San Pellegrino dives into sponsored content

The Nestle brand travels to Italy and taps a Canadian chef for a new video series.

Nestlé is increasing focus on sponsored content for San Pellegrino with a video series centred on following Canadian chef Danny Smiles to the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice, Italy, the first time someone from Canada has been part of the under-30 culinary event.

The project was done by Toronto-based Fifth Story after the two companies were connected through Nestlé’s PR agency Polaris. Fifth Story is also handling the media buy by pushing the videos to sites including MSN, Yahoo and Dailymotion.

Jennifer Semley-Robert, marketing manager of international brands at Nestlé Waters Canada, tells MiC that the majority of Nestlé’s media spending for San Pellegrino is going towards sponsored content and advertorials. While the company’s work with Fifth Story is the first foray into sponsored video, the company has done extensive work in print advertorials with a Tastemakers feature. That project had chef Grant Van Gameren explaining his culinary tastes and why he uses San Pellegrino. The content was originally only running in trade magazines but can now also be seen in consumer magazines like Toronto Life, Dine and Canadian House & Home. Semley-Robert says this was done in response to the public’s growing interest in cooking and celebrity chefs.

San Pellegrino’s target is consumers between the ages of 45 and 54 who tend to be cultured, although there is a chance to reach a younger target as well.

“This campaign might gravitate towards a 35- to 44-year-old secondary market because the competition is for young chefs and [Smiles'] personality is more appealing to younger demographics,” Semley-Robert says.