I mentioned last year how reality television shows can spawn a plethora of marketing and promotional opportunities with the example of Fox’s hit series, So You Think You Can Dance (See blog “So You Think You Can Sponsor”). Continuing on that conversation I thought I would follow up with another popular TV program – American Idol.
Now in it’s 9th season, Idol has remained one of the most popular shows on American television throughout its run (it has been the #1 TV show in the Nielson ratings for the five past consecutive seasons). Another achievement of the show has been the success it has brought to its winners – including fourth season winner Carrie Underwood who rose to fame through Idol to become a multi-platinum selling recording artist, a multiple Grammy award winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Female Vocalist winner, and the entertainer of the year.
But beyond these successes, American Idol has also provided the opportunity for many other companies to profit from its popularity – from Idol-branded promotional merchandise to sponsorships. For So You Think You Can Dance it was Unilever’s Snuggle fabric softener that benefited from ties to the show. From my posting mentioned previously: “With its tagline, ‘Simply make a move and feel the freshness,’ they tied the product into the dancing theme and furthered this connection with segments featuring contestants and viewers showing off their ‘Happy Dances.’ Snuggle even had viewers submit their happy dance videos and sponsored a sweepstakes with a top prize of a trip to the show’s finale.” Much like SYTYCD’s sponsorship from Unilever, American car company Ford has taken similar advertising routes through Idol. Idol broadcasts music videos with the contestants and featuring Ford cars as a part of each episode. Last season, the public was asked to answer a series of questions on the American Idol website about these videos to enter a grand prize drawing to win a Ford Hybrid and additionally, a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles, three nights in a hotel and tickets to the season finale of the show.
Even the promotional products industry has taken a means to profit from the show’s status – remember curly-haired season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini? Well he happens to be the spokesperson for industry supplier BamBam’s product the “Rollabana.” (See picture of Mr. Guarini hosting the Advertising Specialties Institute’s first annual Cabaret Night back in November of 2008 courtesy of Michelle Bell, Counselor magazine senior editor and author of Bellwether Blog.) His career has truly blossomed, no?
And finally, I have to mention the nation-wide YouTube phenomena the show has produced including this year’s Larry Platt of Atlanta, GA (Pinnacle’s hometown) whose original song, “Pants on the Ground” has garnered hundreds of thousands of views since its airing January 13. Enjoy!
Team Lead – Multimedia
view my bio!