Sponsors join DeGeneres' online 'Wish'


Unilever and Sunbeam have signed on as national sponsors for Ellen DeGeneres' cross-platform marketing program "Wish You Were Here."

The program, available online at ellen.aol.com, is designed as a marketing initiative for daytime talker "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." It's a joint effort among AOL, Warner Bros. Television Group and Telepictures Prods.

The 10-week program, which DeGeneres announced on the air Tuesday, will feature fans showcasing their hometown pride by visiting the site and uploading their own stories, photos and videos, each detailing why the talk show host should visit their town. Submissions will be featured on "Ellen," culminating with a December visit to the town deemed "most compelling."

Unilever's All Small & Mighty laundry detergent is the presenting sponsor of "Wish" and is leveraging the sponsorship to launch a nationwide eco-education program and contest. Jarden Consumer Solutions Sunbeam Rocket Grill is a supporting sponsor and will receive prominent online branding throughout the site and integration into "Ellen," including audience giveaways.

"We're pleased to integrate these strong brands into this creative new program," said Kathy Kayse, executive vp at AOL Brand Solutions.

Added Brett Bouttier, senior vp digital at WBTVG, "Our mission is to create compelling programming that will increase visibility for our Internet partners and provide strategic opportunities for advertisers to reach their target consumers across all media."