Paula Deen, all-American cook, restaurateur, author, and Emmy Award-winning television personality is going digital. The southern Food Network star is teaming with Philadelphia Cream Cheese to host the "Real Women of Philadelphia," a new show featured on Deen's website.
Kraft, whose Philadelphia Cream Cheese is the #1 brand in the category, is directing all brands to ramp up their digital efforts and incorporate more user-generated content – in this case, cooking content.
Adam Butler, senior associate brand manager, Kraft Foods comments, "People love to cook with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and online is where everyone goes for recipes and ideas now. Content has enhanced credibility in the digital space."
Cooks from throughout the USA will compete for a $25,000 prize and being named a "Real Women of Philadelphia." Women will audition via home-made videos using Philly cream cheese in their favorite recipes. A sort of kitchen ‘American Idol,’ sixteen finalists will attend a live bake-off in Georgia with Paula, who will be the judge and jury on their culinary concoctions.
"I love to take a traditional meal and give it my own twist by adding a new and unexpected ingredient like Philly," says Paula. "Since I got my start through hard work and determination, I jumped at the chance to give talented home cooks the opportunity to shine through the 'Real Women of Philadelphia' community."
Winners will have a chance to star in their own web show on the Deen site. The cooking community is at the core of an ambitious cross-channel digital initiative including traditional media and PR, a cookbook and a cooking tour. Leveraging the brand’s "Spread a Little Philly" ad campaign, “Real Women” has a dual focal point; the adaptability of cream cheese in the kitchen, and the emotional connection with a product that has been part of the American psyche since 1872. The cheese adopted the brand name Philadelphia in 1880, after a city known for excellent food back then.
The Philly brand has had several previous forays into the digital landscape, but nothing as ambitious and comprehensive as “Real Women.” "We're employing all of the learnings from previous [digital] efforts" to "deliver at a higher level," says Butler.
More and more, venerable brands are spreading their digital wings. Move over Real Housewives of Orange County, Atlanta, and New Jersey…here come the "Real Women of Philadelphia" with the cream cheese.