Coke Pushing the Vanilla Envelope

Jan 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

“American Idol” is a show that inspires its advertisers to create unique and specialized spots to go along with product placements. Here are some of the marketing plans of the show’s major advertisers.
Coca-Cola: There will be a new direction in the advertising and product placements this year. Vanilla Coke, not Coke Classic, will get the big push, said Doug Rollins, brand manager of Coca-Cola Trademark, which handles Coke Classic, Diet Coke and Vanilla Coke. The familiar Coke red plastic cups at the judges’ table will now be Vanilla Coke cups. The “Coca-Cola Red Room” will be spiffed up with new plasma screens in the background and new couches on the set, Mr. Rollins said.
Coca-Cola will also work with new sponsor Subway on some in-store promotions on the retail level nationwide, Fox executives said.
Ford Motor Co.: The spotlight will once again be on a number of vehicles including Ford Escape and Ford Focus, according to a spokesman. Ford vehicles will ferry judges and contestants around town and, as it did last year, Ford will put vehicles into special “American Idol” music videos.
AT&T Wireless: For the first time AT&T will devote an entire channel to “American Idol” that can be accessed via customers’ cellphones. Additionally, viewers will be able to send text messages to contestants.
AT&T Wireless saw a sharp increase in the use of text messaging during the second “Idol,” when 71/2 million messages were sent by viewers voting on their favorite artists. AT&T Wireless was also a sponsor of the recent “World Idol” show on Fox.
AT&T Wireless created a TV spot last year with host Ryan Seacrest touting the advantages of text messaging-something Mr. Seacrest explains in detail at the end of each episode. AT&T said new TV commercials will be produced for “Idol” but a spokesman didn’t go into details.