Sainsbury’s New C4 Branded Content TV Cooking Show

The new Sainsbury’s David Beckham Active Kids campaign isn’t the only London 2012 follow-up that Sainsbury’s has rolled out in recent weeks.


Beckham has grabbed attention fronting campaigns both for Sainsbury’s and H&M in recent weeks and his Active kids work – both via TV



and Webfilm



has been much discussed by the marketing community.


But perhaps more innovative is Sainsbury’s new branded programming approach. The supermarket giant’s multi-faceted Paralympic collaboration with Channel 4, the retailer and the broadcaster have again teamed up for a new branded daily cooking programme.


‘What’s Cooking? From Sainsbury’s Kitchen’ is a new daily show commissioned by Channel 4’s head of formats Dominic Bird and presented by Ben Shephard and Lisa Faulkner.


The show, which airs each weekday lunchtime from mid February, has both funding and product placement by Sainsbury’s.


Famous guests and chefs feature throughout the series which is broadcast from a purpose-built studio actually embedded within a Sainsbury’s store (which includes Sainsbury’s branding throughout) in front of a live shopper audience.


The initiative also strongly features interactivity, with both presenters interacting with the television and digital audiences through Twitter and Facebook.


Each programme features at least three recipes aimed at offering something to suit everybody. It will showcase Sainsbury’s products alongside other brands.


The recipes and products reflect Sainsbury’s umbrella ‘Live Well for Less’ communications big idea and thus will focus around affordable healthy meals for everyone.


Recipes featuring Sainsbury’s products are cooked during the broadcast and then further details and additional information is posted on a tie-in website (such as online instructional videos).


An online “scrapbook” platform hosted on Channel4.com will allow audiences to collect and save all recipes on the show, videos and additional information.


As well as promotional POS activity running within Sainsbury’s shops, the programme was also marketing through a set of online teasers




and other web-based activity, plus traditional and digital PR initiatives,


Sarah Warby, marketing director for Sainsbury’s, said; ‘What’s Cooking? From the Sainsbury’s Kitchen is an engaging, fresh format for a cookery show and we are very excited to be involved in such an innovative programme. We’re delighted to partner with Channel 4 and to be able to talk to our customers in a different way, bringing to life the ways in which Sainsbury’s can help people live well for less.”


Laura Cottrell, Channel 4 partnership business manager, says: ‘What’s Cooking from the Sainsbury’s Kitchen is a prime example of a connected, cross-platform advertiser-funded programme with product placement and Channel4’s editorial values at its core. We are delighted to be working with a partner who understands the power of activation beyond the screen.’




Lucas Green of Superhero TV says ‘The partnership between Channel 4 and Sainsbury’s allows us to reach out into viewers’ lives way beyond the TV screen. We will have a deeper relationship with our audience than ever before thanks to the huge number of platforms provided by Sainsbury’s and Channel 4. This represents far more than just a new way to fund programmes – and we hope that it will be a lot of fun too.’


The idea was developed and produced by Superhero TV, the entertainment production company from Predictable Media, and it claims to be completely editorially independent despite the strong brand role.


The partnership, which was negotiated by Omnicom branded content agency Drum, follows the retailer and broadcaster rewarding alliance last summer/autumn for the Parlaympic Games.


This collaboration also included working together on branded content.


Indeed, post Paralympics Channel 4 says Channel 4 partnership leader Robert Ramsey that the broadcaster felt it had really done something special with its branded content short films in partnership with Sainsbury’s and BT and that this move had certainly created a route in terms of branded content in the future for Channel 4.


‘We have done a bit of this before, but nothing of this quality or on this scale. It has convinced us that these kind of brand partnership can clearly result in very compelling content,’ says Ramsey. ‘Short-form ad funded content was something of a first for us, but it certainly is a blueprint we can and will follow in the future. It is a big takeaway, one of our key learnings.’


Ramsey believes that this format genuinely can deliver powerful, yet subtle messages and they are flexible for a variety of corporate collaborations. After all, he says, in the Paralympics they were very well for two very different brands in BT and Sainsbury’s with two different needs and objectives


‘It helped us focus and understand how to unlock compelling product placement creative content and in the future it can really work for us as a TV company.’




What’s Cooking Online Film Teaser 1 YouTube



What’s Cooking Online Film Teaser 2 YouTube



What’s Cooking Online Film Teaser 3 YouTube






What’s Cooking Channel Four Website



What’s Cooking Channel 4 Online Scrapbook




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