Sponsorship influence can be measured

Who says that there is no “scientific measurement” to access the real influence that sponsorship has on consumers? (Ben Pincus, Letters, MW last week)

Millward Brown has for many years carried out sophisticated and sensitive measures of sponsorship effectiveness (particularly as part of the total communications measurements on our Advanced Tracking Programmes – ATPs).

The truth is that some sponsorships work well and others do not. Some influence consumers and others don’t. Some sponsorships manage to tap into a shared affinity; some manage to overcome a lack of fit with imaginative creativity.

We see many ways in which sponsorship works for the benefit of the brand and have the tools to measure this.

But unlike Mr Pincus, we do not see that “consumers are drawn to brands [by sponsorship] far more than is possible by other forms of communication”. What we do often see is a media multiplier effect, which sometimes includes effective sponsorship.

The argument that it should be brand sponsorship rather than public relations, print rather than television, or radio instead of outdoor advertising is both unproductive and unhelpful.

The right mix of communications, playing to their individual strengths for the task in hand (media neutrality) is a much more effective way of spending clients’ money.

Our research shows that a good combination of media – provided each is contributing properly and effectively in its own right – adds up to a sum greater than the parts.

Peter Walshe

Global account director

Millward Brown


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