Chef Billy Parisi in The Chicago Sun Times

Recipe Web site grows via TV station tie-ins

August 3, 2009

There are lots of marketing-focused stories to be told in the rapidly evolving digital world. One of the more interesting and unusual digital-centric marketing initiatives now unfolding in Chicago involves the recently unveiled Web site, founded by local entrepreneurs and digital mavens Thatcher Kamin and Billy Parisi, who is also a professional chef.

Initially, the Web site was developed as a place where cooks could send recipes to be improved upon or “fixed” by Parisi in a new Web video posted each day. Now Kamin and Parisi are expanding on the original concept and trying to market the site to television stations nationwide as an advertorial product.

The site’s developers recently inked their first deal with the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., WSOC-Channel 9. WSOC subsequently cut an advertising deal with a local grocery store chain in Charlotte to embed site on the WSOC Web site.

Visitors to the TV station Web site will find the icon and links to videos of Parisi preparing different dishes on the grill, with the local grocery chain clearly identified as sponsor of the videos. Fifteen-second commercials starring Parisi also are airing on WSOC to drive viewers to the Web site and the cooking videos.

Kamin and Parisi and WSOC are divvying up the revenue generated from the advertising deal with the grocery chain.

Kamin and Parisi hope to replicate their success in Charlotte elsewhere, including San Diego, Miami and Chicago. Kamin said they have talked to all of the large grocery chains in Chicago and major TV outlets and hope to conclude a local deal soon.

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