General Motors’ Buick division is partnering with NBCUniversal’s Esquire Network for a first-time sponsorship of season three of foodie show “Knife Fight.” As presenting partner, Buick gets multiplatform integration with marketing elements on the television network, plus digital and social expansion for Season Three, which kicks off May 26.
Buick gets the Regal GS in all 15 episodes, plus separate digital and social elements. The network says some episodes feature host Ilan Hall cruising around in the Buick Regal GS, looking for ingredients, things that might include bullfrogs and live eels, which the contestants must use to create something edible. That is probably not out of the realm of possibility since each competing chef is a winner of the James Beard award.
Chris Hornberger, Buick promotions manager, tells Marketing Daily that the integration reflects a deliberate effort to target a more male-oriented epicurean audience. “It's one of our first times going out there with a male-dominated epicurean experience,” he said of the show. “Our involvement is very contextual; we told them our goals and objectives, and they did a great job fitting us into their content.”
In the show, Hall drives a Regal GS to do things like gather ingredients, things that might include bullfrogs and live eels, that the contestants must use to create something edible. That is probably not out of the realm of the possible since each chef is a winner of the James Beard award. “It's a lot of great, surprising ingredients, and it goes after a male audience, and culinary tastes,” says Hornberger. He says GM's media agency, Carat, approached the brand with the idea.
As he goes about his business in the Regal GS, Hall demonstrates such features as 4G LTE, navigation, backup camera and safety technology. Buick is also in the show’s online digital-short program, “Eat Like a Man,” comprising five 30-second vignettes that follow Hall and chef Kris Morningstar around Brooklyn’s hip restaurant scene in the Buick Encore compact crossover.
Molly Peck, Buick marketing director, said in a statement that over 40% of Buick buyers are new to the brand. “It’s because of partnerships like Esquire Network’s that we are able to reach new audiences and introduce them to the modern Buick sedans and crossovers.”
Said Deena Stern, SVP, marketing solutions E! and Esquire Network, in the release: “This partnership strategically connects both [Buick and "Knife Fight"] audiences through an immersive 360-degree solution with custom content and illustrates Esquire Network’s unique advertising opportunities.”