HGTV Supports TV Giveaway With Web

HGTV is gearing up for its fourth annual dream home giveaway, and the online elements of the multi-channel promotional campaign continue to attract advertisers.

The HGTV.com Web site will again play a large role in the promotion, which will include online tours of the home. As viewers take the online tour, they’re exposed to sponsored elements, such as appliances, building materials and fixtures. There are 12 sponsors in all, with 10 returning from last year.

“It’s like product placement, but with more of a service element,” Charity Curley, HGTV.com’s editorial director, told ClickZ News. Besides the tour, the site will feature editorial content about what went into building and decorating each room, along with non-branded design tips.

“It’s easy to be awash in how nice the house is and think there’s no way to do anything like it in real life,” Curley said. “We wanted to create a way for users to learn how to apply the techniques used on the dream home to their own homes.”

The online tour will highlight the sponsors’ products, making them clickable with links to more details, and an invitation to visit the manufacturers’ Web sites. In last year’s tour, users spent an average of 4 minutes looking at sponsored product information, Curley said.

“The traffic to our Web site and stores skyrockets when people start virtually walking through the dream home and clicking on our flooring products. It performs better than any other aspect of our marketing and advertising,” said Tom Sullivan, president of Lumber Liquidators, a returning advertiser.

Other advertisers include Purina, Bissell, GMC, Ambien, Lending Tree, Sub Zero/Wolf, Silestone, Moen, Sherwin Williams, Jeld Wen and California Closets.

“The direct exposure for the sponsor is a strong benefit as it’s so integrated and relevant,” said Jim Sexton, VP of HGTV.com. “During the Dream Home Tour contest period, users consumed 3 million sponsored page views spending slightly less than 1 minute on each page.”

Scripps will do heavy promotion of the event across its online network, both on sites and in email newsletters, and it will also run a six-week campaign across MSN, AOL, Yahoo and other lifestyle sites. Offline elements include several TV specials, as well as ads on HGTV and other Scripps networks, all of which will point viewers to the Web site for information and to register for the sweepstakes.

Beginning January 1, users will be able to register once a day for six weeks at HGTV.com to win the fully furnished and professionally designed 5,000-square-foot mountaintop retreat in western North Carolina, just miles from the Vanderbilt family’s famed Biltmore estate. Included in the grand prize is a 2007 GMC Yukon and $250,000.

The HGTV.com site will offer live Web-based programming following the televised giveaway on April 22.

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