Home > Celebrations > Adam Lambert wins American Idol 8 – a marketing forecast

Adam Lambert wins American Idol 8 – a marketing forecast



We are writing about American Idol Season 8 not only because we watch it but also because we wanted to point out the applicability of marketing and marketing principles to almost anything, including a reality tv contest like American Idol.

From a marketing perspective, these are the basic components of American Idol:


Target Audience/Market: American TV viewers

Products/Brands: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen

Product/Brand Attributes (or drivers for preference):

  • voice
  • performance (showmanship, confidence, choreography, stance, delivery)
  • song choice
  • looks (attire, hairstyle and make-up)
  • likeability

For any of the finalists to win, his goal is at minimum to retain his fan base and to capture new viewers and pull switchers from the other finalist.

We think Allen’s strength is among women, tending to be older and more mainstream. Adam on the other hand, is among men, tending to be younger and more adventurous. In a simplistic description, Allen is more pop while Adam is more rock. Those are very different music genre with unique audience profiles. That is one way to explain the point we made in a previous post saying these two finalists cannot be more different from each other.

For Kris Allen to win, he needs to get out of his comfort zone, to be more adventurous and more creative, similar to what he did during the top 3 performance where he took Kanye’s song and interpreted it in his own way. It was a very unexpected song choice and certainly a game changing interpretation.

The question on Kris Allen is this – was his top 3 performance a one-off performance? That was his boldest move  throughout the season and it was the only time he did that. In fact, he had more performances where his judgement and strategy failed him.

We think a real danger for Kris is he might over-think it, set the bar too high for hinself and he might fall short in delivering it. He is the underdog and the dark horse – he needs to work harder and the greater pressure to overwhelm the audience is his.

For Adam Lambert to win, he needs to give away part of who he is and move that part towards getting closer to who Kris is. He needs to show his soft side, showcasing his vocal skills at a similar level that Kris has. He should NOT do an exact Kris, but he needs to dial down a bit his rockstar persona and vocal performance.

Adam’s greatest strength is his virtuosity at showmanship, the performance, the over-all package of a singing star. He needs to sing a song that is precisely on that and another song in the same delivery but its content closer to what Kris does well.

There is no problem on this one for Adam. He has done that in all of his performances at the Idol stage. He is the consummate artist and has the best in artistry among all the contestants this season. Not only has he delivered on this consistently across all his performances, he has exceeded it on many performances.

This has not been done on the Idol stage, but I won’t be surprised if Adam will change his hair and clothes on each of his performance just to get the effect he wants.

Who will win Season 8? We think Adam will win it.

From a target audience/market perspective, Adam’s voters cannot be swayed, we think they are extremely loyal to him. Whatever Kris does will not matter to Adam’s supporters. Kris’ fans, however we believe, can be swayed by Adam to vote for him. Kris’ resurgence came only at the very end which means his support base may not be so strong and could be fleeting.

Kris’ only chance to gain voters is not to get switchers from Adam’s fan base to vote for him, but to get as many new viewers or those uncommitted to anyone of them to vote for him. That is very tough to do and they might not be enough in numbers to give him the win.

At this late stage of the contest, we have gone beyond voice quality now. Everybody knows both have excellent vocals. The question now is how much brighter is one finalist’s star quality over the other. People will vote for artistry now and to that Adam has a lot of while Kris is yet to get his at full power.

We think American voters are voting for artistry and star quality and on that Adam wins over Kris by a mile.

From a marketing perspective, we think Adam Lambert will win American Idol 8.

 read more on what Kris and Adam need to do to win: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/search/label/american%20idol

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