Sponsors leverage popularity of Popstars TV show

Viewers of the popular Global TV show, Popstars: Boy Meets Girl, can't have failed to notice the presence of several major sponsors since the show's March 1 premiere.

Viewers of the popular Global TV show, Popstars: Boy Meets Girl, can’t have failed to notice the presence of several major sponsors since the show’s March 1 premiere.

Unilever’s Salon Selectives was on board right from the start of the filming process last August, and toured with show producer, Toronto-based Lone Eagle Entertainment, to auditions around the country, holding ‘freshen-up booths’ filled with styling products for the young wannabes hoping to be selected as part of a band.

‘The whole thing was caught on camera so it’s great advertising for us,’ says Sharon Macleod, brand manager at Salon Selectives. ‘We were there throughout the auditions to take advantage of the fact that there were thousands of young people coming through getting exposure to our products.’ Salon Selectives also built a database of the people attending auditions, to use for future direct marketing campaigns.

A draw was held by the brand in every city where auditions were held, offering a $2,000 cash prize to one of the young wannabes taking part in the audition process. Those being auditioned were also invited to take part in a competition to win a ‘Hollywood haircut’ by Salon Selectives’ popular stylist, Richard Marin (whose credit list includes three years working with the cast of the TV show Friends), to be televised during an upcoming episode. Marin will also give makeovers to the selected band members during one of the final episodes.

‘We have incorporated Salon Selectives equity into the series right from the start,’ says Chris Geddes, marketing manager at Lone Eagle.

And Salon Selectives is also on the Popstars.ca Web site, inviting viewers to participate in an online polling game which features Salon Selectives products.

While all the sponsors are taking advantage of the show’s teen-to-25 target demo to promote products to the youth market, Geddes says ratings have shown the biggest group of viewers is the female 18-to-34 age group.

‘Popstars is a perfect strategic fit for us because we are a young brand,’ says Macleod, adding that the brand hopes to continue its relationship with Popstars in future shows.

Another of the show’s sponsors, Clean & Clear is planning a contest to run on the Popstars Web site, offering viewers the chance to make it on to an episode. The brand will also be sponsoring a live media performance to be made by the chosen band.

Rogers AT&T plans to leverage its sponsorship deal to promote its V100 text-messaging device on the show, and Dentyne Ice also has promotional plans under development. And two major retailers are in talks with Lone Eagle to be featured on future shows during ‘meet and greet’ sessions with the band.

All the sponsors have the benefit of having their logos splashed across the Popstars Web site, which Geddes says has already received more than 2.2 million hits since the show’s launch.

Mortgage lender fights

tight marketplace

with multi-pronged promo

Quebec’s biggest mortgage lender is fighting off growing competition with a new promo designed to pull in those extra customers.

Desjardins has launched a contest offering five mortgage borrowers who take out disability insurance the chance to win the value of their own house, up to a maximum of $300,000. New customers are also enticed with a 4.5% rebate for the first seven- to 10-year term. The promo runs from March 1 until the end of July.

‘It is a tough time for the mortgage industry,’ says Andre Chapleau, director of PR at Desjardins. ‘We increased our market share last year and we are aiming to increase it further this year, but we face a lot of competition from the major banks nowadays.’

The promo targets all market segments within Desjardins’ 25- to 54-year-old target demographic, but Chapleau says the mortgage lender particularly hopes to attract first-time homeowners in the 25-to-34 age bracket with this promo.

Desjardins has also leveraged an existing relationship with the 27 furniture stores in Quebec that offer Desjardins’ financing scheme. Visitors to these stores during the promo can receive between six and 36 months of interest-free credit. And $250 gift certificates, exchangeable within these stores, are being awarded to all new borrowers.

‘We have built this partnership up over the years and thought it would be a good idea to bring the stores into the promotion,’ says Chapleau.

A radio campaign to support the promo ran for three weeks in March in all regions of Quebec. Print ads launched in Quebec newspapers and magazines on March 23.

Other promotional elements include ATM notices and Web banners. Posters and flyers are being displayed in and around the Desjardins branches.

The campaign was designed by the Federation des caisses Desjardins du Quebec, and the ad campaign executed by Montreal-based Marketel.