Nigel Lythgoe talks about product placement

Updated: April 30, 2013
Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer of American Idol, says he’s getting sick of how some people understand product placement.

In a related statement, Lythgoe said he’s “sick to some degree of the (product) integration because (other) people have a different idea of what integration means. For me, it’s a smooth, organic process, whereas for other people, it’s, ‘Hi! This is a Coca-Cola!’”

During the Digital Hollywood conference, Lythgoe described the tension between sponsors and producers. He said that there’s a possibility for innovation in product placement but it requires a balance that can’t be easily achieved.

“Everyone’s trying to use this as a platform,” said Lythgoe. “They’re trying to stretch things all the time. I want to move those damned Coke cups. Especially when (rookie Idol judge) Nicki Minaj is sponsored by Pepsi. It gets on your nerves sometimes when it’s too obvious. You don’t want product forced on you. So we just have to be careful.”

In a related conversation, Lythgoe mentioned that he is exploring new distribution opportunities—the most recent of which was an unsuccessful pitch to Microsoft’s Xbox division. Despite that, Lythgoe says that he’s thrilled for the platform’s prospects.

Lythgoe also described Shine America as “a very, very exciting company.” The company recently purchased 50% of Lythgoe’s operation. He continued: “I look forward to spending more time with them.”



  1. Virgina

    May 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Fox News and Nigel Lythgoe.
    I would just like to say that my friends and I have stopped watching American Idol as often. It’s not so much w/the Judges but it has become boring. Starting age is too young, 13? Second the history of each contestant, town response, etc.. Niki I found to be sort of cut of Simon Cowell. Mariah is too niece. Keith is good and Randy, is Randy he’s good. I don’t think Jennifer Lopez will bring the ratings up. The format of the program needs to be changed. This is just a suggestion of a group of 60 – 70 yr. old ladies

    • David Castillo

      May 11, 2013 at 6:14 am

      Yes. The show lost a lot compared to last season. I still think it’s judge-related though.

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