DIY Net in Search of Products, Advertisers at Hardware Show

DIY programmers will be scouring the exhibit floor at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas May 1-3 to search for the newest and most innovative home products to feature on its show I Want That.

But the network will be looking for more than products at the trade show – it will also be looking for advertisers through a new partnership with the Hardware Show that has DIY sponsoring the “New Product World” exhibit. At the booth, companies can enter their products into a competition where DIY will be one of the judges, and some of the submitted products may be shot for a special Hardware Show episode of I Want That, exposure that will open the door to a stream of new advertisers for the Scripps-owned network.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to interface with our existing clients who are there with their own booths and find lots of new clients,” says Susan Leigh, head of ad sales for DIY Network.

Leigh says 25% of her advertiser list comes from the network’s presence at trade shows, many of whom are first-time network TV advertisers they would not have found otherwise. As such, the network often facilitates the process of connecting new advertisers with a production company to make a commercial.

In addition to DIY’s booth, producers will also be walking the floor in search of unique products that may not have a big marketing machine behind them.

“It really has to do with either things viewers haven’t seen before and it’s a new twist on an old thing or it’s a completely new product,” says Kent Takano, a DIY Net executive producer.

Takano’s job is making sure all of the 16-20 products that make it into a half-hour episode pass the editorial sniff test, regardless of whether they have money behind them. Spotlighting what the experts are using he says has helped I Want That has become a surprise hit for the network.

“It’s one of those shows, wherever we put it in the schedule it seems to work because I think the common denominator is a think people want to make their home projects easier,” he says.