Product placement occurrences: 577
Episodes in 2011: 39
This year, a whopping 577 occurrences were found on the reality talent show “American Idol,” making it No. 1 for product placement. “Idol” is also consistently one of the most watched shows on television.
It’s hard to miss the product placement. The judges will sip from large cups emblazoned with Coca-Cola logos, contestants will wait in the “Coca-Cola” lounge, viewers are encouraged to text/call from their AT&T wireless phones, and Ford showcases weekly “music videos” that feature contestants driving their vehicles.
According to Variety magazine, product placement in the show has become more expensive over the years. The official sponsors, Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Ford,currently pay up to $50 million to $60 million a year, compared with $25 million to $35 million that was spent in the show’s earlier years.