A year of branded television


ironmen_nutri-grainEntrepreneurs, chefs, and lifesavers made their way onto national television screens this year under the marketing guise of major brands.

Woolworths, Walmart, and Australian breakfast cereal, Nutri-Grain, were just some that debuted branded TV shows in 2013.

Woolworths premiered its own twist on Coles’ aligned cooking show, Masterchef, in August.

Recipes to Riches pit aspiring grocery product developers against each other to create, market, and debut brands in Woolworths’ aisles.

Garth Midgley was pronounced the Channel 10 show’s winner in November, with a concoction of chocolate-covered popcorn.

After 10 years of experimenting with the recipe, Midgley is now selling Chocorn on the shelves of Woolworths supermarkets.

Interestingly, mass market brand, Cadbury’s, has started selling its own version of chocolate-covered corn in major supermarkets nationally.

Ratings for the reality cooking show were markedly flat through its season, according to media news website, Mumbrella.

Norrelle Goldring, head of shopper insights and retail strategy at GfK Australia, says it makes “perfect sense” for a retailer to invest in branded television.

“It showcases the breadth of products available and in theory provides [the retailer] with a property they can uniquely leverage instore, such as for recipes.

“Both Coles and Woolowrths currently have similar properties. They each need to leverage them differently to provide a true point of difference from each other, rather than one trying to out-celebrity or out-recipe the other.”

Woolworths and Coles weren’t the only big time retailers to fund a TV show in 2013: Walmart took its branded idea one step further.

The US giant debuted an online reality television show in September to promote its existing entrepreneur kickstarter contest, Get on the Shelf.

The five part web series chronicled the stories of 20 competitors in a similar style to X Factor or Australia’s Got Talent.

Get on the Shelf aimed to introduce shoppers to previously unheard of brands by giving winners the chance to sell online or instore.

“The web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories,” said Kelly Thompson, Walmart.com’s senior VP of merchandising.

“[It] makes for captivating reality TV that’s also interactive, since American consumers can vote for the next great product.”

Another brand has also debuted a branded television show: Kellogg’s-owned male targeted cereal, Nutri-Grain.

The self-dubbed breakfast of Australian Ironmen debuted an eight part reality TV show in partnership with a Sydney agency, Brand Faction.

Deep Water premiered on Channel 9 in October and features stars from the Nutri-Grain competition, Ironman.

Ironmen are put to the test in extreme challenges, including cliff jumping, rock running, and a “lung buster”: an underwater race and gorge running in 50 degree heat.

“We think this reality series will enable consumers to connect more closely with the Nutri-Grain Ironmen,” said Ian Blackhall, marketing manager for Kellogg’s Australia.

Nutri-Grain’s television show follows its tweaked branding in the market, including new packaging, branding, and advertising.



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