In late 2013 Rick was contacted by Shaw Media, who were launching a new all-Canadian version of the popular show, Chopped. He was tasked with a strategy to build awareness and create excitement in the social space, and to drive record audiences to the premiere of Chopped Canada in January 2014. Additionally, maintaining a high level of engagement throughout the 26 episode series was important.


The Strategy

The popularity of Chopped in Canada provided a rich area for social listening and research, and insight into what Canadians enjoyed about the show. While the audience needed to be aware Chopped Canada was coming, they were aware of the American version, and already fans of competitive cooking shows. Thus focusing on the elements they enjoyed – the judges and mystery ingredients – could be balanced off their patriotism by highlighting the Canadian competitors. Strategically, this needed to drive people to awareness of the Thursday air dates, and provide the audience an authentic once-a-week getaway to plan their night around.



How We’d Do It

We wanted to become the first Food Network Canada to truly facilitate real-time second-screen viewing, and utilize emerging digital ad targeting to source existing show fans and create new ones, then place unique content in front of them at the right times on the optimal days.



  • For the first time in Food Network Canada’s history a hashtag appeared on-screen. The appearance of #choppedcanada drove almost 14,000 uses on Twitter, 62% from the primary target audience
  • Facebook was used strategically with specific content types executed at selected times of day best tailored to drive awareness, reminders, and tune-in messaging. These reminders coupled with the conversational nature of the program drove live-viewing as opposed to PVR, contrary to typical cooking competition viewing habits
  • While only one chef was sourced to do a live chat, this Lynn Crawford chat was the most engaging moment of the season outside of the premiere. This conversation was 92% favourable, and saw Chopped Canada become a trending topic on Twitter half-way through its season run.



Ratings remained consistent throughout the run, and Chopped Canada became the highest rated show in Food Network Canada’s history in its first season. Audiences remained socially engaged throughout the season.

On Facebook the show gained over 15,000 new fans and saw almost 700 posts on the wall by this engaged audience. Over 83,000 fans were engaged throughout the run, and almost 1.8 million people were reached. 75% of the audience acquired on Facebook fit precisely in the female, 25-to-54 demographic.