Sponsored Hashtag Lets American Idol Fans Tweet To Pick Show’s Theme

For the first time ever, American Idol producers are allowing the public to choose the theme for one episode that will air this season.  After Ryan Seacrest announced the news during the April 3rd show, the public began submitting suggestions by using #ATTIdolTheme on Twitter.

Themes usually include genres, songs by a particular artist or band, or more generic categories. Mashable spoke with David Christopher, CMO of AT&T Mobility, “We’re really excited to hear from the fans and give them an opportunity to affect the show in a way they’ve never been able to before.”

 American Idol #ATTIdolTheme

As the suggestions roll in, the show’s producers and sponsor AT&T will review submissions, narrowing them down to five finalists.  Host Ryan Seacrest will reveal the final five on April 11, when viewers will vote again, this time to choose the winning theme.  The chosen theme will be revealed April 24th, when Idol finalists will sing a song based on that theme.

American Idol has long been based on “fan-driven outcomes,” though largely through SMS technology.  Now, Christopher says “We wanted to tap into that legacy and expand the scope of fan empowerment beyond SMS to create mobile-centric and social-by-design experiences that align with the latest co-viewing and entertainment trends.”

It’s a great way for the show to further engage viewers, and will also provide tons of exposure for sponsor AT&T.  Will most fans make the jump from SMS to Twitter to participate in a new way?