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Channel 4 to boost ad revenue from short-form content with Foster’s revival

Channel 4 is broadening its repertoire of ad-funded short content with Heineken’s Foster’s brand that will see the two united more than a year after their last major commercial deal ended.

The brewer is reviving its sponsorship of the “Original Comedy on 4” programming strand, funding short-form entertainment shows for the broadcaster’s Shorts platform. It launched last year to try and become the home of short-form branded content in the UK with advertisers promised the chance to create for a premium offering without the high production costs and scheduling limitations that plague traditional TV.

The service will arrive on the broadcaster’s upcoming All 4 digital platform, which will allow Foster’s along with other advertisers to leverage its audience database of more than 11 million viewers to sharpen its viewer targeting.

Channel 4’s one year, multi-million pound tie-up with Foster’s also spans bespoke ad breaks such as a ‘Welcome Back’ spot featuring Channel 4 and Foster’s logos alongside the strapline "Now on 4 we welcome back an old mate, Fosters. Good Call". The beer’s logo will appear around comedy shows across Channel 4, E4 and All 4.

The deal marks one of the vaious ways the broadcaster is looking to work closer with brands to widen revenue streams. Like its rivals, Channel 4 is racing to futureproof its offering in anticipation of advertisers increasingly looking for more cost-effective ways to target specific audiences at scale.

Channel 4’s online and non-traditional ad revenue rose 15 per cent to £61m in 2013, around 6.7 per cent of total revenue.

Ifeoma Dozie, brand unit director at Foster’s said the “innovative” tie-up would allow the brand to be presented to its core target audience in a “completely new” way.

Developed by Starcom Mediavest Group and Adam & Eve DDB, the campaign spearheads the brand’s return to comedy after its tongue-in-cheek adverts sparked a sales uplift last year.

The quirky ads, which feature the Brad and Dan agony uncle duo, generated £32 of beer sales for every £1 spent on the advert, according to the IPA Effectiveness Awards.