Creating inspiring brands.

A sponsorship that could taste better

Everyone knows what MasterChef is, a TV reality show on cooking open to amateurs who are good cooks. The second season just started. I adore watching these kinds of shows where I can learn and apply the cooking secrets in my own kitchen. But the show is also an excellent lesson in sponsorship gone wrong. The aim of this show is to transform regular cooks into master chefs that will be able to prepare food in their homes on the level of famous Croatian cooks.

I was surprised by the fact that many ingredients used by competitors during food preparation were neither natural nor fresh, but frozen and canned products. I doubt that master chefs that compose the jury of this show use these ingredients when they cook for themselves or for their guests. In fact, I am certain that they try to use fresh, seasonal and organically grown food.

For example the show promotes cooking meals with Dukat cooking cream. Don’t get me wrong, Dukat can be the sponsor but not with its readymade products. I understand that the show is an excellent opportunity for product placement. However, the wrong choice of the sponsors is something that harms the image of the show, as it is not in harmony with the values that Masterchef should promote.

For sponsorship to be successful, it is very important to choose those brands that embody the values of your own brand, but also the ones that can enrich your brand with new positive associations. Brands such as Dukat and Gavrilovic improve their own image, but what happenes with the image of Masterchef. Instead of building the image of top-level, professional and gourmand brand, Masterchef lists as sponsors brands that the real master chefs would never use in their kitchen. My advice would be that the show features smaller local producers such as Klara Marić, The Nin Saltworks, Dairy Farm Veronika, or other producers, which are numerous on our market and are not as well known altough it’s obvious that small brands can’t afford this kind of presence.

This means that big brands can be the sponsors in the show but the competitors shouldn’t use them when cooking the meals. In that way, Masterchef would build its image as a high quality and authentic brand.


nenad says: 18. 1. 2013. at 09:07

Even though article rings true, the problem really lies in the costly production of this show. Masterchef would need several hundreds Klara Marićs, Nin Saltworks and Veronikas to cover it’s costs. Brands mentioned in the article do not have resources to produce tv commercials, let alone meet the sponsor duties imposed by the high standards of a franchised show. In the entire state of Croatia there are only a few FMCG brands that can reach the bar and all of them are not considered gourmet by any standard. The question here is whether great branding synergy is more important than the production of the show and since the company faced with that decision is a media company…

Brandoctor says: 19. 1. 2013. at 16:52

I agree, but for the sake of brand image and also to push smaller yet great Croatian brands that Masterchef should have had brands like Klara Marić or Nin Solane.
The point is that Dukat or any other big brand could use Masterchef to advertise the corporate brand but not cooking cream which real cooks don’t use.

Brandoctor says: 31. 1. 2013. at 21:52

Yes, but French and also Belgians use homemade cream that do not have artificial thickeners such as industrial cooking cream. They use it in various meals, even with mussels 🙂

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