Food for Thought: Integrating Marketing & Public Relations

When PR and marketing go hand-in-hand, as they did for NBC Universal/Bravo’s “Top Chef: The Tour 2,” all teams involved maintain a delicate balance between the needs of the advertisers/sponsors and the interests of the targeted consumers; anything overly promotional—or not promotional enough—could upset 50% of the audience. But, according to Brian Hunt, senior vice president, marketing and sales strategy, TV Networks Distribution, NBC Universal, “We were committed to bringing our distribution partners and foodie fans alike an even bigger and better interactive experience with the hit series they love.” To do this, Hunt’s team divided the tour events’ features to play to both audiences’—consumers and sponsors—interests. Opportunities for affiliate partners at each city stop included: • One reserved cooking demonstration; • Meet and greets with “chef-testants”; • Top Chef trivia wheel sponsorships; • Logo placements; • Advertising services and sponsor tables; • Promotional spots appearing on plasma televisions airing throughout the events; and, • 150 on-air spots. As for consumer attractions: • Chances to win prizes by answering Top Chef trivia questions; • Access to Top Chef computer game and via interactive Web kiosks; • Cooking tips, autographs and photos from chef-testants; • Consumer demonstrations; and, • Opportunity to make oat-based smoothies using Top Chef blender bikes, which are powered by human energy.

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