Baby Squad hits Canadian moms

Baby brand marketers should take note of the British parenting show set to premiere on Discovery Health Channel next month. But don't just see it as another advertising opportunity. See it as a case study in brand integration, starting with creation.

Baby Squad, the latest British import scheduled to premiere next month in Canada, was born for brand integration in the most literal way. In August 2005, Cineflix UK announced the program was to be UKTV’s first ever ad-funded project. Baby food manufacturer Cow and Gate paid for the 10 half-hour shows hosted by Patsy Palmer, star of the British soap Eastenders, and tied its brand in.

The brand marketer didn’t just stop with the show. It ran the program’s 24-hour care hotline, promoted DVDs through live baby show events, and cross-promoted it online through its own website and extensive PR efforts before and after the Sept. 19, 2006 premiere on UKTV Style. London-based Jackie Cooper Public Relations (an Edelman Worldwide company) reports average monthly calls to Cow & Gate’s Careline jumped from 20,000 to 76,000 when Baby Squad was on the air.

Baby Squad premieres on Alliance Atlantis’ Discovery Health Channel on Monday, Feb. 5 at 10:30 pm ET/PT.