Thursday, May 15, 2008

American Idle: Minute by minute breakdown

American Idol is more than a television show to me. It’s a mirror of America onto itself, complete with goofy caricatures, wholesome values, and product placement. I love watching Idol. Yeah, I call it Idol. It’s an orgasmic mashup of over the top production value and glorified karaoke that just fascinates me. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the singing is shitty but sometimes they’ll strike gold – Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson.

Ok anyway, tonight I’ll be watching Idol and giving a minute-by-minute synopsis of the show AND the commercials!

Idol is great for quickly getting up to speed with the latest in pop culture and mainstream advertising. It’s like taking America’s pop temperature. America’s rectal pop temperature. The commercials you’ll see on Idol are unfortunately Canadian content only because of CTV simulcasting. The themes are usually the same though:

  • Wal-mart
  • Moms with tricky stains on surfaces
  • Moms with kids
  • Kids with tricky stains
  • Wal-mart, again
  • Promos for the latest crappy CTV show with lame jokes and culturally-sensitive characters

I like to think that when I’m watching Idol that I’m doing research and expanding my understanding of modern marketing….sure Max, sure.

Ok on with the show!

(And by the way, I will be rooting for Syesha Mercado, although I think David Cook will win).

9:00 Ryan Seacrest introduces the show in his usual yucky stacatto.

9:01 Paula flails arms wildly. Only looks like she’s slightly on drugs.

9:02 Group medley time. Shoot me now.

9:05 Commercial break.

Lysol Deep Reach Toilet Cleaner. Mom cleaning up after kid (seriously, I didn’t plan that!)

Wal-Mart Walk for Miracles commercial with baby. Piqued my interest immediately with good visual hook and playful tone. Kept interest up throughout. Click '2007 Walk for Miracles commercial at the top left' of the page. Good commercial!

Rogers Wireless (I cannot comment due to contractual obligations)

9:12 Previous winner Fantasia Barrino performs. Electrifying! Looked like a chicken-dancing Eartha Kitt.

9:16 Commercial break.

Pfizer. Interesting positioning here. Really emotional and very human. It’s for a microsite they’ve developed, you can watch the commercial here. Smart media placement too because American Idol draws a lot of elderly viewers – precisely the ones who would be using Pfizer medication. With so many patents expiring in a few years, important to get consumers to choose your medication brand over non-branded because of perceptions of quality. I like this commercial.

9:22 Montage of David Archuleta visiting hometown and breaking down into a sobbing mess in front of crowd.

9:28 Commercial Break.

Zellers. Poppy, bubbly, treacley commercial. Just bland.

Ipod + iTunes commercial. Another hip song with a great beat and trippy colours.

Fido Uno. New service that consolidates your home and mobile phone into one unit. Uses WiFi to do unlimited local phone at home but I’m not sure how well they conveyed the technology. I still don’t understand it. Cute, light commercial.

Some CTV promo about their consumer reports specialist. I hate when commercials feature premises that are so far from reality. To hit relevance in commercials, you have to believe that you would actually behave like the actors in the commercial. Dumb situations simply don’t fly – consumers are smarter than that.

9:33 Montage of Syesha Mercado visiting hometown. Her father just said that “[he] struggled through drugs and alcohol for years and having Syesha on American Idol is like a natural high for [him]”. Priceless. I live for lines like that on Idol.

9:38 Commercial break.

Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie temptation with mother and daughter and kid who sends her a free sundae. Stupid, but probably effective and hit exactly the message that the client wanted. Not all commercials have to be artistic or visionary.

Rogers Wireless commercial (I cannot comment due to contractual obligations).

9:43 Montage of David Cook visiting hometown. He’s mobbed by screaming fans. The crowds are massive for this guy. Surprised his old school music teacher. A group of hundreds of 10 year old girls were screaming and crying. Cheerleaders + football + values = America!!!

9:51 Ryan Seacrest wastes more time telling the contestants that the results are coming up after the break.

9:52 Final commercial break.

LCBO MADD drinking and driving commercials. I actually like these. The message is crystal clear, don’t drink and drive. What excuse do you have for not taking the keys from someone who’s going to get in their car and drive away bombed? Good commercial.

Motts Clamato. It’s with a guy who is mixing Bloody Caesars inside his apartment and he warns a friend not to go outside to the patio with one of the Caesars because everyone else will want one. I really like these. It’s so true, when you see someone order a Caesar, you want one too.

Sex and the City movie commercial. So what girl won’t be seeing this movie?

9:55 Idol returns. Simon says that the final show next week should be a “humdinger”. He’s pleased with how all the three did.

9:56 Syesha is eliminated. David Archuleta and David Cook move on to the final round. Audience claps but their reaction suggests that the vote wasn’t unexpected.

9:58 Syesha sings and cries. Thus concludes another magical evening of Idol!

I hope this was entertaining and informative!

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