Magazines are grabbing a share of the automotive advertising dollars flowing to reality TV.
The Chrysler group and Ford Motor Co. are working with magazine publishers Meredith Corp. and National Geographic Society on contests and cross-promotions that tie into reality shows.
Beginning April 27, the Chrysler group will be the exclusive sponsor of a new PBS show, "Cooking Under Fire." The show will chronicle a nationwide search to discover America's next great culinary talent.
Celebrity chefs such as Todd English will select the winning contestant, who will run the kitchen at one of English's restaurants in New York for a year.
The Chrysler group is running a sweepstakes promotion for the show in Meredith magazines and on the magazines' Web sites. The contest will send two readers to New York, where the TV show's winning chef will cook dinner for them.
Meredith will publish articles about the show near ads for the Chrysler Pacifica sport wagon in April issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Country Home, Traditional Home, Midwest Living and MORE.
At the same time, Ford is hooking up with National Geographic to promote a contest among grade school students who want to make their schools more environmentally friendly. Ford will give the winning school $100,000 to execute the pupils' ideas.
Ford Motor Co., National Geographic and reality TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" are sponsoring a school environmental contest.
Hosts of the ABC reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" are promoting the contest. Ford vehicles often appear on that show.
Ford is sponsoring ads for "Radical Renovation: School Edition" in the March issues of National Geographic and National Geographic for Kids. The Web site ww.nationalgeographic.com/gogreen/Ford includes lesson plans that help students and teachers enter the contest.
Lisa Owens, a Ford Division marketing manager, says Ford "wanted to partner with someone who was a recognized environmental source, and National Geographic is."
Adds Owens: "Print would have to be the medium, because we're dumping so much info their way."