Marking its first-ever TV sponsorship deal, Marks and Spencer (M&S) Food has inked a partnership with ITV's Britain's Got Talent. It will see the retailer sponsor the talent show for the eight-week duration of its 2019 series, starting in April.
M&S is to replace last year's sponsor, Zoopla Group's uSwitch. A spokesperson for uSwitch told The Drum it hadn't been in talks to renew the deal.
Other previous Britain's Got Talent sponsors include online electrical retailer AO.com, which is rumoured to have paid £6m for the headline slot in 2017. M&S hasn't disclosed the value of its deal.
A peak audience of just under 11 million viewers watched the Britain's Got Talent 2018 final.
“What better way to get into the hearts and minds of Britain’s families than to team up with the biggest family show on TV," said M&S Food's marketing director Sharry Cramond.
"Through this partnership we’ll be bringing M&S Food into millions of home each week, telling more families about our great value, great quality food and encouraging them to choose M&S for their Saturday night family dinner.”
Mindshare UK has been tasked with shaping and delivering the campaign, which includes idents at the beginning and end of the talent show and within the ad breaks.
The ads will showcase M&S's food range, including its new vegan range Plant Kitchen, and will feature Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar - M&S's iconic favourites.
Alongside TV, the sponsorship M&S will run a digital and social media campaign, promoting bespoke Britain's Got Talent content across its channels.
The M&S team has also created a game for the Britain's Got Talent app that challenges players to prepare dinner and complete culinary tasks such as the perfect cherry pie or an aromatic duck pancake.
This year, viewers will see Ant McMcPartlin return to present the show with co-host Declan Donnelly following his arrest for drink driving in 2018; a controversy that saw Suzuki pull its multimillion sponsorship deal with ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway.
This isn't the first time that ITV has partnered with M&S. In 2013, it worked with the retailer on a show called Food Glorious Food.
Simon Daglish, deputy commercial director, ITV, said: “We’re thrilled that such a well-loved brand as M&S Food has chosen Britain’s Got Talent for its first ever TV sponsorship. The brand new concept that we’ve developed with M&S enables them to showcase products from across their whole range throughout the series and bring something new to viewers each week.”