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Think BR: How Food Network UK went from new kid to number one

Nick Thorogood, senior vice president, content & marketing, Scripps Network Interactive, EMEA, explains how Food Network became the number one lifestyle channel in the UK.

Nick Thorogood, senior vice president, content & marketing, Scripps Network Interactive, EMEA

Nick Thorogood, senior vice president, content & marketing, Scripps Network Interactive, EMEA

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It’s incredible to start the year as the number one lifestyle channel in the UK. When we launched the channel in 2009, we didn’t dream we’d be topping the lifestyle charts just three years later.

Looking back, coming late to the multi-channel party helped us; we looked at what the competition was doing and learnt from their mistakes. There was no confusion or mixed messages from the outset. We knew our brand, had a clear strategy and were confident it would work in this market. We had the challenge of introducing an international product to the UK, but we addressed that by mixing it with local talent and developing original programming that had a unique voice.

Food Network UK’s owners, Scripps Networks Interactive, wisely ensured many years ago that it owned the rights to as much of its content as possible. This means that more than 95% of our long form programming is available to watch again via our online player, which has given us that added advantage in this very crowded but tech-savvy market.

From day one, we’ve acted like we were a big channel. Instead of quietly sitting in the corner, we decided to get out there, be bold, and enter the broadcast market with confidence.

This includes actively going out and talking to like-minded brands; brands that share the same values as us and have complementary products. Magimix, Gorgonzola, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, Kingsmill, Pataks and Parmigiano-Reggiano are just some of the companies we’ve worked with this year to create tailored, multi-platform advertising and broadcast campaigns.

We are currently working with brands to create bespoke "How to…" videos hosted on foodnetwork.co.uk. Our programming ethos, seen in all our long and short-form content, is that we like to have fun with food, so we ensure the video content is compelling and creative as possible.

We can see the success of working so closely with brand partners on integrated advertising campaigns. It benefits both sides, as at the end of the day brands are showcasing inspiring content to a loyal and highly engaged on-air and online audience.

We see this trend for integrated marketing campaigns continuing in 2013. From all the conversations we’re having with our advertisers and potential advertisers, it’s what they are looking for from their marketing spend.

So as we enter 2013, some might say the new kid’s all grown up, but we still have that child-like excitement of being number one.

Nick Thorogood, senior vice president, content & marketing, Scripps Network Interactive, EMEA 


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