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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Random Thoughts on Fox

Monday, January 08, 2007

NPH watched a fair amount of the "Bowl Bash" football games over the past week. The "Bowl Bash," of course, is an invented title for a string of college football games pertaining to the Bowl Championship Series. This year the Fox network broadcast all those games, thanks to a massive contract it signed with the BCS in 2004.

Its' coverage of the games was painful. Because, as Fox does with the NFL and with postseason baseball, the network spread a 60 minute sporting event out over four hours, with regular breaks for commercials, many of which promoted Fox's own upcoming shows.

And no show got more commercial time than American Idol. That unstoppable franchise is about to roll out its fifth season, and it shows no signs of letting up. So NPH notices this story in Advertising Age about planned expansion of the Idol franchise by its parent company, Fremantle Media. Here's a money quote from the story:
Despite the TV show being crammed with ads from 137 marketers in the past two years -- along with three core partners integrated into the content -- Fremantle Media, the rights holder to "Idol," is making room for new ad opportunities by streaming the entire program at AmericanIdol.com after it airs. Already signed on to support the website are marketers including McDonald's and MasterCard.
The three companies integrated into the content are, of course, Ford, Coca Cola, and Cingular Wireless. The article previews what these three are going to be doing in the upcoming season to integrate their brands more comprehensively into the content of the show:
Sponsors Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola Co. and Cingular Wireless are working harder to squeeze more juice from the "Idol" juggernaut for which they paid $30 million to $50 million. Ford plans a contest that will give regular viewers a chance to appear in the music videos featuring final contestants. In addition to Coca-Cola's Red Room and its ubiquitous cups -- the most widely seen product placement on TV, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus -- Coke will sponsor a promotion that invites viewers to submit questions for contestants through MyCokeRewards.com.

Also, fans for the first time will be able to download specific performances, thanks to Cingular, which will make clips from the show available on cellphones once viewers in Hawaii have finished watching the show.
NPH always gets a little bit giddy at the start of Idol, but loses interest after the initial auditions. However, knowing the kind of marketing planned, we might watch just to de-construct the ads.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:04 PM

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