Coca-Cola was a major sponsor of American Idol for thirteen years. This week, though, the company said they were pulling out. This is should be filed under the heading A Very Big Deal.
Coke came to the conclusion that young people–their main target–just aren’t watching conventional television anymore. Hell, they’re not watching TV period. And with sales of carbonated beverages on a worldwide decline, Coke needs to reach the kids–and fast.
So where’s Coke’s sponsorship money going? Where the kids are. YouTube. Gamer sites. Mobile.
This should send a message to all traditional media–including radio–that things have changed. The audience is migrating to new platforms and advertisers are paying attention.
If radio thinks things are just business as usual–i.e. operating like it’s still 1992–it has another thing coming, especially stations dealing with the under-35 demos.
Radio consultant Jerry Del Colliano has some extra insight on the situation here.