CBC bows Steven and Chris daily talker on Monday

Already a huge brand, the original Designer Guys are set to arrive Jan. 14 with live studio audiences, celeb interviews and features ranging from home décor to fitness, fashion, cooking, entertaining and relationships. Too bad agencies weren't alerted to the plum opp.

With sponsorship and brand integration opportunities still wide open, Chris Hyndman and Steven Sabados – the original Designer Guys – will debut their new daily talk show on CBC at 2 pm on Monday, Jan. 14. The live-to-tape talker will be shot with studio audiences.

The key strengths of Steven and Chris from a marketer’s POV begin with the fact that its co-hosts ‘are a very well-known Canadian brand that’s even famous outside Canada, especially after they appeared on Oprah,’ CBC director of marketing & brand activation Jamie Michaels tells MiC.

‘Also,’ he adds, ‘it’s daily show, and it’s got a live studio audience with that kind of feel – which we believe we can really capitalize on in working with sponsors on contesting, giveaways and, ideally, brand integration and branded segments.’

Michaels says the one-hour show’s focus on home décor, fitness, fashion, cooking, entertaining and relationships means ‘there’s no question it targets women, so it will work very well for female-skewed products. And we want to leverage that with our sponsors.’

Regular segments will include the ‘Steven and Chris Twist,’ during which the hosts will interact with designers, celebrities, chefs and various experts. They’ll also get the studio audience and home viewers in on the action with contests, giveaways and makeovers. Typical of guest spots to come is the appearance on Monday’s show of Sofia Milos, star of CSI: Miami and CBC’s new The Border series, who will share her ‘Fabulist’ of the top five things she would smuggle across the 49th parallel.

All of which makes marketer exposure on Steven and Chris desirable. And the hosts are so high-profile that their frequent public appearances – such as one they did last month for the opening of Home Depot Canada’s ‘Project’ prototype store in Richmond Hill, Ont. – invariably draw excited crowds and often end up on TV news clips.

Yet Michaels says no sponsors have been signed up so far. ‘We’re launching with just standard advertising. Our next step is finding a sponsor or sponsors.’

The fact that CBC hasn’t leveraged the popularity of Sabados and Hyndman in advance of their show’s debut is ‘a shock,’ Scott Stewart, a director at Toronto-based Genesis Vizeum, tells MiC. ‘What a huge opportunity for an advertiser to get in on the ground floor. I’m just mystified as to why CBC wouldn’t have already shopped out sponsorships.’

Stewart adds that neither he nor his agency’s broadcast supervisor was notified of the show’s launch date. ‘In fact, I only found out that these enormously well-known guys were starting a talk show by reading about it in Toronto Life yesterday. Otherwise, I would’ve had no idea.’