‘Naked and Afraid’ Previews Between Food Network Shows Are Unsettling at Best

Promotions for upcoming TV show episodes are now starting to occur on other networks due to specific cable channels owning other channels. The world of television works much differently compared to 30 years ago when networks owned their own properties and would never cross-promote on a rival network.

That kind of competition on TV no longer exists, including the main networks usually joining forces for numerous common causes. However, when it comes to ads promoting other shows, most viewers are apt to see them on channels they never expect.

One of the most egregious is ads for Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid now airing in-between shows on Food Network. Fans of latter are finding it an awkward transition.

(L-R) Amanda Freitag, Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guamaschelli, Marc Murphy, Maneet Chauhan, Chris Santos of the television show "Chopped"
(L-R) Amanda Freitag, Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guamaschelli, Marc Murphy, Maneet Chauhan, Chris Santos of Chopped | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

How are fans reacting to ‘Naked and Afraid’ ads in-between cooking shows?

Imagine sitting down with your family to watch one of the family-friendly cooking shows Food Network airs every day. Then suddenly, an ad for Naked and Afraid starts playing, showing openly naked people running around in the wild trying to survive.

Of course, the nudity is blurred out, if still obvious. Having this occur in the middle of a cooking show is starting to ruin the vibe for many people watching. Over on Reddit, some fans are starting to complain, especially when kids are watching.

Much of this occurs because Discovery owns numerous cable networks, including the Food Network. Because they profit heartily off Food Network, it seems logical they would use the network to promote Discovery shows. Should they have a better strategy on targeting Naked and Afraid ads?

Ad targeting is everything in TV show marketing

RELATED: ‘The Kitchen’: Food Network Fans Love Watching Their Favorite Chefs Cooking at Home

Any digital marketer knows properly targeting an ad is important, whether online, on TV, or even radio. One would think Food Network is the worst possible place to promote a show like Naked and Afraid. The same goes for an additional show a Reddit user above noted: “Dr Pimple Popper is another. Yikes.”

Why does Discovery insist on promoting their shows on Food Network when people want things 100% centered on food? No one really knows yet other than Discovery perhaps automating many of the ads for sake of getting Naked and Afraid into as many minds as possible as a cross-promotional method.

Arguably, Discovery may need to look at their demographics a little more carefully. Based on the Reddit thread above, many are concerned about how to explain a show like Naked and Afraid to their kids watching.

Most of the successful ‘Naked and Afraid’ contestants are women

If one had to argue who watches Naked and Afraid more, it may be women, and many women also watch Food Network. The reason being is that women often survive well on this show, typically better than the men, as Elle points out. Many of the men end up having a hard time trying to make do without clothes, decent food, or other necessities.

No one should assume Discovery is going into marketing their shows blindly without some careful, granular look at viewer data. Maybe they also realized more women watch Dr. Pimple Popper as well, which is all about a woman dermatologist (Dr. Sandra Lee). On the other hand, demographics seem to never delve into the specifics, like whether viewers feel nauseated seeing giant zits being burst while watching shows about food.