July 13th, 2009
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Partners with Nestle on Brand Integration
By Paige Albiniak
Broadcasting & Cable
Game show helps roll out two new CoffeeMate World Café flavors
CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune is partnering with Nestle’s Coffee-Mate World Café flavors for a week of multi-platform brand integrations starting July 13.
“With this integration, CoffeeMate enjoys the benefit of association with our brand and we’re also able to talk more about the features and benefits of their product than they could do in a 30-second spot,” says Harry Friedman, Wheel of Fortune’s executive producer. “Wheel is a different kind of show. Almost any product, any destination, or anything that represents fun can be integrated into the program.”
Strip shows like Wheel of Fortune tend to be watched when they air, instead of recorded on a digital video recorder, so the shows are innately TiVo-proofed. Still, Friedman says there’s a clear difference between brand integration and product placement. Brand integration allows the product to become a part of the program, and thus resonate with the viewer, while product placement usually just features a camera shot to the product, like a can of Coca-Cola on the desk of the American Idol judges or a General Electric professional oven on Bravo’s Top Chef.
Friedman is quick to point out that while sponsors’ products do end up on the wheel or featured as game prizes, they never end up as questions or answers on the show. “Sponsors never have any input on the questions or the answer of any puzzle,” Friedman says.
The integration will launch Coffee-Mate’s two new World Café flavors – Parisian Almond Crème and Belgian Chocolate Toffee. “Goodie prizes” on the game show’s wheel will include trips to France, Belgium and Italy inspired by the World Café flavors. Contestants will have chances to win those trips on each of in-show promotion’s five days on the air.
The week’s shows are shot on a custom-designed set highlighting the World Café’s European destinations. “The set, designed by our own art department, is an absolutely gorgeous three-dimensional European street scene,” says Friedman.
Off-air, at-home viewers who follow the show online also will have a chance to win vacations. Coffee-Mate is sponsoring 25 trips for two through a watch-to-win sweepstakes. The products also get two weeks of co-branding on http://www.wheeloffortune.com including a themed online game, and will be featured in key-market contestant auditions where the product samples will be distributed and show co-host Vanna White will make a surprise appearance.
The combined on-air and online co-branding efforts are expected to introduce the new products to 29 million Wheel of Fortune viewers, and receive approximately 3.5 million impressions on http://www.wheeloffortune.com.
Nestlé also promoted tune-in for Wheel of Fortune’s “World Café Week” with a free-standing insert, including coupons, in newspapers across the country on June 28.