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Hallmark Channel Building a Home for Integrations

Hallmark Channel is building a home that’s an advertising executive’s dream house.

To produce its new daytime series Home & Family, Hallmark is erecting a 2,800 square foot house on the Universal lot in Southern California.

Sponsors will help furnish it, and those product integrations should help the network generate a lot more revenue than it did when Martha Stewart’s company was producing its daytime show and managing relationships with sponsors.

The show was officially announced Wednesday and won’t air till the fourth quarter, but Ed Georger, executive VP of advertising sales for Crown Media Family Networks, says he’s already in discussions with potential sponsors for the show. First in line are makers of appliances — the hosts, who are to be named later, will probably spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Next in line is the always important auto category because, among other reasons, the house will have a garage.

The house will also have an office, which opens the door to computers, phone and other technology products.

The show will be in production for 44 weeks out of the year and episodes will be shot one day and air the next so shows can be timely and topical. For sponsors that means planting will be going on in the garden in the spring and snow blowers can rev up during the winter.

Georger envisions both one-off product placements as well as continuing segments that marketers can sponsor.

And the best part might be that advertisers interested in the lifestyle programming Hallmark will air during the day — which also includes a series hosted by Marie Osmond — will most likely be buying packages that also include commercials during the network’s primetime as well, Georger said.

Sounds like a much better business plan than selling spots in Little House on the Prairie.