The 6-year-old cable channel kicks off an estimated $5 million ad effort Oct. 29 geared to holiday entertaining. "Let's talk turkey" will be the theme of ads aimed at driv-ing people to the cable station and its Web site (foodtv.com).
Some of the ads were handled in-house, others by Friedland Jacobs, Los Angeles. The campaign, running in print, radio, outdoor and transit, includes shots of a turkey along with saucy lines such as "Turkey. Cook one so you don't look like one" and "Great legs, tender breasts. Recipes, menus and more at foodtv.com."
For Christmas, the theme "Seasons eatings" will kick off Nov. 28 with such quips as "Ham, yam, bam. Watch 'Emeril Live.' " Print executions will run in a combination of publications such as The New York Times Magazine, People, TV Guide and USA Today; network viewership is split equally among men and women.
Radio spots in 25 markets will feature local contests to win a free turkey and prompt listeners to the network and Web site for recipes. The network's taglines will also grace the sides of buses, grocery checkouts and even possibly coffee cups, said Heidi Diamond, senior VP-marketing and business development at the Food Network.
The cable channel will also revamp its Web site in an attempt to compete more effectively against a growing roster of food and entertainment sites. Foodtv.com will include a new search engine for recipes as well as holiday-themed features such as how to gauge the proper size of turkey for your dinner party and e-mailed recipes for the "12 Cookies of Christmas."
Food Network has been pretty quiet in consumer advertising up until now, but with 42 million subscribers, a growing viewership and the rising popularity of celebrity chefs, the food-filled holiday season provided a great opportunity to reach new viewers, Ms. Diamond said.
MORE THAN EMERIL
In an effort to draw attention to personalities beyond its biggest star, New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, Food Network continues to push programs including "The Iron Chef" and "Alton Brown's Good Eats." A new program, "Gordon Elliott's Door Knock Dinners," features Mr. Elliott, a 6-foot-7 Australian who will turn up on consumers' doorsteps to create unplanned dinner parties with ingredients they have on hand. The show will debut Oct. 31.
In 1997, Food Network was purchased by media conglomerate E.W. Scripps Co., the owner of multiple newspapers and Home & Garden Television. Eric Ober, former CBS News president, was named president-general manager of Food Network as part of a