Industry split on whether MasterChef supports its sponsors

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The major appliance industry is divided on whether product placement and sponsorship agreements with TV shows such as MasterChef Australia is beneficial, with receiving conflicting feedback to our BrandWatch special report last Friday.

Based on the findings from this minute-by-minute report, a number of major sponsors were not featured at all in the programme, and some partnership brands were displaced by rival products within the show. Of all the brands listed as major partners, only products by Panasonic and Hyundai were clearly visible during the show.

David Card, the founder of ChilliPepper Appliances and a 20-year veteran of the industry, said that this wasn’t especially relevant, as sponsors get more value from being a part of the MasterChef Website.

“The real value is not the TV exposure but the on-line branding exposure the sponsors have got on the MasterChef website.” Card said.

“The website is getting thousands of hits: I believe this is far better exposure that just TV. The show drives consumers to the website. For MasterChef the trick is effective relevant integration that adds value to the consumer experience. I think the MasterChef website has managed this well.”

On the other hand, one longtime marketing professional at a major appliance company said the exposure on MasterChef does not represent good value for money.

This marketer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that his company had been approached to sponsor MasterChef Australia twice: for the first season and for the second season. At first, he claims, the MasterChef producers did not ask for money – just “an awful lot of products” to be used and featured in the show. One year later, the producers again enquired, this time asking for both products and money. On both occasions, this company declined.

LG Electronics was eventually announced as the first season partner.

“We watched with great interest to see what coverage LG would get, and I felt totally vindicated when not once did I see a camera sweep past their brand on product, or if it did it was out of focus in the background,” said this insider.

LG Electronics has both publicly and privately told that it is very happy with the coverage and exposure it received on the first season of MasterChef Australia.

Log on to to read our second installment of MasterChef Australia BrandWatch.

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