Scripps Networks, the home of HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, and Great American Country, began its upfront briefing to members of the press in New York City with a message that applies to every broadcasting outlet. “We are living in the danger of distraction,” began Jon Steinlauf, President, National Ad Sales and Marketing, Scripps Networks Interactive. “Consumers have more media at their fingertips than ever before. With mobile and over-the-top and streaming, their entertainment options are endless.”
“But what we built is a premiere environment for upscale and passionate consumers to engage with our advertising brands,” he said, hawking record ratings, on average, for the Scripps networks in 2016 in the midst of the heated presidential campaign. “How people feel when they are watching the advertiser’s ads on the Scripps Networks is the key to our success. Where an ad lives is just as valuable as who it reaches, maybe even more so. If media buyers limit themselves just to an audience buy they risk airing their message in a place where people don’t engage and respond.”
Citing The Environment and Advertiser Impact Study, commissioned by Scripps Interactive Networks and conducted by Nielsen, the amount of times participants were highly engaged to ads on the Scripps lifestyle networks was 94 percent greater than the genres of general entertainment, reality, news and sports.
Commercials running in the lifestyle programming environment also scored 22 percent higher across the four structures of advertising engagement: interest in products, attention to brands, intent to seek information and purchase intent.
“What’s clear is that we have something that is hard to find: an optimistic environment,” said Steinlauf. “We brought families in and we made them comfortable watching together. At a certain life stage consumers enter our world.”
New Programming Initiatives
Hawking 50 new original series and specials and 40 returning series, on Food Network and Cooking Channel, new entries on Food will include Iron Chef Gauntlet, hosted by Alton Brown; Guy’s Big Project, a competition type docuseries hosted by Guy Fieri; Hungry Hart, hosted by Hannah Hart; Help My Yelp, with chef and restaurant consultant Monti Caro enlisting elite Yelp reviewers to help struggling restaurants; and road trip Incredible Edible America, featuring comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his wife Audrey on a food tour of the U.S. Cooking Channel will feature new culinary competition Farmer’s Market Flip, hosted by Jeff Mahin; Monster Food, which explores just how some of your favorite foods are created; and Late Night Eats, which visits chefs across the country ruling the late night food scene.
On Travel Channel, new original programming initiatives will include Josh Gates in four-part investigative journey Expedition Unknown: Hunt for ExtraTerrestrials; Legend Has It, also hosted by Gates; and Caribbean Pirate Treasure, focused on sailors and pirates.
Riding high on its highest rated year ever, HGTV will expand its Flip or Flop series, with five new duos featured in Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Las Vegas and Fort Worth. Tarek and Christina El Moussa will also return following their recent and very public split, according to the cable net, but just how visible they actually will be is yet to be seen.
Beach Hunters, House Hunters Family and House Hunters: Outside the Box, meanwhile, are the latest entries in the growing House Hunters franchise. And three new programs will be added to HGTV’s fantasy destination programming: Tiny Paradise, Lakefront Bargain Hunt Destination and Mountain Life.
Sister cable net DIY will introduce Renovation Realities: Ben & Ginger, which features ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee and her husband, Extra’s Ben Aaron, as they renovate a fixer upper outside of New York City. Other new entries at DIY include Big Beach Builds, Backyard Goldmine, Pool Kings, Docked Out and Amazing Space.
Lastly is Great American Country, which will deliver 254 hours of programming that focus on road trips, RV living and cabins, and country music programming.
“We celebrate what people are passionate about,” said Kathleen Finch, Chief Programming, Content and Brand Officer, Scripps Interactive. “We achieve this by putting everything we do in a well-defined filter of ideas and information. We know who we are and so does your consumer.”
“Lifestyle,” she added, “definitely matters.”
[Photos courtesy of Marc Berman]