April 20th, 2011
Product Placement Hits High Gear on 'American Idol,' Broadcast's Top Series for Brand Mentions
The 10th season of Fox’s “American Idol” hit high gear last month, both in competition and in product placement.
“Idol” viewers were treated to 208 in-show appearances by brands such as Coca-Cola, Ford and AT&T in March, up from 102 the month before, according to Nielsen research on the broadcast networks’ new prime-time episodes. “Idol” was the largest venue for product placement in both months, according to Nielsen. Last month’s second-place spot went to NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” with 127 brand appearances.
The huge run-up in brand integrations on “Idol” from February to March, of course, partly just reflects the calendar: March had one more set of Wednesdays and Thursdays, when “Idol” usually runs, than February did. But the show format also works in a lot more brand appearances once it gets down to finalists, the live studio audience and viewer voting.
Coca-Cola, meanwhile, topped Nielsen’s chart of the most-present brands in broadcast prime time, followed by AT&T, Chevrolet, Ford, Apple and others.