Chatelaine is getting a monthly serving of fruits and vegetables for the next year. The Rogers Publishing title has partnered with grocery chain Metro Ontario on a multi-platform marketing campaign called “The Kitchen Apprentice.”
The effort will promote Metro’s local foods – with an emphasis on seasonal produce – through two-page editorial features in Chatelaine’s print issue, NextIssue and app editions, an adjacent ad, as well as online videos and blog posts housed in a dedicated hub at Chatelaine.com.
Chatelaine will also use its social media assets to amplify the program, which will be referenced during the Chatelaine edition of City’s morning talk show Cityline March 17.
“We’re always looking for new ways to share the expertise of our editors with our audience, and this program is an excellent example,” said Penny Hicks, group publisher for Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Canadian Health & Lifestyle. “It really emphasizes what we do on a month-by-month basis.”
The content focuses on “kitchen apprentice” Louisa Clements, a young food blogger who recently joined Chatelaine’s food team and is developing her culinary skills under the tutelage of the magazine’s food director Claire Tansey.
It will showcase Metro’s local produce (the first iteration in Chatelaine’s April issue, “All about beets,” features a how to shop and prepare guide, as well as 10 beet-themed recipes), while a 90-second video will show Louisa shopping for produce at Metro and preparing a variety of recipes in the Chatelaine kitchen.
Nancy Modrcin, senior director of marketing for Metro Ontario (the chain operates 300 stores in the province), said the grocer wanted to capitalize on Chatelaine’s credibility, food expertise and readership. “It’s a great way for us to connect with our customers and inspire them to cook with seasonal produce that’s obviously available at their local Metro.”
Modrcin said the Metro ads accompanying the marketing program were the last element of the program to be discussed, differentiating it from traditional campaigns. “The conversation really started when we began exploring opportunities to develop content together – something that would be mutually beneficial to Chatelaine’s readers and Metro shoppers,” she said.
She called fresh produce a “critical focus point” for Metro, with the “Kitchen Apprentice” program preceding a five-month summer campaign built around radio, digital, print, experiential and community events that will focus on its commitment to local growers and communities. “It just seemed like a really good thematic fit,” she said.
The program was developed in association with Metro’s public relations/content development agency A&C. “I kind of like the approach that we took, using our PR firm to start the conversation with editorial versus sales,” said Modrcin. “I think it was an approach that was really successful, so we’ll probably continue to use that as far as these types of media partnerships go.”