Food Network cooks up 'Kitchen' microsite

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Food Network launched a microsite today as part of a $3 million integrated campaign to promote the network's daytime instructional program block, “In the Kitchen.”

An e-mail invitation to the site went out exclusively to 25,000 women, members of influence marketing firm [or WOM marketing firm] SheSpeaks' network who have opted-in to receive information based on specific interests.

“This was a great way to reach these household decision-makers,” said Katie Ilch, Food Network's director of marketing, advertising and branding. “It was an opportunity to speak to them directly with a different voice as well as see their point of view in a new way.”

The site offers a community message board in which users can watch exclusive commercial-free content, take surveys about the programming, post their favorite recipes, and interact with other users, all moderated by SheSpeaks. “It's a three-way focus group without the one-way mirror,” said Aliza Freud, founder and CEO of SheSpeaks. The primary target for the campaign is women age 25-54.

Users can then send customized e-mails to friends which include the “In the Kitchen” programming schedule and grants the friend access to the microsite and its features.

“The draw is that [Food Net] is saying to its viewers, ‘we want you to watch this and we care what you have to say,'” Freud said.

Food Network also worked with ad agency Womankind on the TV, print, online and out-of-home campaign elements and agency Electric Artists on its niche and social networking efforts.

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