This morning, Rachael Ray had an interesting laundry segment - "4 Amazing Tips That Will Make Laundry Day the Best Day of the Week." At the end of the segment the new LG Twin Wash was featured. It was integrated well with the editorial segment, however, as a public relations executive, I could tell this was a brand integration. But, could the consumer? Even if they could tell, did it take away from the brand messaging? I found this particular integration to be well executed. Here's what made it a good integration and how you can you judge which sponsorships will work for your brand.
1. Pick a partner that makes sense. This sounds simple but there are a number of things to consider. Does the partner/media host truly believe in your brand and/or product? Are they easy to work with and willing to make the coverage look seamless? Would your brand normally be featured on that show or in that magazine? If your answer is no to any of these questions it might not be the best partnership.
2. Secure a credited/trustworthy spokesperson. Who will be speaking in the media? Is the spokesperson affiliated with the brand? To make sure your messaging is believable and credible, pick an expert in the field who is not attached to the brand.
3. Create an editorial story, not just a sponsorship. You'll come across as more credible if you create an editorial segment that includes other ideas, tips or products in addition to your brand. Make the information interesting and useful to your target consumers.
4. Weigh cost versus return. Many integrations can be costly. If sales is your top motivation, analyze how many sales you would need to make the integration worthwhile and gauge if reaching that goal is realistically attainable. If awareness is a higher priority, is the cost worth the amount of reach? If you're looking for credibility, is the implied endorsement from the outlet or host worth the cost?
I like the LG integration which seems to also include the title of "the official home appliance sponsor of The Rachael Ray Show.". They created an interesting editorial segment with a credible spokesperson, included advertising presence on the Rachael Ray site and garnered the implied endorsement of Rachael Ray herself.
Check out the segment at http://rach.tv/1KZUTbJ