Cable's Super Bowl of branded entertainment, HGTV's Dream Home series, is kicking off January
1, and with a slew of big-name sponsors like Walt Disney Co. and Procter &
Gamble, among others.
Presented by Scripps Networks Interactive's HGTV, the Dream Home series invites viewers to
enter a drawing for a so-called "Dream Home" decorated by interior designers
and furnished with products to suit every budget. The series has become a major
destination for branded entertainment players eager to have their products
showcased at the house. And while the series concludes on February 19 with the
home being presented to the winner, the products are promoted at the HGTV Website
year round. More than 40 million people entered last year's competition, making
both a TV event and a multi-million dollar pay-day for the ad sales staff.
For marketers the attraction of Dream Home is viewers' ability to see where all the items were
purchased and go and furnish their homes in the same style. The 2010 house is
located in New Mexico
and is a contemporary design, rather than traditional, which has been the norm.
HGTV has been working closely with Walt Disney Co. to
integrate two movie promotions into the event. Disney has increased its
participation in the event over the years and its home entertainment division
will sponsor and decorate a kid's play room with Alice in Wonderland motifs. Disney is releasing the Alice in Wonderland movie on March 5, 2010.
The company will also be previewing a teaser of Toy Story 3 as part of the give-away special on January 1. Merchandise
will be present in the kid's room.
Procter & Gamble is planning to promote three brands,
Febreze air freshener, Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty and Duracell. General
Motors will also have a car parked in the drive way for the successful family.
While Procter & Gamble, Disney and GM are a returning
presence, HGTV is bringing in three first-time sponsors: chocolate company
Lindt, Dole Foods and Intuit, which owns home finance software QuickBooks. The
appearance of three brands, not naturally associated with the housing category,
appears to signal a widening interest in the long running competition.
Donna Stephens, senior VP of ad sales at HGTV, said the
Lindt chocolates appear on screen in bowls dotted around the house. The ad
sales unit pitched the chocolatier with a concept about the "dreaminess of the
home in New Mexico,
known as the land of enchantment," explained Stephens, and they went for that
Dole meanwhile will fill the SubZero branded fridge with
fruit and vegetables and will have placement during a party at the home.
The Intuit software will be seen as part of a segment on how
winning the home comes with financial obligations. Designers will also discuss
ways to get organized and viewers will see the product in the home office.
"It is the best example of how we're about to take a
property and connect advertisers with viewers who are so passionate about Dream Home," said Stephens. "Our
partners such as Sub-Zero and Lumber Liquidators tell us how much feedback they
get from viewers."