Advanced Television

Study: Broadcast sponsorship an effective platform

March 8, 2024

Channel 4 Sales has unveiled the results of its Sponsorship Rocks study, a comprehensive analysis of broadcast sponsorship effectiveness. The study’s dataset, twice the size of the previous iteration of Sponsorship Rocks in 2017, now incorporates streaming data, creative coding, plus Barb reach and frequency data.

At a time when the media industry is faced with concerns about brand safety and transparency, the research finds that broadcast sponsorship is the optimum environment for brands to align themselves with the positive attributes of the shows that audiences actively seek out.

Rupinder Downie, sponsorship and commercial partnerships leader, Channel 4 Sales, said: “This study highlights how well sponsorships allow brands to draw on broadcasters’ unique mix of content, creativity and innovation. The debate around brand safety continues across all media platforms, therefore it is so encouraging to see research which shows broadcast sponsorship provides a reliable, transparent and effective platform for brands.”

Channel 4 commissioned independent research agency Consumer Insight to aggregate effectiveness results from almost 240 sponsorships, including 666 of waves of research that involved speaking to over 400,000 viewers over the past fifteen years.

Analysis of this database reveals:

  • Sponsorship delivers impact across all key performance metrics. Compared to non-viewers of sponsorship, average percentage point uplifts are seen in awareness (+8 per cent), consideration (+8 per cent), brand perceptions (+7 per cent), relevance (+5 per cent) and trust (+6 per cent). On average, over half of viewers will recall a sponsorship ident and almost a quarter will want to find out more about a brand having been exposed to a sponsorship.
  • Long-term sponsorships amplify brands, with consideration of a sponsor that runs for over two years seeing a +20 per cent higher boost in consideration versus a sponsorship that runs for 1-2 years.
  • Frequency is a key virtue of sponsorship. Idents that have been seen more than 60 times see a +57 per cent boost in prompted brand awareness, versus a campaign with an average frequency of under 60.
  • Sponsorships improve with age, rather than wear out. When more than 20 per cent of people agree that they are ‘getting fed up of seeing’ a sponsorship ident, this correlates to increased standout (+5 per cent), but most notably boosts in awareness (+19 per cent) and purchase intent (+30 per cent) in comparison with when wear out is less than 10 per cent.
  • Sponsorship delivers impact at any size. There are no significant differences on the KPI performance of sponsorships with lower reach vs higher reach, this means a higher reach sponsorship will simply have the same impact but across a larger group. This makes sponsorship a valuable option for new to TV brands, or brands with smaller spends.
  • Sponsorship particularly stands out to young audiences. Among all audience groups, 16-34’s returned the highest recognition cut through notoriously a difficult to engage audience.
  • Content alignment is key. 81 per cent of respondents agreed that sponsors were appropriate to the content they were sponsoring. By closely aligning a brand’s creative to a sponsorship, brand metrics can be amplified, and key attributes of a programme, can transmit onto the brand.
  • Correct branding is a key driver of all other KPIS. There is a clear correlation between being able to correctly brand a sponsorship ident and first choice consideration.
  • Product placement, licensing and sponsorship of clips on social media amplify the performance of sponsorship. Incremental gains across key KPIs can be seen with multiple touchpoints.

Case study results 

A selection of brand partnership results from previous Channel 4 sponsorships, examined in the study included:

Bosch Home Appliances & Channel 4 Inspired Living

  • Campaign cut through was exceptional, with an all-time high on all sponsorship recall metrics, particularly top of mind recall at 13 per cent (+225 per cent shift vs pre vs +46 per cent norm).
  • 87 per cent of those who recall the idents are likely to purchase vs a norm of 60 per cent.

Sensodyne & Made In Chelsea

  • After seeing the sponsorship, 59 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to consider Sensodyne, a +12pp uplift vs norms (47 per cent).
  • Claimed purchase increased significantly with 21 per cent of non-viewers saying they had bought Sensodyne in the past 3 months, compared with 33 per cent of viewers (+12pp increase). Claimed purchase behaviour of Sensodyne also surpassed a key competitor for the first time.

Arnold Clark & Channel 4 Drama

  • Arnold Clark has seen strong brand growth over the past three years of sponsoring Drama on 4, closing the gap on the market leader, for salience and perceptions.
  • Arnold Clark is growing faster than competitors for first choice dealership, with +50 per cent increase in visits and purchases at Arnold Clark for viewers vs. the start of the sponsorship.

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, Research

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