Sponsors Get Taste of ‘Top Chef’
Series Has Official Water, Ice Cream, Olive Oil, Even Trash Bag
Bravo has a full plate of marketing partners that will be integrated into the third season of “Top Chef.”
The show has been successful in the ratings. It also has been popular with advertisers because Bravo has stirred in a healthy mix of sponsors’ products.
Product placement and integration have become increasingly important to marketers, who are concerned that TiVo and other digital video recorders are making it too easy for consumers to avoid traditional commercials.
For this season, Bravo has created a new category, dubbing olive oil purveyor Bertolli the official emerging media sponsor for mobile media applications. Bertolli sponsors the show’s wireless application protocol (WAP) site as well as a text-message campaign that delivers behind-the-scenes tidbits to fans.
Bertolli also will be the sponsor of a challenge during the show, the prize for which is a trip to Florence, Italy, to study Mediterranean cooking. The company will sponsor the biography area on the “Top Chef” section of the Bravo Web site as well.
Major sponsors returning to the show include Toyota and Glad Products Co.
Toyota will have a continuing presence on the show. Four RAV4 vehicles will be the primary transportation for the competing chefs during the season as they shop their way around Miami.
Glad, meanwhile, provides the official trash bag, wrap and container of the competition. Glad also is providing a $100,000 cash prize to this season’s winner of “Top Chef.” Online, Glad will be sponsoring several webisodes on Bravotv.com and a “Foodie Flyaway” sweepstakes.
Several other companies are sponsoring aspects of the show.
Bombay Sapphire is the official spirit for “Top Chef 3.” Bombay is using the show to support its “Perfect Pairings” event for chefs and mixologists to create Bombay cocktails that go with special dishes. Bombay’s global master mixologist Jamie Walker will be featured in a “Top Chef” episode and will write a blog on cocktails.
Breville, a maker of home appliances, will sponsor the recipe section of the “Top Chef” Web site. One of the company’s blenders will be used on the show.
The official ice cream provider for the show is Cold Stone Creamery, which is sponsoring the photo gallery on the “Top Chef” Web site and will be featured in the program.
Evian Natural Spring Water will be featured in “Top Chef,” And it’s providing the winning contestant with a gourmet vacation to Evian-les-Bain, France, including five nights of luxury accommodations at the Evian Royal Resort & Spa. The winning chef also receives a one-year supply of Evian.
Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical will sponsor a challenge on the “Top Chef” Web site.
The Red Robin restaurant chain also is incorporated into the series.
Bravo is partnered with Food & Wine magazine for “Top Chef.” Gail Simmons, in charge of special projects for the magazine, will again be a judge on the show. The prizes from the show will be featured in an upcoming issue of Food & Wine.
“Our advertising partners can count on Bravo’s cutting-edge 360 initiatives to deliver the ‘Top Chef’ experience for their brands at all consumer touchpoints,” said Susan Malfa, VP of ad sales for Bravo.
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