Popular DIY sites make space for brands that blend in » Media in Canada

Popular DIY sites make space for brands that blend in

At the 19th Annual Gemini Awards, the redesigned roomservice.ca site was named most popular Web site. The site is the online property of five-season HGTV favourite, the Room Service design series hosted by Sarah Richardson. This month, designinc.ca was unveiled to complement Design Inc., a new show from interior designer Richardson and producer Michael Prini, which launched on HGTV in October. Airing Tuesday evenings, Design Inc. has consistently ranked in the top 10 since it launched on HGTV in fall 2004.
Both sites offer advertisers an interactive way to reach the designerati, if their brands pass aesthetic muster.

At the 19th Annual Gemini Awards, the redesigned roomservice.ca site was named most popular Web site. The site is the online property of five-season HGTV favourite, the Room Service design series hosted by Sarah Richardson. This month, designinc.ca was unveiled to complement Design Inc., a new show from interior designer Richardson and producer Michael Prini, which launched on HGTV in October. Airing Tuesday evenings, Design Inc. has consistently ranked in the top 10 since it launched on HGTV in fall 2004.

Both sites offer advertisers an interactive way to reach the designerati, if their brands pass aesthetic muster.

The renovated Room Service site went online in Feb 2004 with material from all five seasons of the show, gleaning average visits per month of 7,784 and views of 96,449. Web users can click on the title of each show, or search by type of room. Designinc.ca is similar with sections on the show, the rooms, where to find it (the source guide), the team, news, and a contact page. Advertising is integrated into the content through the source guides, which are available alphabetically or by episode where the supplier is listed by item used in the show. Links to Web sites are included where available. The primary sponsor is Pratt & Lambert, exclusive supplier of paints to both Room Service and now Design Inc.

Prini, president of Primevista Television, says there are two streams of advertiser involvement in the shows. Pratt & Lambert pays to be the paint supplier while the source companies listed actually have working relationships with designer Richardson that are ‘in-kind’ rather than paid.

Prini says there is room for other advertisers looking for involvement similar to Pratt & Lambert but – like the product sources – the fit has to be right. ‘Sarah has a very defined aesthetic and she won’t go to a certain place if it doesn’t work for her and doesn’t work for the (design) client. The shows are hugely popular because of Sarah’s aesthetic and there is a huge amount of response (to the sites). There may some opportunities for like-minded people.’ For example, Prini says because followers of the shows and Web sites are into home renovations and fix-ups to some degree, a financial institution with a campaign for home improvement loans could fit.

Room Service continues to air on HGTV as well as on BBC Canada, Life Network Canada, Fine Living Network in the US and Canada, as well in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and from its launch, in Mexico, Central and South America on CasaClub network.