Would you like fries with your final answer?

There is nothing like the visibility created by a hyper-successful TV series to help move product. Just ask Hostess Frito Lay and McDonald's who have partnered, respectively, with Survivor: The Australian Outback and Who Wants to be a Millionaire to flog...

There is nothing like the visibility created by a hyper-successful TV series to help move product. Just ask Hostess Frito Lay and McDonald’s who have partnered, respectively, with Survivor: The Australian Outback and Who Wants to be a Millionaire to flog their food wares.

According to Hostess, business for the two featured products was up: Doritos by 27% and Ruffles by about 25%. During the promo period the company gained five share points. ‘When you have a property that reaches kids, teens and adults, it just gives you a much better chance of being successful, and this one touched all of those,’ says VP of marketing Jeff Swearingen. ‘I think one of the things that made it so successful for us is that it was a fully integrated promotion.’

The campaign included TV advertising, product placement in episodes of Survivor and extensive in-store support from grocery retailers. ‘In fact,’ says Swearingen, ‘we had over 20,000 displays, some of those over 200 square feet in size. It had a consumer overlay, with to win $100,000 if they choose the final Survivor. It was done both online and mail-in.’

Consumers were lured to Doritos.com to enter for the big prize: ‘The number of entrants was something like 10 times our previous high participation,’ says Swearingen. ‘Survivor is a cultural phenomenon.’

The crowning touch is a new Doritos commercial on the final episode of Survivor. BBDO sped up production to produce a Canadian Doritos commercial for Global’s May 3 airdate.

Asked about the true tie of a product like Doritos to a show like Survivor, Swearingen said, ‘It might sound canned, but I think Survivor is about delivering the ultimate experience and what we try to do is deliver the ultimate snacking experience.’

Meanwhile, the ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Game’ at McDonald’s began April 19 and runs to May 17 across North America. Similar to the show, winnings will range from $100 to $1 million. Low-level prizes range from $1 to $5 McDonald’s gift certificates and food prizes like apple pies and cheeseburgers.

The campaign falls in line with previous McDonald’s promotional efforts, such as its long-running Monopoly promotion. This time, McDonald’s decided to partner with an adult Disney property in Millionaire.

Rem Langan, VP of marketing at McDonald’s Canada, says it’s about rewarding existing customers while gaining new customers in a fun and exciting way. The promo is supported by TV and radio campaigns as well as POP that focuses on the opportunity to win $1 million.

Speaking of food:

More taxpayer money into fiddlehead development, please. Take it from the CBC’s budget if you must. Eastwood Marketing informs us that professional chefs will be cooking up new recipes that promote fiddleheads in conjunction with a contest that will see one winning chef awarded a trip for two to a Superclub resort. It’s all part of Eastwood’s soon-to-be-announced plan to launch a new fine food company.

With any luck, healthy Canadians from coast to coast will soon be able to grab a bag out of vending machines to satisfy snack attacks. And watch for future fiddlehead product placement and promos in shows like next year’s Survivor: The Canadian Frost Bite.

My entry: Fiddleheads are especially good with butter, lemon and lots of salt.