Coke Leads Advertisers In 1Q Product Placement

No wonder Coca-Cola is taking a pass on the upfront. The soft-drink marketer likely believes it has a marketing play worth more than any traditional 30-second product placement on "American Idol."

A new report from Nielsen's Product Placement tracking service shows that Coke accumulated 2,551 "product occurrences" in the first quarter of 2006--98 percent of them on the Fox mega-hit, where its logo-stamped cups are a near-constant presence in front of the judges.

Among reality programs, "Idol" led with 3,052 "product occurrences"--82 percent of them for Coke.

Overall in the first quarter, Coke was the brand with the most product-placement appearances in prime time, sixfold more than the 399 for second-place 24 Hour Fitness. The bulk--if not all--of 24 Hour Fitness' "product occurrences" came from its presence on NBC's reality show "The Biggest Loser."

That helped "Loser" follow "Idol" with the second-most placements among shows in 1Q, with 945.

In addition to Coke, another charter sponsor of "Idol," Cingular Wireless, placed highly in the rankings by brand--in fourth place with 273 placements. But Ford, the third top-tier "Idol" sponsor, failed to make the top 10.



Nike Apparel finished in third place with 304 "product occurrences," while the company's footwear came in sixth with 139.

For shows, The WB's "Beauty and the Geek" finished third with 844, followed by another reality show, "The Amazing Race," with 683.

While product integration is considered easier to execute logistically, creatively, and contractually in reality shows, three scripted shows made the top 10: CBS's "The King of Queens" in fifth place with 665 and "NCIS" in ninth place with 417. The WB's "Reba" finished 10th with 405.

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