From humble beginnings as a television show in the U.K. which was then spun off to an American audience, Pop Idol began a reality television show sensation that is now one of the most successfully produced reality television programs at a world wide level.
American Idol launched on American television in 2002 after Pop Idol, which began in 2001, was a hit in the U. K. The idol franchise has expanded to include Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Russia, the Pan-Arabic regions, South Africa, India, and Singapore (Hill 2007, 9). A competition was designed to capitalize on the many nations in which an Idol program exists. The show, called World Idol, allowed for winning contestants from all over the world to come and compete. The show was made to be more fair by allowing a total of ten points to come from each voting nation so that no one nation could outvote another by virtue of a more dense population (Hay 2003, 84). By using the hopes and dreams of a world wide audience the Idol franchise is able capitalize on a multi-level system of
The success of the program was such that the 20 million or more responses they were getting each week to vote for the viewers’ favorite singers are credited by the phone companies with helping to launch the technology of text messaging because as of 2001 this method of communication had not taken off in the United States the way it had in Asia and northern Europe (Murray & Ouellette 2009, 343). The program is used as a vehicle for consumer driven marketing with product placement and advertisements that are designed specifically to exploit the emotional connection that viewers make with their favorite contestants to generate branding based marketing power. Every aspect of the show that can be exploited is used to generate a product that is designed to sell.
The core of the Idol concept is to package