If sponsorship success is partly judged on longevity, then the fact that in January 2011 Coca-Cola and Ford signed up for the 10th year of sponsoring American Idol speaks volumes.
But market watchers tend to agree that it is Coca-Cola that has squeezed the most out of its flagship US sponsorship.
For the special 10th season of American Idol Coca-Cola’s sponsorship rights continue to expand and the brand remains focused on using the platform to bring families together to enjoy moments of happiness and fun.
The show is the ignition platform for the new Coca-Cola Family Night program, which features various themes and activities each week that encourage families to ‘play together’.
The successful “Coca-Cola Judges’ Cup Design” initiative returns for the new series. Fans can develop their own special cup graphics at the MyCokeRewards site for a chance to have their cup design appear in the show and win a trip to attend a show.
Also online at My Coke Rewards, Coca-Cola will share exclusive behind-the-scenes content, providing fans an inside look at the contestant experience. In addition, a new online program that will let fans help create lyrics for a new song that will debut on an upcoming broadcast will launch later this season.
A variety of in-store activities and schemes will roll out across the country as the season develops. This includes the soft drinks brand’s work for the end of season tour.
Coca-Cola has teamed up with McDonalds to sponsor visits to eight Ronald McDonald houses on tour stops across the country, with two Idol finalists lending a helping hand on each visit.
The first stop took place in July and saw show stars Paul Mc Donald and Casey Abrams bring a lot of fun and laughter to the Ronald McDonald house in Stanford, CA. They signed autographs, played games and posed for pictures with all of the children.
At select cities along the tour, Coca-Cola will be showcasing its “Swelter Stopper” dome – an interactive experience complete with plenty of ice-cold Coke, frosty blasts of air, and swirling snow. In addition, Coca-Cola will also offer a mobile game with SVNGR featuring American Idol Live! and Coke-themed awards.
While Coke didn’t exactly have to stick at this partnership to make it work – it was a huge success from day 1 – the brand shows an impressive commitment to remaining innovative and imaginative in activating around this long running sponsorship.
Like most Coca-Cola work, the single minded focus on its target market is impressive and the brand makes the most of the all ages/families together opportunity that American Idol provides.. Something increasingly rare in this fragmented landscape.