Bell Media and Toyota Canada Inc. announced today their collaboration on the exclusive original online series Refined available now at Discovery’s web site. Hosted by Patrick McMurray, owner of Toronto culinary hot spots Starfish and The Ceili Cottage, Refined follows one man’s search for sophisticated luxury. The 12-episode series rolls out once-per-week on Mondays until June 15.
“Refined is a market-leading integrated sponsorship series that takes viewers on an in-depth cross-country tour of the finer things in life,” said Nancy McConnell, Vice-President of Digital Sales, Bell Media. “The series content meshes perfectly with the Toyota Avalon brand. Bell Media is very happy to be part of this exciting collaboration.”
All of the episodes include co-branded opening graphics, product integration, and two Toyota promotional pre-rolls exclusive to the microsite. The episodes will also be promoted with a series of animated and static display banners to run across Bell Media’s digital properties. All episodes will be housed in a custom Discovery microsite with a large-format embedded video player and a Toyota Avalon photo gallery.
“The series content mirrors the refinement and great experiences drivers and passengers enjoy when in the Toyota Avalon,” said Warren Orton, Marketing Director, Toyota Canada. “We’re excited to have each of the Refined episodes feature the new Toyota Avalon, and to have the Avalon amplified on Bell Media’s digital properties.”
McMurray, who was brought up with food, travel, and a strong work ethic, got into the restaurant trade at the age of 16 and hasn’t looked back. After honing his skills for a number of years in Toronto, McMurray won the World Championships of Oyster Opening in Galway, Ireland in 2002, and became the Guinness World Record holder soon after by shucking 33 oysters in one minute. He beat that record in 2010 by shucking 38 oysters in one minute. McMurray has also written a book about oysters Consider the Oyster – A Shucker’s Field Guide.
In the first episode, McMurray pays a visit to Mankind Grooming Studio to learn the secrets of a great haircut and experience a straight-razor shave. Additional episodes feature McMurray visiting shoemaker Nasser Vies who has shod the likes of Jim Cuddy (March 11), getting a custom suit from Garrison Bespoke who created Ryan Gosling’s suit for TIFF 2012 (March 18), and giving a tour of his successful restaurant Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill (March 25).
Refined is produced by Bell Media Digital’s internal Video Production Unit, led by Mike McKenna, Associate Director of Original Video, Bell Media Digital (Intersections, Get Fresh, Destination: Hong Kong). Catherine MacLeod is the Vice-President, Specialty Channels for Bell Media. Refined concept by Nicole Petrak, Account Executive, Bell Media Digital Sales and Dean Gillis, Producer, Bell Media Digital Internal Production Unit. Refined is directed and produced by the Video Production Unit, including Mike McKenna, Dean Gillis, Travis Wood, Graham Garside, Scott Goodyer and Lauren Harrison.