Groundbreaking Canadian show recognized for leading role in branded
entertainment

- Product featured on show sold-out in record five hours in all 23 stores across the province -

TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - For the second time in as many months, a Quebec TV show has caught the attention of the international entertainment industry and awards. Produced by Gone in 30 Entertainment, La Collection is the first Canadian branded entertainment show to launch as part of an unprecedented 360-degree marketing campaign for the Hudson Bay Company (HbC) to address declining sales, loss of market share and a general lack of relevance in the eye of the consumer.

Over a five-month period, The Bay's Quebec region surpassed its sales plan by eight per cent and was the only region in the Hudson Bay Corporation to achieve and surpass targets.

Airing on TVA during prime-time hours, each week ten designers competed to win a one-year $100,000 salary position as Creative Director for The Bay along with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design The Bay's complete Fall 2009 La Collection clothing line. Designers were challenged to create pieces that best symbolized the culture of Quebec through fashion.

La Collection became the first totally integrated branded entertainment television show to air in prime-time against "pure entertainment" programming. Winning designs seen on the show were available in Bay stores across the province the next day where 70 per cent sold-out within seven days and completely sold-out within 30 days. In fact, the most popular item, a black dress, sold-out in five hours.

"The audience started off as viewers and the next day they were in our stores as consumers," said Patrick Dickinson, executive vice president of marketing for Hudson Bay Company. "Even department sales of merchandize sold in adjacent areas to La Collection clothing increased nine per cent from the previous year. We embarked on a Canadian marketing journey where no brand had gone before and it paid off."

The promise of branded entertainment is to integrate brands as part of the entertainment of a television shows. The marketing concept started about six years ago when technology made it easier to bypass television commercials. Gone in 30, however, took branded entertainment to new heights emerging as a full marketing partner. La Collection was the first step in a larger marketing experience that included retail, online and wireless applications. The full effect set records that have yet to be seen in the marketing world.

The success extended beyond The Bay. Other brands featured in the show, L'Oreal, Maybelline and Garnier attribute an increase in sales of 15.4 per cent versus the year prior. MasterCard had a similar experience indicating post show awareness of their credit card in Quebec increased by 22 per cent.

In addition to the positive results for companies, more importantly, the program resonated well with viewers. In fact, the TVA network reported La Collection surpassed forecasted audience numbers averaging 1.24 million per episode. A second season will air in Fall 2010.

"The best TV advertising is when brands are integrated realistically and naturally into the story line as part of the entertainment," said John Hall, CEO of Gone in 30 Entertainment. "It's an upfront, transparent way of talking about a product to an engaged audience. They have chosen to watch the show because they love the entertainment and the brands featured."

Founded in 2004, Gone in 30 Entertainment is the first branded entertainment company of its kind in Canada. The company was created based on the belief that branded entertainment should be created by experts in both branding and entertainment. It is the first to combine over 20 years of expertise in both these areas. With offices in Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles and New York, Gone in 30 shows air on networks such as Fox, Fox Sports Net, MSN, TVA and the SPEED Channel and the company has worked with brands that include L'Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, HBC, Westin Hotels and Resorts, Smart (car) and MasterCard.

SOURCE GONE IN 30 ENTERTAINMENT

For further information: For further information: Brown & Cohen Communications & Public Affairs Inc., (416) 484-1132, Kendra Dubyk ext. 5, kendra@brown-cohen.com or Wendy Kauffman ext. 3, wendy@brown-cohen.com

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GONE IN 30 ENTERTAINMENT

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