Ford, Coke & AT&T Pay More to Sponsor American Idol

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Fri, Jan 18 - 8:07 pm EDT | 10 years ago by
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American Idol Coca-Cola sponsorThe American Idol brand is still hot, and a new season kicked off this week with the same three major sponsors on board but at a hefty price. Ford (NYSE: F), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and AT&T (NYSE: T) have all signed on as sponsors again this season paying $35 million each to have their brand names and products tied to American Idol. That’s up from the $30 million pricetag they forked over last season.

Being an American Idol sponsor also allows Ford, Coke and AT&T to air commercials during the show, post online content about the show and their sponsorship and run off-air co-branded marketing programs. While most of the marketing plans related to the American Idol sponsorships will remain similar to prior seasons, Ford has stated it will promote its Ford Escape Hybrid, Ford Edge crossover vehicle and its new Sync voice-activated systems more this season, and the top two finalists will receive Ford hybrids rather than Ford Mustangs as they have in prior seasons. It’s great to see a focus on a more eco-friendly vehicle.

Nestle will also join the American Idol bandwagon for another year as an off-air sponsor. Nestle will hold a $1 million interactive sweepstakes tied to their packages and an online element. Off-air sponsorship pricetags for this season have yet to be revealed, but last season, off-air sponsors reportedly paid $1 million to have their brand names associated with the all-powerful American Idol brand.

What do you think of the $35 million American Idol brand sponsorship pricetag? Worth it or not?

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  • Prescott Perez-Fox

    Ford, AT&T, Coke and American Idol all represent the same things: cheap, unsophisticated, mass-produced, American crap. It’s not surprising they’re all in cahoots. Plus, the Ford logo is just like that of the American Idol logo. Coincidence?

    I think this show is setting a dangerous precedent with their use of blatant ON-air promotions. That is, flashing their logos during the actual program with a backlit billboard on the stage in front of which the contestants stand. The judges drink from coke glasses even though it’s probably just water, and every car is Ford. It’s not enough to sponsor a show, they have to completely infest it?

    AT&T jumped the shark when they changed their logo to that lowercase version, Ford has been making crappy cars for 25 years, and American Idol has produced one legitimate pop star and five yawns. Coke is still sugary.

  • Prescott Perez-Fox

    By the way, I call dibs on the phrase “brand parasite”, which they all are if you watch the show.

  • Scott

    When I saw the mention of “brand parasite” I was strongly reminded of scene in “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” when the family sits down for a meal consisting of all the various food and beverages from Ricky Bobby’s sponsors and actually naming them (Dominoes, KFC and “the always delicious Taco Bell) during the before meal prayer. At least that was a comedy. I agree that the product placement and sponsorship has gone waaayyyyy over the top.

  • Susan Gunelius

    Prescott and Scott, I am cracking up by your comments. So true!

  • andre

    Ford the best car :)

  • http://stopdtp/dtp Anonymous

    Ford is a good car :)

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