HGTV Cooks Up Pepperidge Deal

Nov 28, 2005  •  Post A Comment

It wasn’t the recipe for a big ad campaign.

Pepperidge Farm had little money to spend on television for its frozen food products and didn’t even have any commercials shot. But the division of the Campbell Soup Co. wanted HGTV to help promote a “Great Taste Giveaway” sweepstakes that will award $25,000 in kitchen renovations as the top prize in May.

Cooking up a deal was the job of HGTV’s AdSmart group, which gathers executives from the network’s advertising, promotion, on-air, marketing and programming groups to find multipronged solutions for marketing clients.

Working with Pepperidge Farm, the AdSmart group came up with a package so tasty that Campbell’s increased its spending on several of the Scripps Networks cable and online outlets, including digital network DIY-Do-It-Yourself.

Most of the time, with a client with little money to spend, the meeting would be short. But John Dailey, VP of sales, Northern region, said HGTV had good reasons not to send Pepperidge Farm packing.

“We have a long partnership with them, and we found over the course of many business partnerships with Campbell’s that they can execute,” he said. “When they say there are deliverables, they get delivered. There’s a level of sophistication about how they do things, so although it was a challenging idea to work with, when you have good partners, it’s easier to get started on these things.”

Pepperidge Farm wanted to work with HGTV because it had a “history about people wanting to do things with their kitchen and we knew that worked with our consumers,” said Pepperidge Farm Frozen Business Director Louise Wolf Frencz. “The shows that we’re tying in with are all about the latest and greatest kitchen appliances and gadgets, so it’s very much in the aspirational mode of what people want today and very much in the mode of people who’ll buy premium food.”

Pepperidge Farm could bring other things to the table. First, Pepperidge Farm would promote the sweepstakes-and HGTV-on its packaging and in inserts it runs with newspapers. “We felt, after discussing it internally, that was meaningful collateral exposure,” Mr. Dailey said.

The exposure adds up to 20 million packages of Texas toast, garlic loaves, pot pies, turnovers, layer cakes and puff pastry and 120 million impressions through the free-standing inserts, according Ms. Frencz.

“The value they’re getting is all those packages, because it’s in the homes of the consumers that they want to tune in, and it’s very difficult to get them because they’re premium people and they’re not as easy to target,” Ms. Frencz said.

Campbell’s Growing Diet of Scripps

There was also money from other Campbell’s businesses that went to HGTV and its sister networks.

“What ended up happening was that the overall Campbell’s presence on the network across all of their brands in terms of their TV deal with us grew,” Mr. Dailey said. “So other brands which were looking to get on the network as well had additional spending available, which we thought was valuable,” he said. “We found a way to work with them with the DIY network as well, which was important to us”

All of the elements were brought together by AdSmart. Tad Youngblood, VP for on-air promotion who moved to Fine Living to start the unit. AdSmart is now headed by Jeffery Kissinger, VP of promotion strategy.

“We have representatives from each department in the company who come with their own assets, and when we receive a question or a request from ad sales, we discuss it with the group and see how we can best use our pool of assets,” said Terry Corcoran, director of ad sales marketing for HGTV. “There’s online, contributing both the sweepstakes components and online promos, there’s on-air contributing spots, so we’re all connected in terms of what kind of assets we had and how we could use them to forward the goals of Campbell.”

After the initial meetings, HGTV and Pepperidge Farm held weekly teleconferences to keep the project on track. “We brought in different folks as it became necessary. Like when we wanted to talk more about the DIY opportunity, we brought those folks on board,” said Ian Hunter, senior marketing manager at Pepperidge Farm.

The promotion began in October during HGTV’s kitchen and bath week in October, which included tune-in spots that also promoted the sweepstakes.

HGTV is now developing integrated spots that will air in February and promote the sweepstakes and drive tune-in to HGTV’s series “Kitchen Trends.” That is frozen food month, which is important to Pepperidge Farm and its retailers.

DIY is creating custom content for Pepperidge Farm that will give viewers household project advice. “It comes out of programming. It has the look and feel of DIY programming, but it delivers a message appropriate to Pepperidge Farm,” Mr. Dailey said.

With the promotion barely under way and much of the HGTV media effort yet to come, Pepperidge Farm is already seeing it having an effect, with some 800,000 thousand entries into the sweepstakes so far. The company has run sweepstakes over the past few years and they’ve had half as many entries. “We didn’t have a partner such as HGTV to tie with,” Ms. Frencz said.

She estimated that this year’s entries could triple when all is said and done. “We look forward to it driving a lot of business for both of us and hopefully bringing some fun to the consumer and bringing some awareness about some good products,” she said.

And it should create added viewership for HGTV and generate a few extra bucks. “The revenue was a starting point but it wasn’t the driving consideration here. And it’s also an opportunity to work with a trusted and valued Scripps partner like Campbell’s and kind of advance our capabilities while helping them meet their marketing needs.”