Friday, August 12, 2011

Please Pack Your Knives and Go

Yesterday I was indulging in one of my favorite guilty pleasures on Bravo-Top Chef and couldn't help but notice how many plugs there were all throughout the show. Some were subtle, with just a mention of a store, brand, or restaurant or others felt like Padma was starting an infomercial.
(Padma, why does everything you do have to look so pretty & graceful-even holding a measuring cup of yellow mush? )

For example, when it is time for the chefs to grab their ingredients they always show them frantically running around under the ever-present green Whole Foods sign. It really is PR at it's finest. Love this article about the two's partnership:

"The cost to Whole Foods? Nothing beyond the food the contestants use for their dishes and the inconvenience of having a camera crew shooting inside a store."

"No money is exchanged, and the agreement is "pretty loose."

"For example, there's no agreement that Whole Foods must be mentioned a certain number of times. But it's been a "win-win" partnership for both sides. Their viewers are our shoppers, and vice versa."

This is great public relations for Whole Foods because if the top chefs are shopping at their store, it must be the best. The advantage of earning media and promoting from a different source (like Bravo) is that viewers find it way more believable than an ad. And not to mention, Whole Foods isn't giving up a dime:

"We do a lot of collective brainstorming with the Bravo team, because you want to be unique, be relevant, and still be interesting. It's not easy coming up with the challenge idea." -Clorox's Media Director

This is so smart. Top Chef smothley integrates brands and products in the show's challenges. Now, how fun would it be to be part of the team that daydreams up food challenges for chef's to sweat over in the kitchen. Dream job.

Not to mention the perks from it:
  • Nielsen research found Bravo to be the highest-ranked network on all of broadcast and cable TV for the first half of 2008.
  • Top Chef Chicago had top honors for brand recall. Sponsors such as Toyota had 67% vs the cable average of 49%, Glad had 77% vs a 73% average, & Food & Wine 77% vs the 70% cable average.

And they just announced season 9 is in Texas with Emeril as a judge. Can't wait!