Oscars Dubbed Super Bowl for Women

Revelers this Super Sunday will yell at the TV, cheer for big wins, and root for their favorite stars to take home the gold.

But they won't be watching a sporting event. It's the Academy Awards the second most-watched broadcast of the year and the "Super Bowl for Women" because some 60 percent of the near 43 million U.S. viewers who watch the show are female.

The Oscars are one of the few times a year when advertisers are guaranteed such a large female audience during prime time, said Jack Feuer, media editor of Adweek.

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"Women are important because they spend a lot of money and have a great deal of influence over where money is spent in the household. Women have the most influence over what kind of car the family buys and what brands are purchased. They are an attractive target to aim for."

But unlike men who watch the Super Bowl, the only broadcast that draws a bigger audience, most women aren't interested in the commercials during the Oscars. Instead, they use the occasion to get together, eat, drink and have a guilt-free night of gossip.

Juliette Coulter, a mother of two in Dallas, looks forward to a girls' night out every year, when about a dozen of her friends get together for a women-only Oscar party.

"We love being completely tacky and catty," she said. "It's fun to see what everyone is wearing the good, bad, and ugly and we're relentless with our comments."

Coulter's guests bring fattening foods, wear sweats and drink cocktails, which helps them to "bond and relate through talking and sharing and eating," she said.

Coulter's husband will join many Oscar widowers Sunday night he'll stay home to take care of the kids.

Prepping for the event is the best part of the party for Elana Tapper, a senior account executive in Chicago, who creates movie-themed snacks.

"Each year I serve Oscar Mayer wieners after all, it is the Oscars and do something special for each Best Picture nominee."

This year Tapper, 26, is serving "Lord of the Onion Rings," bow-tie pasta (Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind often wore bow-ties), with Moulin Rouge marinara sauce, and Gosford Park dip which consists of a platter of broccoli florets as "trees" and a lake of dip. Pajamas are the dress code to honor In the Bedroom.

Creative party planning isn't the only hallmark of Oscar party night.

"I don't think guys sit around talking about the Oscars on a Monday morning like women do," said Tapper. "During the Super Bowl guys are really interested in the game and the women just watch the ads. But you don't watch the Oscars for the ads."

Fortunately for advertisers, a soft market and competition from events like the Olympics forced ABC to drop its ad rates by about 5 percent this year, according to the New York Post. The average rates are down from nearly $1.4 million for a 30-second spot to as low as $1.25 million.

And whether the women pay close attention to the commercials or not, they will definitely be glued to the set this Sunday.

Laura Peet, 38, an independent marketing consultant in New York City, is having 25 friends over for a bash entitled "In the Kitchen," to celebrate both the Best Picture nominee and her new kitchen.

Although most of her guests will be women, Peet allows men to attend too.

"Some of my friends' husbands have said they're not really interested, but will come if I put sports on in another room. The guys want to watch Six Feet Under at 9 o'clock, like we watched Sex and the City during the Super Bowl."

And resourceful men can capitalize on these girlie gatherings just like advertisers honing in on their target audience.

"A few of my single male friends are coming," said Peet. "But because they think there will be a lot of single women there."