Companies contribute to ‘Makeover’

Product integration plays a part in ABC show

When Ty Pennington and the rest of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team roll into a new town, they don’t arrive alone. The support team includes a host of partners, including KraftMaid Cabinetry, Kohler Co., Ford and Sears.

“I don’t think you could make this show without the help of a lot of different people,” says David Goldberg, president of Endemol USA, which produces the ABC skein.

Each company contributes its specialty, which is generally noted during the program. Sears, which pays an integration fee as well as buying commercial time, outfits the entire house — everything from appliances and sheets to artwork and lawn tractors. The producers determine what products are needed, and the crew and design team go shopping for those items at a local Sears outlet or order them online.

For its part on the show, the 121-year-old company has received quite a response from viewers, says Perianne Grignon, Sears’ VP of media services.

“The number of letters, emails and phone calls from viewers has been astounding. The comments thank Sears for helping families, supporting family-friendly programming and giving back to communities.”

“Extreme Makeover” co-executive producer Conrad L. Ricketts has seen some of that good will firsthand during his travels around the country, including a recent visit he made to a Sears store in Iowa, where he talked with a young sales clerk.

“She said that customers come to her and say, ‘Thank you for changing peoples’ lives.’ That makes a difference to her because she works for a company that she’s proud to work for.”

While Sears doesn’t release sales information in connection with “Home Edition,” Goldberg says the partnership has been a win-win.

“It’s less about specific products and instant results and more about the ability for them to be associated with a show that is so on target with their brand and also gives off such a positive message,” he says. “And we’ve been able to work with an advertiser in such a way their involvement is almost seamless. It works for both of us.”