Friday, March 9, 2007

Time to Bow to "Idol"

"American Idol" has been one of the most successful shows of the decade. Not only does the show provide the benefits of being family-friendly and fan-friendly , but it is a show that consists of an audience that is large and loyal. Viewers keep coming back for more season after season, providing an ample opportunity for marketing. There is a huge, diverse audience where everyone and anyone has a chance to see your brand. Perfect time for product placement and it is indeed very apparent. I have been an "Idol" fan since Kelly Clarkson and I even admit that I went to a Clay Aiken concert way back when, but I am still watching, just like everyone else, and I know that marketers on and off the show are seizing the opportunity to catch me with their products.

According to
this article I found in my weekly American Advertising Federation e-newsletter, Idol is huge in the product placement and promotions market. First, as anyone who regularly watches the show will notice, there are three red Coke cups sitting right in front of Randy, Paula, and Simon. It is more than easy to read and recognize the white letters of "Coca-Cola" on the TV screen. Maybe too obvious, but American Idol is banking in on the placement - receiving about $26 million for the brand to be displayed on FOX. Not too shabby.

In addition to the obvious Coca-Cola placement, I also noticed, while at Wegman's grocery store the other week, that "American Idol" is creating partnership with other products to promote and place two brands in the consumer market! I am a huge fan of the low sugar, Slow-Churned Edy's Ice Cream and went over to the product to check out the price at Wegman's and see if it was on sale. To my surprise, I found five new, appealing flavors covered in blue packaging with the "American Idol" logo on the front. Turns out, "American Idol" teamed up with Edy's to create five new flavors. Consumers are urged to buy the ice cream, try it out, and (surprise!)
vote on their favorite where the winning flavor will hit the shelves for good...sound familiar to some popular show on TV? The strategy is working, though - Edy's Slow-Churned Ice Cream sales are up 20%, according to the above article. It also states that as a part of the partnership, Ace Young, a finalist (and very attractive finalist, I must say) from last season's "Idol," will "surprise 11 consumers participating in the online voting by showing up at their homes [with] Edy's -sponsored ice cream parties." The "American Idol" and Edy's partnership definitely took me by surprise after my grocery trip and I am still debating whether to try out the "Take the Cake" flavor. The motivation to meet Ace (in my dreams!) and, more importantly, have a say in a new ice cream flavor sounds like a good deal to me! Plus the idea of cake sounds so yummy.

Idol has also created partnerships with McDonald's Happy Meals, Nestle, and Pringles. Not only is it increasing sales for these products, "American Idol" is placing itself on popular items that consumers are constantly buying, thus constantly exposing them to "American Idol." The show is forced into consumers' minds and I am sure some people are tuning into the show who have not in the past, just to see what the hype is about. This is a very smart product placement strategy that "American Idol" is taking and its ratings are proof of that with
31.2 million viewers on Tuesday and 28.9 million on Wednesday for the week of February 12-18. We can bow down now...

1 comment:

Kim Gregson said...

10 points - 2 good posts for the week