Australian production company Essential Media and Entertainment expands into branded content

Australian production company Essential Media and Entertainment has made its first foray into branded content with cooking show Sammy & Bella’s Kitchen Rescue.

Food brands including Lurpak, Maldon, Callebaut, Sunrice and Barilla have joined with companies such as Philips and Howards Storage World to be part of the series.

Chris Hilton, CEO of Essential Media told Mumbrella: “It occurred to us that after we pitched it around a bit that the networks were interested in a brand-funded show.

“[Sammy and Bella] had some relationships with quite a few food brands so we worked with them to raise the funding to produce the show.”

Hilton pointed out that although branded TV shows are quite typical in the US and the UK, Australian TV networks have been a little slower on the uptake.

“It’s not new at all – as we know it’s been going on for at least 10 years in the UK and the US. It’s starting to take off of here, I think because of the changing business models in television.

“In Australia it’s a little bit harder, but I think it’s starting to catch on. All the networks are saying that they will commission something or partially commission if you can bring some money from brands. So it seems to be in the days of disruption. A new opportunity.”

Sammy & Bella’s Kitchen Rescue is on Ten at 1pm on Saturdays and Tenplay. In each 22 minute episode, home cooking experts Sammy and Bella Jakubiak take on an Australian household struggling with a variety of typical cooking and kitchen roadblocks.

“We’ve always been storytellers,” Hilton added. “Whether it’s dramas or documentaries or whatever, we don’t see this as being any different.

“We want to tell the best we can for the audience, and if someone else is paying for the broadcaster, that’s fine by us. We just like telling good stories.”


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