85 years into its history, was rebranded as “The Oscars” in 2013.

Neil Meron, Oscars co-producer, said they are rebranding it. “We’re not calling it the 85th annual Academy Awards, which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called the Oscars. It’ll be like the Grammys. The Grammys don’t get a number, and neither will the Oscars.”


What’s in the Name

Teni Melidonian, Academy spokeswoman, had said the shift might not necessarily prove permanent. She said it is right for the show, but it could easily go back to using “Academy Awards”. For the first 10 years of the prestigious ceremony, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences referred to the statues as the Academy Award of Merit. The term “Oscars” was adopted by the organizers in 1939 – owing to Margaret Herrick, the Academy librarian, who said the Academy Award of Merit bore a striking resemblance to her Uncle Oscar.

However, an interview highlighted that columnist Sidney Skolsy coined the term “Oscar” in 1934 as a tribute to Vaudeville comics. It’s also believed that Walt Disney called the Academy Award an “Oscar” in 1934.

Academy Awards

Oscar Statue Remodeled

The Oscar is about 13.5 inches tall and weighs about 8.5 pounds. The statuette has itself changed, considerably since 1929. Initially, the figure stood on a reel of film with five spokes to represent the various branches of the Academy – actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers. The reel was removed and the statue remodeled by sculptor George Stanley. The gold-plated solid bronze was replaced with gold-plated metal. It should be noted that Oscar winners, during the Second World War, were given statuettes made of plaster because of metal shortage.

The Oscars

In 2016, the Oscar statues had a minor makeover as a new company took charge of making the coveted statues. The Academy in an official statement said New York-based Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry restored subtle features from the original sculpture. It used a cast bronze example from 1929.

“Each wax statuette is coated in a ceramic shell that is cured and fired at 1,600°F, melting the wax away and leaving an empty Oscar-shaped form. The statuettes are then cast in liquid bronze at more than 1,800°F, cooled, and sanded to a mirror polish finish. The figure portion of each Oscar is electroplated with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold by Epner Technology. The statuette’s bronze base receives a smooth black patina, which is hand-buffed to a satin finish.”

The dimensions of the Oscar remain the same – 13.5 inches tall, weighing 8.5 pounds.

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Nandika Chand