Brand integrations help Wipeout Canada get messy

Motrin and SpongeTowels are two of the brands featured in Shaw Media's new game show, Wipeout Canada.

With a reported one in every 750 Canadians applying to be on it, Shaw Media had a pretty good idea early on that its game show would be popular with viewers right out of the gate.

So when the mediaco got the green light to pursue brand partnerships for Wipeout Canada last winter, it went at it with gusto, Sherida German, director of brand and publicity, dramatic and factual channels, Shaw Media, tells MiC.

The show, which launched last night on TVTropolis at 8 p.m., is a Canadian version of the popular international franchise, in which participants compete in outrageous physical challenges for the chance at a cash prize.

Slips, falls and general mayhem are central to the show, so it was a natural fit for Johnson & Johnson-owned pharma-brand Motrin (the first brand to sign on), says German.

The integration deal features on-set branding and in-store Motrin promotions that will see Wipeout Canada branding featured at 1,200 retail outlets across Canada, including Loblaw stores, TVTropolis’s first such presence.

Motrin is also a central partner in the ‘touring outdoor road show’ promoting Wipeout Canada across the country. The tour will hit 16 Walmart stores and other locations across the GTA throughout the spring.

‘The fun of watching Wipeout is seeing people fall and bounce off the big red balls,’ says German. ‘Motrin seemed like the obvious partner to go with. They have been great to work with; they really saw the opportunities to put their brand together with this.’

Kruger’s SpongeTowels has signed on as an official sponsor of Wipeout Canada as well as being incorporated into the game itself, through ‘The Spinner,’ a challenge in which contestants jump onto a rotating turntable and grab hold of a giant SpongeTowels roll. The brand’s logo is also prominent on the winner backdrop where Wipeout Canada co-host Jillian Phillips interviews each week’s winner of the $50,000 prize.

Additional brands on board include Carstar, which has been incorporated via a branded segment called the ‘Make it Unhappen Replay’ and Arby’s, with the ‘Arby’s Roast of the Day,’ an online opportunity where one contestant is roasted by the show’s hosts on the microsite.

Westjet is also on board as a promotional partner, showing Wipeout Canada episodes on its Caribbean-bound flights as well as giving passengers branded beach balls during the months of May and June, a strategy Shaw first employed with the launch of Hawaii Five-0.

Negotiations for the brand integrations were handled internally by Shaw Media. Toronto-based J3 and Inventa handled in-store promotions and the road show.

Featuring the show on TVtopolis is part of Shaw’s strategy to add original prime-time programming to its specialty channels, along with other shows like Top Chef Canada on The Food Network and The Kennedys on The History Channel, German explains.

Marketing for Wipeout Canada, which targets viewers aged 25 to 54, includes traditional media such as OOH and ads Toronto’s free dailies Metro and 24 Hours. Radio spots are running in Kitchener, Toronto and London, and on Friday, a street team bounced around high traffic areas of Toronto on red exercise balls.

‘That’s what has been so fun about this project,’ says German. ‘It lends itself to these executions which hopefully help us stay on the radar with consumers until they tune in.’

Marketing spend on Wipeout Canada is on par with what is normally spent on large-scale campaigns for Shaw Media, German says.