Idols television show format is extraordinary popular all over the world. Some people hate the show, some people love it. Whichever party you belong to, there are valuable marketing lessons in Idols.
They are playing good cop & bad cop
Controversy. People are eager to say their comments on controversial topics and are eager to not only attack, but also defend those who are treated badly. That’s one reason why Idols is successful: at least one of the judges plays ‘bad cop’ – is giving negative comments, and that causes people to go against him. This means people are talking at work and everywhere “how that mean judge is such an idiot”. If one goes shouting how ‘Linux is for losers, Windows is the best operating system’ you can rest assured there’s lots of people taking the bait. Many people simply are like that. And that’s something one can use in marketing. I personally don’t think being controversial is way for me to contribute in a positive manner, so I don’t (consciously) write controversial topics or do this kind of marketing. Nevertheless, it seems to work for those who want to get attention.
Real people, real lives and, ‘user generated content’
I think this is another reason for the success of the Idols show: they have real people, real lives and they let their contestants to ‘generate content’ so to speak. These real people have real lives, and dream of becoming a popular star – and they are singing and performing in the show. It’s not a show where some comedian tries to come up with funny jokes, it’s a show where contestants make sure they bring fresh content in it. No wonder that the Web 2.0 ideas such as user generated content is coming in area of gaming business as well.
They seem to know what they are doing in Idols. They sure are using successful promotional tactics.