Marketing Gimmicks

Of Course Mayor Menino Wants Top Chef to Come to Boston

Try our pancakes, Pee-wee!
Try our pancakes, Pee-wee! Photo: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Mayor Menino has jumped on the #yougottatryboston bandwagon. (We discussed the Digitas campaign here last week; basically the marketing agency wants Bostonians to convince Bravo to stage the next season here, via Twitter.) Never mind that this season has been the most endless on record and they’re now promo’ing movies for Charlize Theron and taking pancake tips from Pee-wee Herman. It’s still the civic-minded thing to do. Right?

As this story appeared in the business section, the Globe informs the uninitiated: “Hosted by Padma Lakshmi, “Top Chef” is a Wednesday night show on the Bravo TV network that’s a competitive cook-off. Instead of songbirds battling a la “American Idol,” this show has chefs vying against one another to determine who is the season’s most uber of uber chefs.” Uber! Uber-uber! Yoo hoo, Pee-wee! Fantasia! (Can’t you just imagine Paula Abdul judging the Restaurant Wars episode?)

Anyway, Menino Tweeted: “Boston colleges: Join me in telling @BravoTopChef why #yougottatryboston and film season 10 here in our great city (or your campus)!” He also Tweeted: “Boston, let’s work together to bring #topchef here. What’s your favorite restaurant or chef in Boston? #yougottatryboston.”

Meanwhile, Digitas isn’t doing this just because they really, really love the food here. Basically the city and the marketing company got together and decided that we need some restaurant exposure (beyond Zimmern, and Bourdain, and Food & Wine, etc and so forth), and that the way to get it was by publicly urging Bravo to bring a show in its ninth season featuring chefs from all over the world who frequently cook on a sound stage to town.

Digitas even notes that the “biggest customers of new restaurants are also big fans of social media.” And, per Bravo, many “Top Chef” viewers are avid social media users. #shocked No city has ever tried such a bold campaign, says spokespeople for Bravo, who call the endeavor “very cool.” #edgy

Our question: Would they shop at the JP Whole Foods? We’re all for showcasing our food and restaurant scene, but do we have to seem so #desperate about it?

Menino Tweets About Top Chef TV Show [Globe]

Of Course Mayor Menino Wants Top Chef to Come to Boston