Advertisers continue to love the heat in the 'Top Chef' kitchen

Posted on Tue Jun 15 2010

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Bravo has thrown together a medley of sponsors for Top Chef D.C., including returning sponsor Toyota, whose Sienna minivans will be provided whenever contestants need to run to the store to pick up the wrong foods. New sponsors for the seventh season include Dial NutriSkin (the new $125,000 grand-prize benefactor), Samsung, Hilton Hotels, Kikkoman and Snyder’s of Hanover. In addition to promoting these brands on the show, Top Chef D.C. personnel are being farmed out to sponsors' ad campaigns. Host Padma Lakshmi is the face of a NutriSkin Facebook campaign, where she will perhaps deal with any pimples she got from eating Hardee's/Carl's Jr. burgers. And more integration is planned for Hilton and Samsung. If they keep this up, the contestants will need something like Nascar uniforms just so they can keep track of who's footing the bill for what. This deal looks like it's going to benefit everyone involved, though, and the show's previous seasons already yielded positive results from product integration. It would be nice if this approach meant fewer commercial breaks during the program itself, but that might be asking too much. More blood for the blood god and all that.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Bravo's 'Top Chef' continues to attract top marketing ingredients

Posted on Thu Aug 13 2009

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Get ready for frozen meatloaf and waffle fries with a Diet Coke reduction. Mmmm. Bravo's well-watched reality series Top Chef has always been a magnet for brand integrations, and with the upcoming season, set in Las Vegas and launching next week, it continues to gather marketers who are likely to find their way into cooking challenges. Competitors have had to make gourmet meals out of vending-machine junk before, so chances are season six's chefs can handle Swanson (which makes "the original TV dinner," among other grocery staples), Alexia Crunchy Snacks (all-natural onion strips, waffle fries and the like) and Diet Coke. All that grub continues to get wrapped and packaged in Glad products, driven around in Toyotas and rewarded with Food & Wine magazine's stamp of approval. Macy's and MasterCard are first-timers. The marketers sponsor specific challenges, give prizes to winners and get on-air face time. They're also planning a number of offshoot efforts, like Webisodes, e-cards, viewing parties, cooking demos and text messages. Bring on the quickfire!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

'Top Chef' also-ran Fabio Viviani to pretend he likes frozen pizza

Posted on Fri Feb 27 2009

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Really, is there no greater honor for a chef than to be associated with a delicacy like frozen pizza? That's the way Fabio Viviani, "the Italian Stallion" from season five of Bravo's Top Chef, evidently feels. He has signed on as  spokesman for the U.S. launch of Dr. Oetker's frozen pizza. The brand, despite it's utterly horrible name, is No. 1 in Italy. Viviani said in a statement: "Growing up in Italy, my mom often had Dr. Oetker's products in the home." Apparently she wasn't much of a cook.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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