Adhering to the emerging strategy in this cluttered and fragmented media marketplace that it's better to "own rather than rent" content, the Anglo-Dutch package-goods titan will be doing a time-buy on the Peacock on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 3:00(EDT)for "Degree Road to the Ironman," a one-hour reality special chronicling the exploits of a group of athletes as they prepare and train for the Ironman triathlon competition.
"The two brands are like peas in a pod. What we found, which is why we signed the deal, is that it takes heart and soul, not just physical prowess , to get to the starting line. Degree embodies the same thing," said Allison Harmon, manager of marketing communications for Degree, based in Chicago.
%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% The TV special, which was developed by the client in conjunction with branded content mavens Tattoo DDB, Chicago, and Banjo, San Francisco, evolved from a deal in February. Degree signed an exclusive, multi-year North American licensing agreement with Ironman Properties, which includes such components as a national contest for a six-month training and salary reimbursement to train for an Ironman triathlon and a Degree Ironman line of five SKUs. This includes three new scents: Extreme Blast, Sport, and Cool Rush.
The network was not involved in creative development of the TV special; Tattoo DDB and Banjo walked NBC through a rough treatment at the outset. Unilever paid for production.
This deal is similar to the Rocco DiSpirito vehicle "The Restaurant"—it had its six-episode run this summer—, in that it's another creative example of a brand marketer alleviating a network's financial burden in exchange for the opportunity to transcend the branding limitations in a traditional media buy.
IPG's Magna Global Entertainment funded the production of the show—waiving the network license fee—and sold product-integration packages (including marketing rights for the show) to American Express, Coors, and Mitsubishi. Magna and co-producer Reveille retain full equity of the property.