Midland signs 2m deal to sponsor ITV dramas

The Midland Bank has sealed an estimated 2m deal to become overall sponsor of ITV’s premier drama series, including Prime Suspect and one-off episodes of Inspector Morse.

The two parties have been in negotiations for several months although the deal was thought to be dead in February (MW February 23). The sponsorship will begin next month with the new series of Sharpe and other dramas to be sponsored include Jane Austen’s Emma.

The sponsorship will have a 15-second introductory credit to brand the dramas as “ITV Drama Premiers in Association with Midland Bank”.

Each drama will carry different creative work for each credit, to emphasise different Midland Bank brand values – size, popularity and community spirit.

The deal involved the co-operation of the five broadcasters who will contribute dramas to the strand.

ITV put all of its short-run and one-off dramas into one sponsorship package last October. It was felt that a short run of a three or four part drama did not give advertisers time to establish a link with the programming. Placing the dramas in one package has enabled ITV to cash in on the high value of their large ABC1 audiences.

The sponsorship is understood to have been negotiated by Carlton Sales’ head of sponsorship David Prosser and PHD Big Time, the TV sponsorship and programming arm of Pattison Horswell Durden. Creative work for the credits is by St Luke’s.

Two years ago, Midland sponsored a film strand on ITV called Moving Story that was intended to promote its mortgage products. The blanket drama deal represents a departure for the bank and follows a year-long review of the company’s general sponsorship policy, which was completed at the end of last year.

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