Unless you’ve been buried under a rock for the past few years, you probably already know that Viking Cruises has been a major sponsor of the PBS MASTERPIECE series of programs that includes the Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey. Now, Viking has expanded their partnership with PBS, signing on as a sponsor of The Great British Baking Show which recently made its debut on PBS stations in the United States.
Already a hit series in the U.K., The Great British Baking Show follows the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.’s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country’s best amateur baker by testing the competitors’ skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
“We have enjoyed an incredibly successful partnership with MASTERPIECE and PBS over the last four years largely because our audiences value the same types of enriching entertainment and life experiences,” said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking Cruises. “Our guests are often interested in the intrinsic connection between food and travel, which makes The Great British Baking Show a particularly good fit for our brand. Of course we are also proud to support Mary Berry, godmother to our new Viking Longship Alsvin.”
“The Great British Baking Show is a great complement to MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey, which Viking Cruises has supported for the last four years,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. “We are thrilled that Viking is also supporting The Great British Baking Show, which has been gaining a passionate audience of its own here in the U.S.”
Here’s why this news is so noteworthy, and why you should care: Viking’s PBS partnership has been a masterclass in branding and sponsorship from the get-go. It has subtly introduced both Viking and river cruising into a large portion of the public consciousness, raising its profile along with the success of Downton Abbey. It also demonstrates Viking’s sincere commitment to furthering high-quality entertainment programming like PBS MASTERPIECE, and gives back to the community at the same time through the promotion of quality international television programmes that might otherwise not be seen in North America.
Viking’s clever use of branding and promotion doesn’t end there. If you’ve recently flown on a United Airlines flight that features in-seat pay-per-use entertainment, chances are you’ve seen Viking’s lengthy promo for the forthcoming Viking Star, Viking Cruises’ very first oceangoing ship. Set to be christened this May in Bergen, Norway, Viking Star is the first of three cruise ships to set sail for the line. Her sisters, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, will enter service in 2016.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Viking’s river operations are slowing down any. Join us March 22 to March 25 as we cover the 2015 Viking Longships Christening live from Amsterdam here on River Cruise Advisor.
More information on Viking Cruises can be found by viewing our company profile here on River Cruise Advisor.