Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2011 02:00 PM
Last year, after the departure of Simon Cowell as the acerbic judge and the face of the show, American Idol confronted a fateful moment: How would the FOX mega-property fight a long-term slide in ratings without its fascinating bad boy and its most compelling personality – especially one who was going to create a competing show that would debut on the same network this fall?
Idol producers succeeded handsomely, bringing in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges to join holdover Randy Jackson, and making the show’s narrative about really developing really good talent instead of allowing not-so-good singers into the final ranks and then savaging them when they performed down to their level.
Viewership for Wednesday night’s finale was 29 million people, up about 18% from last year’s according to Variety. Votes cast for the two finalists, winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, totaled well more than 100 million, easily a record for the show (thanks largely to its addition of online voting to the old-fashioned phone medium). Inevitably, Idol questions about how long it can keep going, now arise.Continue reading...
week in review
Posted by Michael Waltzer on May 20, 2011 04:30 PM
Our most-read blog posts of the past week range from Ronald McDonald's close call to to The X Factor USA's Simon Cowell:
#1 McDonald's Launches Billion Dollar McMakeover
#2 Disney Beaten to "Seal Team 6" Trademark
#3 Yes, Nike Knows It Just Released The 'Air Croc'
#4 Beretta Wins Race to Capitalize On bin Laden Death
#5 Will The X Factor USA Be Simon Cowell's American Idle?
#6 McDonald's Pressured to Oust Ronald
#7 Southwest "Too Fat To Fly" Apology Too Little, Too Late?
#8 United Airlines Apologizes for 9/11 Flight Numbers Reinstatement (Updated)
#9 Gillette's Evan Longoria Trick Shot's Real Trick: Admitting Federer Fakery
#10 At 40, Wonka Candy Is Greatest Reverse Product Placement Ever
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 18, 2011 07:00 PM
On the eve of her new album release, Lady Gaga tops Forbes' 2011 list of top entertainers — defined as the most powerful people in entertainment based on Forbes' calculation of their earnings (pretax income from May 1, 2010-May 1, 2011) and media clout (print, TV, radio, online and especially social media).
The artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta is Forbes' new #1, notching $90 million in earnings in the past year, while the in-transition Oprah was #2 with $290 million but far less social media and digital clout. View the new top 10 below, and the complete 2011 list here.
Below, see why Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber (the youngest to make Forbes' list, he debuts at #3), U2, Elton John, Tiger Woods, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Simon Cowell and LeBron James made the top ten in this year's celeb rankings.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2011 09:00 AM
Apple sees PC cannibalization by iPad drop.
AutoNation car dealer network gets thrown for a spin by Japanese car-supply problems.
Barnes & Noble hits one million Nook app downloads.
BP tries to salvage Russian deal.
Dish Network taps former Sirius head Joseph Clayton to replace founder Charlie Ergen as CEO.
Fox puts faith in Simon Cowell's The X Factor for fall prime-time schedule.
IMF head arrest in sexual-assault case roils worlds from French politics to euro zone debt.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2011 03:30 PM
On the list of unsympathetic figures in the entertainment business, Simon Cowell certainly has to rank in the top ten – maybe jostling for #1 or #2 with Donald Trump. Such status is ensured by a decade of absorption of his often-biting persona on American Idol and his opportunistic exit from the show after last season, when presumably Cowell saw it as a sinking franchise.
But if you’re ever going to feel sorry for the glowering, acerbic, v-neck-clad Brit, now might be the time to do it. Not only is Idol arguably better in the post-Cowell era, and with renascent ratings, but there also is an unexpected competitor to the music impresario’s plan to launch an Idol fighter this fall in a U.S. version of his UK hit talent show, The X Factor.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2011 09:00 AM
AOL chief vows that the brand will stage a comeback.
AT&T will attempt to sway regulators over its T-Mobile deal.
Apple tops brand charts in new Millward Brown study.
Best Buy considers offering electric vehicles.
Caribou Coffee explores lunch products.
Estee Lauder looks to China.
Hertz makes new offer to buy Dollar Thrifty. Continue reading...
strike up the brand
Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2011 02:00 PM
PepsiCo just saw its Pepsi-Cola flagship brand slip into the No. 3 position in the U.S. soft-drink market for the first time in two decades, a slip that its executives aren't wasting any time trying to rectify.
Barely days after the bitter news about 2010 sales results, the company is starting to firm up its plans to revive Pepsi.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2011 03:00 PM
PepsiCo’s social commitment, its crowdsourced Refresh Project, is benefiting the beverage-maker and its brands in many ways. The initiative has boosted its corporate profile and, company executives note, will help boost revenue in the long run. Even in the short-term, there are benefits for the company as well as for the recipients of its $20 million in charitable donations last year and the next $20 million planned for this year.
When the Edelman PR firm recently surveyed Americans to name what “brand or brands come to mind as placing as much or more importance on supporting a good cause as they place on profits,” Pepsi had leapt to No. 1 – over long-time “socially responsible” brands Newman’s Own and Nike, and past rival Coca-Cola, which ranked No. 4.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi sees Refresh as a model for shared-value promotion by brands. “It’s a matter of, ‘What does this brand stand for in terms of doing something positive in the world?’” she said at a Beverage Digest conference in December. That's all well and good, but as Coca-Cola now holds the top two soft drink sales slots in the US, is PepsiCo taking its eye off the main prize — selling soft drinks?Continue reading...