Twenty Two Media creates sponsorship-fueled content hub

The publisher of Foodism and Escapism wants to grow its footprint on YouTube by developing quick-hit-style branded content.
In the kitchen with foodism

Twenty Two Media Group has built a new video and content hub positioned to integrate sponsorship with quick-hit-style online content designed to generate 10 million impressions in year one.

The Toronto-based publisher, which brought U.K.-based Foodism and Escapism publications to Canada in late 2015, launched the new content hub today with In The Kitchen with Foodism, a six-episode online series designed to be “a love letter to Toronto and the chefs/bartenders and recipes that make it unique,” Krista Faist, founder and CEO of Twenty Two Media Group tells MiC.

Each episode will run approximately three-to-four minutes and feature a “local chef or bartender speaking to their experiences in the industry and their love for the city, all while sharing a recipe that means something to them,” Faist explains. The short episodic hits are designed to cater to the short attention spans around video. “We’ve worked hard to develop a concept that is able to deliver the chef’s unique stories and recipe without sacrificing engagement.”

Faist plans for all six episodes (to be released every eight weeks over the year) to incorporate a different sponsor, like a yet-to-be-announced wine brand “with a SKU that pairs well with the chef’s recipe”.

Twenty Two Media also works with brands on integrated cover treatments for the print publication. “Our magazine covers are very clean and eye-catching and most people don’t realize that each of them is a collaboration with a brand.”

Episode one features Toronto chef Suzanne Barr and inaugural sponsor the St. Lawrence Market, with future guests including Top Chef Canada season two winner Carl Heinrich, bartender and founder of Evelyn Chick Projects, Evelyn Chick, and Canadian cheese expert (and owner of the Cheese Boutique) Afrim Pristine.

Sponsorship consists of video integration unique to each episode, Faist says, “but because we wanted to ensure the series was editorially led, it mainly consists of a robust media campaign surrounding the episode including ad exclusivity on the In The Kitchen content hub, custom content that lives on the hub and inclusion in all marketing and messaging.”

According to Faist, sponsorship packages have a value of over $50,000. In terms of reach, Faist says the paid support around the series and content hub should ensure season one hits 10 million impressions, noting that the magazine and online channels currently average 360,000 impressions per month.

The Foodism magazine has a print circulation of 50,000, 30,000 of which run through direct mail and 20,000 through store partners, including Loblaws, Fresh City, Healthy Butcher, McEwan, Pusateri’s, St. Lawrence Market and Cheese Boutique.

“The majority of our paid promotion is going to be on YouTube,” Faist says. She notes that the publication’s existing audience (a 25-to-40-year-old, double-income-no-kids demo that live in the downtown Toronto core) already engages well with the online magazine and the publication’s social channels, “so there will be a big effort to push this across those platforms,” she says.

She calls out tactics like website takeover ads, a homepage landing strip and tab, solus newsletter mailers to the publisher’s database, print promotion in each magazine, and cross promotion on Foodism‘s sister publication, Escapism and its digital platforms.

In addition to sponsorship, Faist says the new initiative received support from Ontario Creates to get the initial year of the series off the ground.