Paula Deen and EQAL Seek ‘Real Women’ For Kraft Contest

Paula Deen fans take note — the domestic goddess with an EQAL-run umbrella site wants to give you a taste of the limelight. Partnering with co-sponsor Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Deen’s site is running an online audition in search of on-camera cooks with recipes involving the product-placed creamy spread, asking women to submit recipe videos.

16 finalists — four from each category of recipe: appetizer, side dish, entree or dessert — will be selected to compete in a live cookoff in Savannah, Geo., with the final four winners receiving $25,000 each, as well as a chance to host their own weekly online cooking show. That’s a total of $100,000 in prize money, which is not bad for an online video contest.

Targeting a video contest to an audience that one might not necessarily assume is skilled when it comes to making video could be a misstep, but the Paula Deen site has assembled some helpful videos offering advice on everything from editing to plating food to getting your hair did. Not to mention the fact that Paula and EQAL’s Greg Goodfried teamed up for this video explaining the contest.

This is just one of the branded projects EQAL has taken on since redirecting its focus away from scripted programming less than a year ago: from helping to create a transmedia serial killer narrative to giving Top Chef contestants a space of their own. Exactly how profitable has EQAL’s move away from scripted content to helping brands excel online been?

Via email, Goodfried says that working with Deen, as well as helping to create Alicia Silverstone’s community The Kind Life, has been “fantastic.” “Traffic on sites are increasing month over month and both properties are profitable financially for us,” he said. “The partners are thrilled with our ability to help them build their brand and power their community online.”

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Fact or Fiction: Where Is Branded Online Video Going?

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