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TV sponsorship helps drive long-term growth for smaller brands
July 12, 2017
TV sponsorship has long been regarded as a potent tool for advertisers seeking to increase their visibility. Yet, historically, it’s also been seen as the preserve of bigger brands wielding bigger budgets. It’s time to expose this train of thought for the myth it is.
Cue new research commissioned by Thinkbox. Titled ‘Get with the programmes’, it has placed the microscope firmly on the power of TV sponsorship for smaller businesses – and it makes for an interesting read.
The study, conducted by YouGov and House 51, shows that challenger brands should not be perturbed by the cost of entry: by starting out with a simple association with a programme, they can then scale this up in accordance with their growth to manufacture a fully-integrated partnership. Brand awareness scores for lesser-known names typically grow at a significantly higher rate than those tallied for established names (17.2% to 1.1%).
This ‘fully-integrated’ strategy can encompass the likes of product placement, competitions and more. Sponsoring doesn’t stop at programming, either – brands can now sponsor day-parts, programming genres, a programme series or entire channels. The research found that fully-integrated strategies improved brand health metrics by 8.9%, compared to the ‘badging-only’ tactic, which drove a 2.8% uplift.
The results also suggest that fans of a sponsored TV show are 10% more likely to believe that the sponsoring brand is popular, compared to non-viewers. They are twice as speedy as non-viewers when it comes to recommending the sponsoring brand.
The results of TV sponsorship are not only beneficial in the short-term, but also long-lasting, with only a slight fall in brand health seen nine months after the sponsored programme has ended.
The personality fit between brand and viewer was also found to be 53% higher, compared to a non-viewer. This suggests that viewers develop strong connections with a sponsoring brand that closely aligns itself with their favourite show’s themes and style.
With the right selection of programme, you can consistently deliver your ad to your target audience; consequently, the brand becomes popular by association. One participant of the study’s view on TV sponsorship seemingly encapsulates the findings perfectly: ‘If they do sponsor a TV programme… I would probably take that a bit more seriously. I think it makes it more credible, the fact that it is attached to a programme.’
This programme may then be recorded or watched on demand, giving you even more opportunities for your ad to be seen. TV sponsorship can deliver consistency of not just audience, but of time of day and environment. To recreate this sort of constancy without sponsorship would be much more expensive.
The study also found that sponsorship benefits from ‘cost signalling’; TV sponsorship is thought to be expensive – despite the fantastic packages now available to advertisers – and therefore viewers are more likely to regard the brand as successful than non-viewers (by 78-68%).
With these figures, and examples like Chamford who, after one campaign sponsoring Revenge, witnessed their brand awareness surge from nearly zero to a heady 42%, it’s clear that if you want to drive awareness and popularity within your target audience, TV sponsorship is certainly a viable option. Yet, to experience its full effects, creative alignment and a long-term strategy are pivotal.