Food Serving Up DVDs in World Kitchen Deal

Feb 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

In addition to commercials, Food Network is serving a new advertiser entire episodes of some of its popular shows.
As part of a unique deal with World Kitchen, worth between $1 million and $2 million over two months, Food Network has created a “Cooking From the Grill” DVD featuring four episodes from its “In the Kitchen” block of cooking programs, including “30 Minute Meals” and “Boy Meets Grill.” The DVD will be given away inside specially marked packages of World Kitchen products, which are sold under the Baker’s Secret, Corelle, CorningWare and Pyrex brands.
About 375,000 of the DVDs are being produced.
World Kitchen also gets on-air vignettes produced by the network, a recipe booklet that will be packed in with the DVDs and a presence on the network’s Web site, Food.com, during the promotion, which will run during May and June.
Food Network cooked up the package for World Kitchen, which had not been a television advertiser, according to Jon Steinlauf, senior VP, advertising sales, at Scripps Networks, Food Network’s parent. The company’s marketing efforts had been in print and at trade shows.
Mr. Steinlauf said the deal came about because the network “is always thinking about how do we look at our assets in a way that can get people into the medium, whether it be TV or online.”
World Kitchen was looking for a promotion for the outdoor entertaining and barbecue season. At the same time, Food Network was planning to extend its “Grilling and Chilling” prime-time programming stunt to two weeks in June from one week. “We met at that intersection,” Mr. Steinlauf said. Last year’s grilling programming helped make June the network’s highest-rated month. (It has since eclipsed that mark.)
Since World Kitchen didn’t have commercials, Food Network agreed to produce a series of four 30-second vignettes that show how to use World Kitchen products for grilling and barbecuing. While the vignettes have some Food Network flavor, they do not use Food Network talent, nor are they staged on Food Network sets.
“Our viewers will know they’re somewhere in a commercial break, but they won’t know if they’ve left the look and feel of the channel,” Mr. Steinlauf said. “They’re more informational than commercials. But it’s really where the DNA of the Food brand meets the DNA of this advertiser’s marketing message.”
The vignettes tell viewers to go to participating retailers for the DVD offer. They also will drive viewers to Food.com, where recipes and other grilling ideas will be available.
Displays will promote Food Network’s “Grilling and Chilling” theme weeks as well as the gift-with-purchase offer in retail outlets.
The DVDs and the in-store promotion “are a good way to promote our shows,” particularly the “In the Kitchen” block, said Adam Rockmore, Food Network’s VP, marketing.
Consumers benefit because the DVD contains whole episodes of the shows, rather than just segments, Mr. Rockmore said. “If you only get a segment of the show, you don’t really get the whole idea of the show and you don’t get the whole recipe. By getting one full show, you really get to sample it. And there’s plenty of more shows where that came from if you like it.”
Food Network owns the rights to the programs, which enabled it to put out the DVD.
All of the effort seems like a lot of work for a fairly small budget. But Mr. Steinlauf said it is worth it because it’s new business, it’s supporting the network’s push into the DVD market and the network will get some in-store promotion from World Kitchen and its retailers. “You add it all up and we like doing creative deals” he said.
At this point, Food Network won’t sell World Kitchen products directly, either on its Web site or through sister network Shop at Home.
“We haven’t gotten to that yet,” Mr. Steinlauf said. “This is a lot for them to handle for a company that’s just getting into TV. I think if this is successful we’ll continue to talk to them about other areas of the company.”