Unilever has unveiled details of its first co-funded programme for ITV – a design series produced by Yorkshire Tyne-Tees Television with whom the company has established a development fund.
The Shape of Things is a four-part series covering subjects ranging from fashion to football stadia. It will be broadcast in selected ITV regions this autumn.
The series will be offered to the Network Centre for network transmission next year.
Unilever confirmed plans to finance UK programme production last month (August 25). Its aim is to secure the ongoing range and quality of ITV programming, says broadcast consultant Malcolm Grant, chief executive of MGA Broadcasting.
Parfums FabergÃ© Paris, owned by Unilever through Elida Gibbs, will be given an on-screen name association with the design series.
“We have backed an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, a photography competition and, now, the first advertiser-funded TV series,” says FabergÃ© European brand manager Simon Lowden. “The content and style of the series is an excellent fit, and show that advertiser-funded programmes can not only be innovative but produce quality programming that meets both the brand’s and ITV’s objectives.”
The association will be supported by competitions and features in the regional media, the press and on Teletext and the Internet, says Lowden.
It is not the first time an advertiser has co-funded a UK TV programme. PepsiCo recently invested money in the development of Passengers for Channel 4 in exchange of overseas distribution rights.