FYI 02.14.08

Dr Pepper Presides at Valentine's Day Wedding; Plus Food Network, Fuel

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Dr Pepper presides at Vegas wedding
This Valentine's Day, couples looking for a quickie Vegas wedding got a bit more than they bargained for.
Dr. Pepper/Yahoo wedding website

Dr Pepper teamed up with Yahoo to host a wedding extravaganza at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas as part of a promotion for the launch of Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper. The brand tapped Pauly Shore (remember him from "Encino Man"?) and Mario Lopez (yes, that guy from "Saved by the Bell") to host actual weddings. Tay Zonday, who gained a following for husky rendition of "Chocolate Rain" on YouTube, will also be on hand.

The happy couples have three types of ceremonies to choose from: a traditional white wedding, a cherry chocolate wedding, or a rock n' roll theme -- Elvis impersonator included. After the festivities, Dr Pepper will host a reception, with free flowing Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper for all. But, if you can't make it to Las Vegas, all is not lost. You can tune in to watch the weddings live. -- Natalie Zmuda
Food Network eats up brand integrations
When the Food Network airs the first episode of "Ultimate Recipe Showdown Sunday," there will be a new item on the menu besides a plethora of competing cooks' recipes: brand integration. The channel is partnering with T.G.I. Friday's to bring winning recipes to the chain's restaurants as limited-time offers. Friday's is also advertising in each show, providing the $25,000 prize money for all six episodes, and will post Food Network signage in its locations. This is the network's first partnership of this kind.
Guy Fieri and Marc Summers of Ultimate Recipe Showdown Sunday
Photo: Scott Brinegar/Food Network

Guy Fieri and Marc Summers of 'Ultimate Recipe Showdown Sunday.'

"When we looked at TGIF and their brand profile seems to us to be very much for the home chef," said Karen Grinthal, senior VP-ad sales for Food Network. "They follow trends in food, they bring family and friends together, their focus is social, good fun." Ms. Grinthal said that because the show is a competition of "really talented amateurs" cooking for their family and friends, the partnership "felt psychographically right."

Recipe Showdown host Guy Fieri, a California restauranteur and winner of "The Food Network's Next Star," is also getting a piece of the pie. Mr. Fieri has his own deal with Friday's to be the spokesperson for a national media campaign, including TV spots, promoting the partnership.

Few cable TV channels are as hungry for integration as the Food Network. Adoring fans tune in religiously for the last word on stock pots, box graters, and what kind of mustard is best for emulsifying vinaigrettes. Ms. Grinthal said Food Network shows will remain free of product placement, but said that the integrations are just beginning. Friday's worked with media-buying agency Deutsch to assemble the T.G.I. Friday's deal.

Later this month Food Network and Ingrid Hoffman, host of Simply Delicioso, a Miami-based program featuring Latin-inspired dishes, will partner with Tostitos to create interstitial content in which Ms. Hoffman uses Tostitos in her kitchen, but not as part of her regular show. For its part, Tostitos is putting Ms. Hoffman's likeness, and the Food Network's logo, on 150 million bags of chips, Ms. Grinthal said. -- Emily Bryson York
Fuse lights up commercial-free concert series
Rainbow Media's Fuse Network is going commercial free for the kickoff of a new concert series, "Fuse Rocks the Garden." The premiere concert featuring the Foo Fighters, which airs Feb. 19 at 11 p.m. EST, will be sponsored exclusively by Warner Independent studios to promote the release of its film "Funny Games," opening March 14.

Jason Miller, senior VP-ad sales at Fuse, said the deal came out of discussions the network had already been having with Warner Independent to kick off their TV campaign for "Funny Games" the night before the Foo Fighters concert. "They were very intrigued by the ability to gain ownership of a first-time event," Mr. Miller said. In addition to being bookended by 30-second spots for the film at the start and finish, the concert at New York's Madison Square Garden will also feature six pop-up ads for "Funny Games" airing throughout the initial one-hour telecast.

The network is open to continuing the single-sponsor ad model as the series continues. Currently, the plan is to air new "Fuse Rocks the Garden" concerts quarterly, but that could change as more talent comes on board, Mr. Miller added. -- Andrew Hampp
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