Sponsorship favoured over spot commercials
Sponsorship has become one of the fastest-growing sources of revenue for UK broadcasters. Although this marketing strategy is far from new, the disenchantment with spot advertisements is. Advertisers are now turning their backs on 30-second commercials as viewers channel surf during ad breaks or use video recorders that can skip them altogether.
Budweiser is thought to be spending around Â£5m for the privilege of sponsoring this year’s ITV World Cup football coverage. This will give the broadcaster a much-needed boost as it tries to make up for declining ad bookings this summer and looks to build on the 19% rise in sponsorship revenues recorded earlier this year.
Meanwhile, on Channel 4, Stella Artois’ sponsorship of contemporary films has proved to be one of the most long-running and successful television sponsorship deals. Its association with film began in 1997 with its sponsorship of the Cinema Extreme season on Channel 4 and has developed into a complete sponsorship of the channel’s major purchased film output.
This strategy has proved successful for other big brands such as Tio Pepe, which sponsored the first series of the Hell’s Kitchen cookery programme on ITV1 and ITV2 with the strapline "Good food tastes better". The sponsorship package included broadcast credits, online, SMS as well as licensing and off-air marketing opportunities.
This approach to advertising has also boosted awareness of Baileys, which sponsored Sex and the City on Channel 4 and E4 in a bid to reposition Baileys as a sensuous drink for sassy women. This was Baileys’ first ever broadcast sponsorship in the UK and was designed to work alongside their "Let your senses guide you" advertising campaign. The sponsorship package was one of the first under the revised ITC guidelines allowing the product to be featured on-screen.
Jacob’s Creek also gained from its sponsorship of the hugely popular Friends sitcom under the strapline "Like to enjoy Jacob’s Creek with Friends?"
Â© db 15th June 2006