Honda Drives 'X Factor' As Sponsor

There will be a major shift in one of the bigger TV shows when it comes to branded entertainment: Fox’s “X-Factor” has struck deals with car manufacturer Honda and consumer products company Procter & Gamble.

Honda will replace Chevrolet, which has been with the singing competition show since its start in the fall of 2011. Honda will be using the show to boost awareness for its redesigned 2014 Odyssey.

P&G will also be the major sponsor of the show, with brands such as Covergirl, Herbal Essences and Secret given high visibility. Two other major branded entertainment sponsors -- Pepsi and Verizon, which have had deals with the show for the first two seasons -- are not returning.  

Reports were that Pepsi spent some $60 million for a multi-year branded entertainment deal with “X-Factor” back in 2011. Pepsi was trying to replicate the success that Coca-Cola had with its branded association with another Fox show, “American Idol.” 

“X-Factor” averaged 12 million U.S. viewers in season one, and 8 million viewers in Season Two -- much less than “Idol.”

As part of the deal, Honda will get three major in-show integrations: One of a major video segment where major competitors get to drive around in a minivan while singing tunes. Honda will also sponsor the digital voting area. In addition, the car maker gets an association with the show’s Fan Rewards, which are incentives to fans who engaged “The X Factor” digital website content.

The show will launch with a two-night season premiere event on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 12 at 8:00 p.m.

Fox and the show’s producers -- Syco Entertainment and Fremantle Media North America -- say the singer-competitors on the show have sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

By one measure, “X Factor” ratings for its Wednesday airings dropped 17% last season in the 18-to-49 demo to an average of 4.6 million. The Thursday show fell 20% to an average of 4.3 million in the key demo. Still, both editions were comfortably top-30 shows and the Wednesday edition was in the top 20 in the female 18-to-49 demo.  



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