Should brands be considering broadcast sponsorship?

Should brands be considering broadcast sponsorship?


The relaxation of the Ofcom code provides more freedom for brands around what they can sponsor and how they can use it. This combined with the recent evolution of the sponsorship market over the last few years, leaves us in a position where broadcasters are now encouraging brands to achieve true 360 integration with a programme, strand of programming, daypart or even a whole channel.

There is now the room and flexibility to integrate branded content, product placement and ad funded programming (AFP) into sponsorship deals and this presents a real opportunity for brands to be at the forefront of creating exciting, engaging and shareable content.

Sponsorship amplification is the catalyst to extend a brands sponsorship message beyond the TV screen into different media.  Amplification makes a brands investment work that much harder and delivers a better ROI.  Such amplification provides brands the ability to engage in a conversation with a programme/s audience in multiple environments that the audience has chosen to consume content in.

There are numerous benefits for a brand when doing a broadcast sponsorship.  Sponsorship can be a cost effective way to boost and leverage TV presence for a brand whilst driving an association with a programme/s – a brand can also benefit from the perceived values of a programme, the way an audience feels about a show can rub off on the show’s sponsor.

Sponsorship can give a brand instant fame, achieve stand out, reposition values and change behaviour.   It can also drive brand awareness through high frequency of messaging and provide effective cut-through and targeted communication to a specific viewing audience at a price that is difficult to replicate through a traditional media buy.

Sponsorship research has shown that effective sponsorship can drive brand consideration and increase purchase intent.  The team at Chorus would always recommend a robust research project when embarking on a broadcast sponsorship to track such brand metric shifts.

We have discussed the key benefits of sponsorship, there are also drawbacks to consider.  Property fit is absolutely crucial – the primary purpose of a sponsorship is to drive the association between a programme/s and a brand.  There can be negative connotations for a brand when the fit isn’t right, this is also true of creative.  If the creative doesn’t achieve the right messaging or tone, or doesn’t align with a programme/s positioning/values it can be detrimental to perception of both the brand and programme.

We know that sponsorship works better over time and more and more we see broadcasters moving towards multi-year deals for their bigger properties.  This can be a drawback for brands that do not have clarity around subsequent years’ budgets.

Calls to action are not permitted in broadcast sponsorship idents and this can be an enormous drawback for some brands.  Sponsorship idents must adhere to the Ofcom code, however this often leads to creative genius when it comes to brand messaging and creative fit with a show.

Education about broadcast sponsorship is key and we’ve discussed here some of the pertinent benefits and the drawbacks of embarking on a sponsorship journey.  It’s now up to you to be brave and take the leap!

(Photo by mxmstryo, CC BY 2.0)