Event marketers have long been aware of the benefits of experiential programs when it comes to creating awareness, changing brand perception and making that all-important one-on-one connection with their target audience. In the case of Taste of Home, a Trusted Media Brands publication that has activated live event programs with sponsors and advertisers for years, experiential has opened the door to digital events on Facebook Live. The result? A new channel for its sponsors and advertisers.
It all began with Galbani, which for the past three years has sponsored Taste of Home’s Kids in the Kitchen activation at Kids Fest, a family-friendly event held in New York City’s Madison Square Park. At this year’s event, which took place Oct. 14, Taste of Home featured the cheese brand, along with Jones Sausage, in kid-friendly cooking demos led by a culinary specialist from its Milwaukee test kitchen. The chef engaged the crowd as she concocted tasty sausage pancake pops, veggie pizza grilled cheese and fruit and ricotta pastries for sampling. The brand distributed recipe cards and coupons to encourage at-home follow-up.
Over time, Taste of Home’s Kids Fest activation has left Galbani hungry for more, so this year the brand signed up as the inaugural sponsor of Taste of Home’s Test Kitchen Live, which runs as Galbani-branded segments on Facebook Live. Two programs have run so far, spotlighting a “Marvelous Cannoli Cake” and a pizza ring, with two more videos in the works for November.
“Seeing the success of how the recipe demos played out in person made Galbani realize there is an opportunity to replicate that across social, and inspired us to explore doing these digital events this year, which is the first time they have ventured into the space” says Joe Losardo, executive brand director at Taste of Home and Reader’s Digest. “We built off our successful recipe-driven digital and events program to create social videos that resonate with our Facebook and Instagram communities, and then furthered that dialogue through Galbani-branded segments on Facebook Live.”
So, one could say that experiential and social go together like, uh… sausage and pancakes. Or, maybe pizza and cheese. Losardo, no doubt, would agree. “Experiential and social continue to be two big growth areas for Taste of Home as the publication creates more custom and multi-channel programs for advertising partners,” he says.