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April 26, 2007

American Idol Gives Back

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

2007_04_26idol_gives.jpgJust in case you live under a rock or don't like pop culture and missed it, American Idol reportedly raised $30 million dollars over two nights (last night and Tuesday night) for a mix of non-profits here in the states and in Africa.

My wife and I haven't really watched this season of American Idol, but we tuned in last night to watch and was really excited and moved by what I saw. Granted there are a lot of opinions dancing out there--everything from slams to praises.

Regardless of whether you loved or hated the show format, the performances, how the corporate sponsorship was handled or the (apparently) controversial fact that no one was kicked off last night. The fact is--more kids will read, more mothers won't have to watch helplessly while their children die in their arms because they don't have the $2 malaria medication to save them, and more HIV positive kids and parents will live a little longer because people gave.

For me it was most moving to see the footage of the people from Idol and others on the ground in East Africa. It brought back a lot of memories for me and was a great reminder that people are in fact what matters. Cynics aside, we can make a difference, and businesses can do a tremendous amount of good with the wealth they create all the while giving attention to growing the bottom line. Because at the end of every day, how you make your mark is what really counts.

If you missed Idol last night, E! online has a good recap of the night including the celebrities involved and there were a lot--everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Elvis (ya that's right, I said Elvis).

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It struck me as a pompous bit of self-promotion for a franchise that has returned a fraction of what it has taken in - or nothing, if you ask me.

What they gave back isn't even a third of their ad revenue from one show. Meanwhile, they are in their sixth season of stealing money from viewers, phone voters, advertisers and the general public.

And, what a shocker ... no one was eliminated, which means that all the votes were for naught, since they get to milk this nonsense for another week of prime-time advertising revenue.

Posted by: Anthony at April 26, 2007 8:44 PM