Bravo Media is launching an original video series for Top Chef sponsor Celebrity Cruises featuring Isaac Toups, one of the show’s popular contestants, cooking his way across the Caribbean.
The branded content series, Isaac Takes On, starts Monday. Three new episodes air weekly through April 3.
The entire nine-episode digital series will be available on BravoTV.com. It will be promoted on Bravo as well as on the network’s digital platforms. It will also be pushed via parent NBCUniversal’s Social Sync, which will target consumers across the social pages of NBCU talent and properties.
The series follow Toups, a fan favorite from season 13 of Top Chef, on a vacation aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection. Toups interacts with the Celebrity crew, including chef Cornelius Gallagher, and whips up a series of dishes ranging from the Puerto Rican dish Mofongo to specialty cocktails.
Each episode opens with a pre-roll ad for Celebrity. The content highlights the Celebrity brand but runs without further commercial interruption. Celebrity is also running commercials on Bravo.
Advertisers have been looking for marketing programs that go beyond 30-second commercials, and networks have been building up units to produce branded content and distribute and promote brands via digital platforms and social media.
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“With the launch of Isaac Takes On, Bravo is reinforcing its commitment to developing original digital content,” said Lisa Hsia, executive VP of digital at Bravo and Oxygen Media. “We’re excited to deepen our partnership with Celebrity Cruises and continue to push the boundaries of digital storytelling by creating snack-able content appealing to fans’ passion points including travel, food, pop culture and beyond.”
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Celebrity Cruises has been a Top Chef sponsor since 2013. The show and the cruise line collaborate on the Top Chef at Sea experience, which offers fans and foodies an opportunity to sail with Top Chef contestants each year.
“We’re thrilled to work with Celebrity to create engaging, premium video content that feels so authentic for both of our brands,” said Laura Molen, executive VP of lifestyle and Hispanic advertising sales group at NBCUniversal. “We’ve seen the tastemaker audience of Bravo crave more online content and a series like this is the perfect way to satisfy that appetite and work with a marketer in a way that only NBCUniversal can.”
Terms of the sponsorship deal were not disclosed.
Celebrity Cruises will continue to offer interactive Quickfire Challenges and Top Chef-inspired menus on some of its vacations later this year.
“We are excited about this partnership as it gives our guests a peek into what it takes to develop and invent exquisite culinary creations using top quality ingredients inspired by different cultures from around the world,” Cornelius Gallagher, associate VP of food and beverage operations at Celebrity Cruises.
Isaac Takes On is produced by the Magical Elves, the award-winning company behind Top Chef, with Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Doneen Arquines and Casey Kriley serving as executive producers.
NBCU’s Network Partnerships was also involved in this project and spearheaded the relationship between the network and client.