HBO Max shares Pinterest recipes to promote Selena Gomez quarantine cooking show

Linda J. Dodson

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Dive Brief:

  • HBO Max partnered with Pinterest to promote the streaming service’s new show “Selena + Chef,” starring pop singer and actress Selena Gomez, according to a press announcement.
  • Pinterest will feature an exclusive recipe from the humorous quarantine cooking show — the star’s cheesy tortilla chip casserole. HBO Max is one of the first brands to use the platform’s new Story Pins format, which supports multi-page storytelling with images, videos, lists and text. The Pins will be active over the next few days
  • Additionally, HBO Max will run companion video content “Cooking with Nana” on Pinterest’s Today Tab, a daily inspiration page curated with trending topics and Pins. In the Pinterest-exclusive video, Selena and her grandma make their favorite comfort dish.

Dive Insight:

“Selena + Chef” could be a hit piece of original programming for HBO Max, tapping into Gomez’s star power and the trend of learning a new skill while stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The recently launched streamer is tapping into the surge in home cooking that’s occurred in recent months, looking to reach consumers who seek out recipe ideas and tips on inspriation-focused platforms like Pinterest. 

In the show, Gomez  learns how to cook different dishes with the help of different pro chefs, who connect with her over video chat. The digital integration with Pinterest leverages Gomez’s popularity on social media to help spread the word to users, many of whom use the social network to search for and share recipes. 

Eighty million consumers engage with food content monthly on Pinterest and 60 million people watch trailers and videos on platforms like HBO Max every month, according to Pinterest. Additionally, 87% of Pinners look for meals on the platform on a daily basis and 89% say Pinterest inspires them to try new recipes.

AT&T’s WarnerMedia launched HBO Max in May as a subscription-based streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime at a time when consumers are watching more content at home. While the launch for HBO Max wasn’t as strong as some of the competition, in the ensuing months, HBO has continued to promote the service, including with the ad “Where HBO Meets So Much More.”  

The campaign for “Selena + Chef” shows one way that HBO Max is leveraging digital media to build awareness for its service as it moves past the launch period. In June, streaming services spent over $45 million on advertising, according to Kantar Media research shared with Marketing Dive, with Amazon Prime, Disney and NBC’s Peacock making up the biggest spenders. HBO Max focused most of its advertising spend on the period just prior to its launch. 

Streaming companies are likely to continue to invest heavily in marketing in the second half of 2020 as they compete for subscribers. 

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