Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, March 17, 2006

America's Addiction to American Idol

I confess...I am addicted to American Idol. This is the first year I have ever watched it. I started out just watching the auditions, because...let's face it...some of these people are just terrible singers and it's quite amusing. But somehow the show has sucked me in, and I haven't missed an episode (thanks to good ole TIVO). I am in front of the TV crossing my fingers for my favorites and becoming my own version of Simon Cowell, saying things to my husband like "She just booked her plane ticket home with that performance" and "He was a little pitchy tonight." It's not just me either, at lunch a majority of my coworkers discuss who they think will be voted off and who will be in the top 3 spaces. It doesn't matter if you are young, old, man or woman, so many people are infatuated with this show!

What does this have to do with marketing? Everything! From a marketing standpoint, I'm trying to figure out what makes this show so appealing to all demographics. There are a ton of reality tv shows, but what has made this show so attractive that it had higher viewership than the Olympics? I've come up with a few reasons why I think American Idol is so popular:

1) The Howard Stern Factor - Many people don't like Simon Cowell, but I don't think the show would do as well without him. He's like Howard Stern, a majority of people don't like him, but they are curious as to what he will say next.

2)Empathy - Throughout the show, we hear stories of the finalists personal lives. By seeing their struggles and achievements, we form connections with certain finalists and want to see how they will progress throughout the show.

3)Viewer Influence - The votes that people make actually affect the results of the show. It is not the judges or the finalists that make the decisions about who will leave. Viewers actually have influence and they want to see if who they picked will stay.

These are just some of my initial thoughts. Anybody else have any ideas why American Idol is such a TV sensation?


Blogger Scott Mitchell said...

I think the former stars are prolonging the show. You can't turn a radio on without hearing Kelly Clarkson anymore. People see that and want to know who the next big singer will be before it is decided.

2:58 PM

Blogger Jen said...

I think a factor in American Idol's success is the fact that everyone has a dream of having their "15 minutes" and this gives people the opportunity to "make it big"!

Another factor is the "wreck on the side of the road" scenario. People don't want to look at a bad accident, but you do anyway. That's why they put some bad ones through to the aired auditions. It makes for interesting tv for people to see some "vocal wrecks" make fools of themselves on national television.

It also gives people a chance to become "judges" or "experts" on this (or so we think). All of a sudden, we all know what on pitch/not on pitch sounds like. We all know what the "X factor" is. I am sure that some of us (Idol Fans) even think that they could be record execs!

It's just fun and it's giving someone the opportunity to change someone's life and to get a shot at fame!

9:12 AM

Blogger Rick Lee said...

Something occurred to me last year as I was watching Idol... it's not just one show... it's more like 3 or 4 different shows. It has an "arc". The beginning is entertaining for one reason... the humor factor etc... then you go to the "we're in Hollywood" section where it's like many reality shows in that there is a lot of interpersonal drama... then you get to the final 24 where most of the people are good singers but occasionally somebody really blows it... then you get to the final 12 where they are all quite good and it's real battle to see who is going to stand out and be super excellent that week. The show draws you along because it changes and it's not like watching Law & Order where each show is interchangable with the last.

11:33 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home