Idol’s big three sponsors paid $35 million each for their brand integration

Together, the red paint on the set of American Idol, a few logos and graphics, and the cups the judges drink from cost Coca-Cola $35 million. Ford and AT&T also each paid around that amount for their brand integration on the seventh season of the show.

That “$35 million price tag is up slightly from the estimated $30 million the sponsors spent last season,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. For their money, they get “the opportunity to be featured in America’s most watched TV show, as well as air commercials during ‘Idol,’ post online content and run off-air co-branded marketing programs.”

Coke is sticking with the same general product placement as last year, although now you’ll have to go to their web site to see behind-the-scenes video from the show. That’s because “behind-the-scenes video from the show which was last year sponsored by Coke on AmericanIdol.com will only be available this season on mycokerewards.com,” the paper reports. AT&T hasn’t yet announced how it’ll pimp its services, but they remain the sponsor of text message voting.

Fremantle, the show’s producer, also has one confirmed “off-air promotional partner,” and that’s Nestle. Such partners “paid over $1 million for the rights to feature ‘Idol’ branding on their packaging, products and marketing programs” last year, according to the paper.

‘Idol’ sponsors now paying $35 mil [Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.