Interactive marketing agency Digitas and branded content production company RedLever joined forces to create In the Kitchen. Part reality, part gameshow, the series is hosted by Torie Richie, a San Francisco-based cookbook author, cooking teacher and host of Five-Minute Cooking Show on CBS The Early Show and Ultimate Kitchens on the Food Network.
The show was designed specifically to raise awareness of Jenn-Air’s all-new collection of luxury appliances and does show my appealing to viewers emotions and offering them a chance to influence the outcome of the show. Each episode features someone sharing their story of someone special in their lives they would like to cook a special meal for. They are then given two hours to prepare the meal and present it to Richie for judging in three categories: Technique and Taste, Presentation and Pairings, and Ingenuity. Some examples of some of the heartwarming stories shared in the series are a woman wanting to surprise her 105 year-old grandmother and a man reunited with his brother.
The audience is then asked to vote on their favorite contestant. The winning story will be rewarded with a full Jenn-Air kitchen installed in their home. But the audience has potential for reward as well: once they vote on the show website or by mobile phone, they are entered in a drawing to receive a Jenn-Air beverage center. Other ways the audience can engage with the show (and get themselves entered into the contest) is by texting in for recipes and cooking tips.
Richard Shore, COO of RedLever, explained in a phone interview that the show is being distributed through a custom-built website and then being hyper syndicated across publishers as well as the Joost network, giving them access to over 25 million potential viewers. Shore stressed the importance of making sure the show doesn’t feel like an advertisement: “We want to stay away from infotainment. We want to showcase products in entertaining ways.” RedLever has proven this to be a viable marketing strategy through successful past campaigns with clients such as the U.S. Army, TRESemme, Grey Goose, and Nissan.