Ford hopes for a hit with return of Superstar

Middle East TV sensation Superstar returns to viewers’ screens tonight.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  October 2, 2005

Middle East TV sensation Superstar returns to viewers’ screens tonight. Superstar III, produced by Lebanon’s Future Television and broadcast across the Middle East, will have Ford Middle East as the headline sponsor. The show, based on the popular British format Pop Idol, first aired in 2003. It saw competitors audition and gradually be narrowed down to 12 finalists from Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and the UAE to compete for the title of Superstar. It generated more than US$4 million in mobile phone voting revenues alone. Ford’s sponsorship ties in with the car firm’s strategy of youth-oriented marketing in the region. It launched its new communications strategy earlier this year, focusing on driving its Mustang, Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo models. Hussein Murad, sales and marketing director for Ford Middle East, said: “Our association with Superstar reflects the genuine nature of the Ford brand and its youthful and progressive spirit.” He added: “We are confident that supporting a programme so close to the hearts of young Arabs will help strengthen the emotional attachment they are building with the Ford brand.” Because of the lack of robust audience data, it is impossible to say with certainty what the region’s most popular programme is. But Superstar, along with the Lebanese Broadcasting Company’s Star Academy, has a good claim to that crown. Star Academy sparked controversy in Saudi Arabia after its winner was mobbed and Superstar is also expected to generate large audiences in KSA.

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