Sponsorship has been successfully combined with advertiser funded programming or product placement as part of a deeper content partnership. This means there are plenty of opportunities for advertisers to get directly involved in the creation of programme content. The trick here, as always, is to put viewers first. Here are a few examples to get you inspired:
‘Here’s to extraordinary’ – Sainsbury’s & Channel 4
As sole sponsor of the 2012 Paralympic Games, Sainsbury's recognised the unique power of TV to tell stories that could challenge negative perceptions surrounding Paralympic sport. It saw an opportunity to make these Games the best ever and reflect its core values at the same time. Working closely with Channel 4, they combined broadcast sponsorship and a series of films that aired in-break to tell the behind-the-scenes stories of the athletes’ incredible journeys. The films helped introduce audiences to the training regimes, families, hopes & dreams of athletes from a range of sports - including swimming, blind football and athletics. The campaign built an emotional connection between viewers and athletes and sports they would have previously shown little interest in. And it worked commercially, setting Sainsbury’s apart from its competition whilst driving both sales and taking the supermarket’s consumer empathy score to its highest ever level.
This campaign was Highly Commended at the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards 2013, and you can hear all about the partnership and how it came about in this film.
‘Born to Shine’ - Save the Children & ITV
Save the Children, suffering their lowest ever awareness and with record child deaths from preventable illnesses, was looking for a game-changing strategy. A year of content-led activities culminated with a partnership with ITV1 to produce a 6 week series ‘Born to Shine’ where children shared their skills with celebrities; it featured explicit calls to action. The show in its own right it raised over £2m for the charity. This brilliant campaign, picked up the Grand Prix at the Thinkbox TV planning Awards 2012
Uncle Ben's needed to get consumers to think about rice as being the base of a meal. They needed to find an approach that allowed them to demonstrate the brand in use. A combination of sponsorship, product placement and licensing of Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals on Channel 4 allowed Uncle Ben's to achieve this. Sales of Basmati Express Rice saw a 66% increase in October 2012 once the show had started vs the previous month.