TV sponsorship can range from a simple on-air association with a single programme or strand to a long-term, fully-integrated partnership including branded content, product placement, televised branded events, promos, competitions, licensing and lots more. Big or small, tactical or strategic, there are sponsorships to fit all. Here we look a bit closer at the nuts and bolts of this element of content partnership.
The TV sponsorship landscape
So, these days, brands tend to have partnerships with broadcasters that encompass the whole spectrum of what the broadcaster can offer. The perfect sponsorship partnership might include the association with the property on air, around the programme and in branded promo trails across the schedule, a presence on the programme website, a competition and as many other options that are relevant for your brand: on-pack, in store, and something for the staff too.
TV sponsorship is now recognised as a powerful option for marketers. Advertisers can now sponsor not only programmes, but strands of programming, day-parts, genres and even whole channels.
Subscription services like Netflix are training an entire generation to watch television without commercials, which is ironic given that the bulk of their offering consists of TV series whose very existence was made possible by the revenue from said commercials.
Branded promotions are another option. Shows can partner with brands to create sponsored promotional vehicles for the show that also help boost awareness for the brand – such as Channel 4 and Waitrose’s Weekend Kitchen. The “halo effect” of being associated with a viewer’s favourite programme can be valuable to brands. The bigger and more active a show’s fan base is, the more valuable it is to potential sponsors. That’s why many show-runners have started reaching out to fans on social media and providing support for fan communities.
Sponsorship has a far more profound effect on the emotional mind rather than the rational mind. Interestingly, sponsorship bumpers do not convey significant levels of brand information or instil high levels of emotion in the viewer. Instead their power comes from the association made between the sponsor and the programme. Additionally, viewers appreciate sponsorships more than spot advertising, the latter often being viewed as too much of a hard-sell.
Move with the times and incorporate these new techniques now, before your competition does. It is also important to appreciate that since the rise of the recorded content, it is only possible to deliver your brand or message by sponsorship.