Sundance Channel, which doesn't take traditional advertising and continues to pursue product placement dollars, has a deal with Subaru, in which one of its vehicles will have an integral role in a new reality series.
The show, which seems to tap into the food-truck craze in major cities, has two restaurateurs cruising in an Outback crossover vehicle and setting up culinary stands for a night only.
The series is tabbed "Ludo Bites America" with Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre and debuts July 19. Sundance is in about 40 million homes.
Subaru will also air vignettes that look to link its brand with values such as "adventure" and "social responsibility." In fact, one topic is food trucks, which involve considerable entrepreneurial spirit and presumably adhere to admirable fuel standards.
The initial vignette will air during an extended break in the premiere episode.
Sundance said that "Ludo" dovetails with an adventurous Subaru brand as the eponymous chef leaves behind the traditional restaurant business and gambles on the road. Subaru also has a presence on the "Ludo Bites America" Web site.
Part of the new AMC Networks, Sundance, which targets adults 25 to 54, bills itself as a venue to reach upscale consumers and a network willing to work with brands to create branded entertainment. The network says 60% of its audience is male and launched its first original scripted programming last fall.
In June, Sundance hired Michael Lehrer as vice president, strategic marketing to work on attracting sponsorship dollars. He held a similar role at MTV.