For 19 minutes on Thursday, Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry fans were able to watch a live webcast featuring Top Chef judge Gail Simmons and Serious Eats founder Ed Levine promote Puff Pastry for holiday cooking.
The webcast ran on Pepperidge Farm's Puff Pastry Facebook page via media company Vidicom's InteracTV, a service that live streams brand spokesmen interacting with Facebook fans.
During the webcast, six consumers asked holiday-themed questions, such as how to get the meat medium rare without burning the pastry in beef wellington. Vidicom CEO Christy Ferer says the questions were pre-approved and screened "almost like a live talk show" so Vidicom was sure "the appropriate people [were] calling in and asking appropriate questions."
The questions included a mix of live queries and written submissions. The webcast was interspersed with information about Puff Pastry and how-to videos.
Simmons also shared a series of recipes, including Sausage, Pepper and Onion Bundle hors d'oeuvres, Holiday Chocolate Mint Profiteroles and Dulce De Leche Banana Napoleons. These recipes are now available on the Puff Pastry website.
The live stream also aired on Ustream and the Serious Eats Facebook page. According to Vidicom, 1,800 people watched via Ustream during the broadcast. Vidicom also says a Facebook ad generated 17,647 impressions.
Vidicom says InteracTV is different than a traditional webcast because it is highly interactive and media rich.
In addition, Vidicom says InteracTV helps share a brand's message. In this case, it is that entertaining with Puff Pastry is easy and makes every holiday host look like a pro.
"We're a megaphone to brands. We open the conduit for brands to speak to consumers by producing engaging content consumers want to tune into," Ferer says. "We also promote conversations, really, you know, inciting conversation and interaction between the consumer and brand expert."
According to Ferer, brands that use InteracTV pre-promote the event any way they want.
In Pepperidge Farm's case, promotion included Facebook and Twitter posts. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry has 148,000 fans and 1,000 followers. The event was also promoted on Ustream's home page and the Serious Eats Facebook page.
After the live stream, Vidicom edits the stream into content that can be redistributed.
Additional InteracTV users include Calvin Klein, Disney, Isaac Mizrahi and Charlotte Ronson.
The webcast can be seen here.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.