People magazine fired up hosts of NBC’s “Today” show with an Independence Day-inspired cook-off on June 25 on Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The competition baked in all of the magazine’s assets, including in-book, on-air, digital, social and consumer activations to promote Great Ideas, one of its most successful features, and support its advertisers.
“The goal was to leverage the power, access, inspiration and influence of the People brand to build awareness for the Great Ideas franchise and drive product trial for our advertisers in a fun, interactive environment this summer,” says Jacqueline Cuddeback, associate publisher/marketing, at People.
The culinary competition, which featured the show’s anchors, aired live during a “Today” segment, and the entertainment show “Extra” also filmed the event for TV. The recipes ran in the July 7 issue of People. Here’s a look at the onsite activation:
A branded People Great Ideas Food Truck parked on the “Today” show plaza provided the backdrop for the experience where “Today” show hosts went head-to-head in the cook-off. Among the contenders: Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie’s Red, White and Blue Shortcake Sundae in a Jar, which won the Great Ideas Golden Spatula trophy; Natalie Morales’ Sweet Potato Salad and Al Roker’s Beer Can Chicken. People editor Jess Cagle and “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi served as judges.
After the cook-off, the truck moved to 48th Street where Guthrie, Roker, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush stopped by to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. Brand ambassadors distributed 4,000 People magazine Great Ideas Summer Swag bags filled with products from the event’s sponsors, including Lay’s Kettle Chips, Hellman’s Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil, Neutrogena, Fig Newtons and Slimfast.
Pre- and post-event social media coverage garnered millions of posts, tweets and shares. Agency: Michael Alan Group, New York City.