P&G is licensing the Home Made Simple name to the cable channel for a reality show, which each week will feature an "organizing maven," a master carpenter and a weekly "guest maven." The experts will provide relatively simple tips for domestic well-being to help women nominated by their friends.
As Maurice Coffey, P&G marketing director for Home Made Simple, describes it, the TV version blends the friend-nomination aspects of TLC's "What Not to Wear" with the problem-solution format of ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover" -- but without evoking so much pity for the beneficiaries.
The series starts June 4 and has an initial run of 13 weeks on Sundays at 1 p.m.
P&G home-care brands
The P&G home-care brands -- including Mr. Clean, Swiffer and Dawn -- that Home Made Simple has served online over the past six-plus years will show up in product integrations, Mr. Coffey said. But like the e-mail newsletter and Web site, where he said about 80% of content is unbranded, the idea is to engage rather than sell to the consumer.
"'Home Made Simple' is not about the home-care brands, so that it can be about the home-care brands," he said. "A lot of the stuff out there I would call branded interruption and not really brand integration. This is about starting with the consumer and trying to put entertainment in front of her that she's looking for."
P&G already has a fairly long track record of branded-content collaborations with Discovery Networks. Swiffer has been affiliated with "Trading Spaces," which has featured the dust mops in post-redecorating cleanups. And Crest Whitestrips have been part of the beauty makeovers in TLC's "What Not to Wear."
In the case of "Home Made Simple," the product integrations should flow more naturally and more often in the middle of the show rather than the end, Mr. Coffey said. But not every show will have P&G product placements.
P&G will be the exclusive content partner and advertiser in home care, but other non-competing marketers will also have brand integrations and advertising on the program, which is produced by Discovery Networks. Online travel service Orbitz and Maytag's Neptune are among other brands to appear in the series.
The show will direct consumers to P&G's Home Made Simple Web site, and vice versa. In fact, promotion via the free Home Made Simple online newsletter -- which has more than 6 million subscribers and is handled by Barefoot Advertising, Cincinnati -- could be a major boost for the project.
TLC and P&G solicited all the families featured in the show via the newsletter and Web site. Early signs of the Web-to-TV conversion are promising, he said. When TLC held tryouts in Baltimore, 300 people showed up. That's about 10 times the turnout Discovery normally gets while recruiting in cities for reality shows.
TV show downloads
Home Made Simple, which began offering music downloads via the Web site earlier this year, will also make scenes from the show available online.
Creative Artists Agency brokered the deal between P&G and TLC, with P&G Productions providing advice during the two-plus years the project has been in development.
"P&G has been in the entertainment business since 1933 with Oxydol's 'Ma Perkins' [radio soap opera]," a spokeswoman said, adding that its "Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" TV soaps have been on air more than 117 years combined. "They'll survive and thrive and entertain millions of viewers day in and day out."