HGTV Says Smart Home Will Conserve Green Sponsors
2013 house giveaway attracts new advertisers
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/20/2012 12:01:00 AM
The Scripps Networks Interactive channel is changing the Green Home it's been giving away to viewers into a Smart Home, and says the evolution is attracting additional sponsors.
Donna Stephens, senior VP for ad sales at HGTV, says that the fifth season of Green Home was the network's best ever, with 35 million entries from viewers and a record 13 sponsors. Two new advertisers have signed on to sponsor the new Smart Home.
Discovery Communications felt that there wasn't enough business to grow its Planet Green network, recently rebranded as Destination America, but green still means go for HGTV, according to Stephens.
"We love the green concept. Our viewers love it," she said. "What we found, especially when we went to CES this past year, is that smart and green go hand in hand."
Smart Home technology helps regulate energy use, control heat and cooling levels, turn appliances on and off and run security systems. Many of those systems also contribute to making a home more green. HGTV considered starting a separate Smart Home giveaway, but decided to merge the concepts. "We thought about it, but then realized they're too intertwined to separate them," Stephens said.
When sponsored gathered during the winter when the last Green Home was given away, they were told about the Smart Home idea.
"They were thrilled, so yes, I am very confident that all the advertisers I had in 2012 plus additional advertisers will be in in 2013," Stephens said.
By broadening the concept to include both smart and green products, HGTV has broadened its base of potential advertisers. At CES, Stephens said there were partnerships being formed to create apps that could control heating and cooling systems and appliances, even iPads built into refrigerators.
Tablets is a category getting the Smart Home pitch from HGTV. "We are talking to all those guys. Apple is a big advertiser on our network and we're presenting it to all the different tablet companies.
New advertisers already signed up for the first Smart Home are ADT, which will be the home automation and security provider in the Smart Home and Bassett furniture.
Among last year's Green Home sponsors, GMC is already on board as a Smart Home sponsor with its Terrain model. Also joining the move from Green to Smart is Sherwin Williams.
The other sponsors of this year's Green Home were Moen, Shaw Floors, Bush Brothers & Co., Dasani, Char-Broil, Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Petco, Rinnai America Corp. and TREX.
During the recently completed upfront, other advertisers were told there was a home giveaway in the second quarter. Details about the switch from Green to Smart are now being disseminated.
"The interesting thing is we still believe that even though the home is going to be a Smart home, we will still be able to achieve a very high [green] certification," Stephens says. "We're very positive about smart and green living together. It was such a natural evolution and that's why I think advertisers have embraced it with as much enthusiasm as we have. And it will make a great program on air."
HGTV last week announced that its first Smart Home will be built in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. HGTV viewers can enter for a chance to win the home in April. They can also follow the progress of construction at www.hgtv/smarthome.
The Smart Home will be 2,400 square feet with more than 1,000 square feet of covered porches, decks and pool.
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