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'Idol' Sponsorships Pay Big Dividends for Marketers

  • Ad Age, Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12 PM
Who will be the next winner in the great "American Idol" contest? No, we're not talking about amateur singers with dreams of glory--we're talking about marketers who want a piece of Fox TV's media and marketing juggernaut. Now that the current season is over, Fox and Fremantle Media North America, which sells the sponsorships with Fox, is talking to current sponsors about signing up for next season and is considering letting another sponsor into the mix that already includes advertisers like Coca-Cola, Cingular, and Ford Motor Co. On the list are fast-food, electronics, and health and beauty marketers. Each one is willing to pay as much as $25 million for a top-tier sponsorship that provides access to the show's 30 million viewers, a proposition that many major marketers consider a bargain. Coke, Cingular, and Ford all say their association with the show paid off in consumer awareness for their products and services. For example, Ford conducted a study to measure the impact of its "Idol" sponsorship, which revealed that 80 percent of consumers who saw the weekly music videos during the Tuesday night show, which feature contestants and Ford vehicles, noted Ford's involvement in the program. Additionally, 25 percent of consumers said that seeing or hearing about Ford during the program greatly increased their impressions of the brand.



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