Posted by: Burth Helm on May 8, 2007
As I was reporting the story (read: watching hours and hours of TiVo’d daytime talk shows after work to pick up brand mentions), there was one thing I could never figure out. Martha Stewart would, on occasion, randomly veer off and effusively complement jumbo retailer Costco. There was no advertising relationship with the company that I could see. And there was no “promotional consideration provided by” disclosure listed at the end of the program, which is generally included when money or product changes hands. Maybe, I mused, Martha just really, really liked Costco and sometimes blurted out complements in front of her million-plus viewers? Now I think we have a better explanation. And it looks like in February and March, viewers got a window into how Stewart greases the wheels for an upcoming deal. Here are a couple examples I transcribed from episodes of her TV show on NBC:
Episode from February 12, 2007.
(Stewart and her audience warm-up man, Joey Kola, are discussing Valentine’s Day plans)
Kola: Martha, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Valentine’s day: chocolate, flowers, champagne!
Stewart: What kind of champagne?
Kola: Well, uh…
Stewart: Well let me tell you something. Did you know that they sell more Dom Perignon — you know that beautiful champagne…
Kola: That’s the best one!
Stewart: …at Costco more than anywhere else in the world?
Joey: I did not know that!
Martha: And…[Costco has] good prices! So check out your local Costco. Not all Costcos that we called had the Dom Perignon, but many did.
Kola: Which ones?
Stewart: One in Wayne, New Jersey, Edison New Jersey. I didn’t try the Long Island ones, so check 'em out.
Kola: I’ll drive to New Jersey!
Stewart: And while you’re there, get me some.
Kola: Ok. I’ll buy it by the case, Martha.
Kola: Cases? As they say in Long Island, we’re gonna have such a pissah!
Stewart (transitioning): Well, today we continue our daily chef secrets with a shake that will help you jump start your day.
Forty minutes into a March 13 episode.
Stewart and guest Cassie Chappell are making fake roses out of coffee filters.
Cassie Chappell: We’re going to reveal the secret [of these roses]. It’s that they're made with coffee filters.
(Audience applauds. Close-up of the filters.)
Stewart: So you can buy these...oh these are 400 filters here, and where’d you buy these?
Chappell: These are from Costco.
Stewart: My favorite store in Seattle. Oh my gosh, do I love that store. [That's where] Costco was actually founded, right? In Seattle.
Chappell: I wasn’t aware of that.
Stewart: Yeah. Um, it’s a phenomenal store. So how much do filters cost?
Chappell: About four dollars.
Stewart: Four dollars, well, that’s cheap enough..
Chappell: The paint is quite expensive. [side note: the curtness in Chappell's voice here was likely because she sells these roses on her website, www.mommymakesroses.com for $75 a piece. I just found that funny.]