Branded content is still a relatively new and developing advertising format, but Ogilvy & Mather is ahead of the curve: In June 2007, while many digital ad agencies were still experimenting, it launched the high-production 12-episode web series "In Search of Real Food" on Yahoo for Unilever's Hellmann's. The second season, Real Food Summer School with Bobby Flay, launched May 22 of this year.
Ogilvy teamed with Bobby Flay's Rock Shrimp Productions to create the series, which aims to demystify back-of-the-fridge foods like mayonnaise, one of Hellmann's best-known products, by explaining its ingredients and range of uses, Ogilvy Entertainment President Douglas Scott told me at the Omma Global conference in New York last week.
In the second season of the series, Bobby Flay teaches America's worst cooks to make simple dishes. The first season, which followed celebrity chef Dave Lieberman around the country as he spoke with house-makers, restaurateurs and others about real food, received one million unique visitors and five thousand "Real Food" community members, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
--Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer