What You Say: If 'Idol' Keeps it Real, There's More Potential for Promotions

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What you say: 51% This was a close one: America voted, and by the thinnest of margins, decided "American Idol" might be hitting the marketing saturation point. That was the opinion of 51% of those responding to an Ad Age poll; the remaining 49% believe it ain't over until the fat lady sings.

As "American Idol" heads into its sixth season with tie-ins ranging from chocolate bars to board games, Advertising Age wondered if the show has reached its saturation point for cross-promotion. Readers were split, with 51% voting there's more opportunity down the road, though both sides stressed relevance.

"If 'Idol' decision makers are smart, they will be very careful about picking only relevant partnerships," said Josh Healan, associate VP-custom media for McMurry. If they're not, "that's the quickest way to beat the value right out of the brand," he said.

Jeanne Finestone, president of Ananta Media, said promotions have gone too far. "There's no better way to kill a viable property than with over-merchandising and cross-promoting with inappropriate products," she said.

Some said the show itself has run its course. "The fire of success will slowly begin to burn out after this season (especially if consumers are saturated with its marketing overload)," said Kristen Whitnack, manager-new business and project development for Birdsall Interactive.

Gayle Wiegand, a marketing consultant for Outreach Pros, was more optimistic about the show's prospects. "With the near-daily introduction of new technology, there will always be additional promotional opportunities."
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