My buds in the advertising world call the Oscars "the Super Bowl for women."
Of course, there are plenty of women who watch the Super Bowl, and men who watch the Oscars, but their point is well taken. Advertisers consider the Academy Awards the best way to reach a huge female audience. All those Clairol ads aren't aimed at me; my hair has long since achieved maximum fabulosity.
The Oscars and the Super Bowl are two peas in a pod. They're
- annual American traditions
- with the two most massive television audiences of the year,
- featuring women in revealing clothing and hunky leading men,
- breathlessly promoted for weeks in advance by a dutiful press,
- handicapped exhaustively by experts and
- wagered on in living rooms, with
- tickets unavailable to the general public and
- industry insiders seated according to clout; in each case,
- the whole thing is a profit-driven promotional exercise
- dressed up as a competition
- whose winners then earn more money; each event, though
- considered glamorous and
- surrounded by exclusive parties like a cruise liner's tugboats,
- rarely lives up to the hype but
- occasionally pulls off a memorable surprise and
- provides water cooler chitchat for the few of us who still have jobs.
Me, I'll be enjoying the telecast in my signature "1995 Lands' End sweatpants" couture, but many will be getting even more dressy and toasting the occasion in style.
If you're a Chicagoan looking for an upbeat Oscar party, here's one.