ABC’s “The Taste” reveals sponsors


ABCABC’s new cooking competition series, “The Taste,” produced by Kinetic Content, has created multi-platform integration partnerships with several of the nation’s leading advertisers. Premiering with a special two-hour episode 1/22 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the series features four masters in the food world: Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey, who will act as “taste” mentors to the 16 contestants made up of pro chefs and home cooks. At the end of each episode, the mentors will have to judge the competitors’ dishes blind.

The partnerships include Hellmann’s/Best Foods, Ford, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods Market, Alamos and Southwest Airlines. Hellmann’s/Best Foods is sponsoring the “The Blue Ribbon Challenge,” a “real-time” competition where five separate winners will have the opportunity to appear on the series. Chef/restaurateur Brian Malarkey will deliver a call-to-action message in the first three episodes encouraging viewers to play along at home and enter their own recipe using Hellmann’s/Best Foods as an ingredient. The winners will then be chosen by the Unilever Test Kitchen judges.

To support the fight against breast cancer, the show will feature Ford’s “Warriors in Pink” campaign in which talent will wear specially-designed aprons (featuring messages of hope, strength and unity). The aprons will be available for sale to the public and Ford will donate 100% of the net proceeds dedicated to the cause with donations going to charities that offer a wide-range of support. Ford is taking part in an interactive online viewer sweepstakes offering one grand prize winner the chance to win a one-on-one cooking session with one of the mentors. In addition, Ford has provided five 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrids to be incorporated into one of the episodes. The season one winner of “The Taste” will be handed the keys to the all-new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid.

Southwest Airlines provided airfare for all the contestants and is featured in the premiere episode.

Williams-Sonoma Stores nationwide has offered in-store promotables such as point of purchase customer handouts, cook-top signage and a back cover placement in their popular annual catalog distributed to more than 50 million homes. Digital offerings include monthly emails to their current customers, and prominent website placement which includes direct links, talent Q&As, banner ads and social media posts. In addition, all 260 Williams-Sonoma stores are offering a 45-minute cooking technique class for up to 30 people on February 10 where customers can “act as a contestant” in the store to gain valuable cooking techniques, learn new recipes, have a taste and then shop.

The Whole Foods Market is the exclusive destination where contestants shop for ingredients in a nearby store location. Their social media effort includes blog posts on the official Whole Foods Market blog titled, “Whole Story,” episode teasers sent to current customers before and after the integration episodes and tune-in information posted on the Whole Foods Market Facebook page and Twitter handle.

The Alamos Wines segment appears in episode four, titled “Daring Pairings,” where dishes are paired with one of their most popular red wines, the Alamos Malbec.