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Sponsorship myths versus the truth

The TV marketing body Thinkbox describes sponsorship as a mechanic which can offer brands not only “prestige and popularity, but also the opportunity to have a positive association through perceived values” and their Sponsorship Hall of Fame is made up of big-ticket, high profile examples such as Compare the Market, Honda, and Just Eat. It’s no wonder response advertisers may perceive sponsorship as something which is way out of their grasp in the earlier years of their TV journey. It might be deemed too costly, too much of a long-term commitment, or not capable of driving response, but is this actually the case?

So, what are the misconceptions?

1. “The asking price is too high”

An “asking” price is just that, and they should always be negotiations involved to drive prices down to ensure the arrangement provides great value for the advertiser. In order for sponsorship, or ‘nano-spot’, activity to work as a response generating medium, it is important to secure lower cost per thousand (CPT) levels than that of regular linear (watched live) TV spots.

Negotiations can also produce additional value in the form of additional video-on-demand (VOD) impacts or free bumper productions for example, which can be worth thousands.

2. “It won’t drive response”

Ofcom regulations stipulate any calls to action are prohibited in the messaging on sponsorship bumpers, leading many advertisers to believe it can’t drive a response. However, the high frequency of messaging per episode can counteract this restriction. The below example shows an anonymised ARM client’s results across day time, peak, and sponsorship activity. This client experienced a heavily negotiated discount on a sponsorship package, creating a low exit CPT. The result was a cost per lead which was 35% lower than a regular spot in linear TV.

3. It’s a long-term commitment 

Sponsorship packages typically go out to market as 12-month contracts, but there’s no reason a shorter offer won’t be accepted. Furthermore, there are often highly efficient deals to be found, for example via last-minute opportunities or when media owners have gaps in between contracts.

All Response Media viewpoint

As disruptors in our industry, we approach TV sponsorship in a non-traditional way to give our advertisers an Unfair Competitive Advantage. Sponsorship packages are what every agency buys. We define our approach for this type of airtime as ‘Nano DRTV’. Key insight #1: Quite simply, Nano DRTV is short duration but high frequency spot placement. It’s a very important distinction and here’s why it allows us to extract maximum value, measurability and business-shifting outcomes for our clients versus the more packaged “set it and forget it” approach of sponsorship buys.

There are so many reasons why a well-negotiated Nano DRTV buy (TV programme sponsorship) can be a great addition to response campaigns, for both established and new-to-TV advertisers. For advertisers in competitive sectors, this can provide an opportunity to steal a share of voice without outspending the competition on linear TV. It can be a way of accessing peak inventory where linear TV CPTs are more expensive, as well as creating recall from audiences through association with relevant programming. Key insight #2: The buy side CPT always delivers access to premium audiences at lower than even daytime prices. We often see ABC1 adult CPTs of less than £1 in peak dayparts.

Whilst traditional sponsorship will always help deliver on brand metrics and ‘fame-making’, it’s time to think differently about what sponsorship can deliver for your brand in acquiring new customers that you can directly attribute back to the activity. Key insight #3: Nano DRTV (sponsorship) can be measured and tracked and visualised for viewer engagement in exactly the same way via ARMalytics® as a traditional 30 second spot – don’t be told otherwise!

Our clients can be assured that seeking opportunities always based on value and not price alone. We use linear TV response dynamics to understand the media negotiation parameters around cost, response and engagement forecast of the programme asset based on empirical linear spot data analysis. When your competitors are buying sponsorships you should insist on looking at Nano DRTV opportunities instead.

For more information on the TV services, we offer click here.