Mastering the Brand: how 'ordinary' cooks achieve extraordinary (cookbook) success

Publication Type:
Journal Article
TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs, 2013, (24), pp. 1 - 8
Issue Date:
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Since 2009, Masterchef Australia has been a ratings and marketing juggernaut. Through numerous product placements and associated merchandise, it has become one of the most lucrative brands in Australia’s bourgeoning food-related media. While contestants’ cooking prowess and flair for ‘plating’ are ostensibly central to the show’s appeal, Masterchef Australia also draws from the more general conventions of reality television. For instance, contestants inevitably display more than their skills in the kitchen; they reveal (some say contrive) aspects of their personal lives that render them more or less attractive to viewers. This article considers how the winner of the inaugural series, Julie Goodwin, fashioned an endearing persona that was both relatable and inspirational. Her ‘everywoman’ image informed both her television journey – from ‘ordinary mum’ to series winner – as well as her various forays into various commercial projects, not the least of which were best-selling cookbooks.
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