Axa UK to make dramatic debut in ITV3 sponsorshi

Insurance giant Axa UK is to sponsor drama on ITV3 in a deal worth up to £2m over eight months.

It is the first time the channel’s British drama strand has been sponsored, and the first time that Axa, known for its sports sponsorship, has ploughed money into supporting programming.

The sponsorship deal will cover all British drama shows when it appears on the fast-growing digital channel, including ratings favourites Cold Feet, Poirot, Brideshead Revisited and Cracker, from August 1.

Axa UK’s head of brand Darrin Nightingale says he wanted to increase awareness of the brand and products, and show the company has “a humorous side”. The fledg- ling ITV3 was chosen over its terrestrial rivals because it fitted Axa’s profile, was within its budget, and reached a wide cross-section of people as the UK’s fastest-growing station, he says.

The deal was brokered by Axa’s media agency OMD Connect and the 16 “Conversations” idents have been created by JWT, Axa’s creative agency. Each one shows a “traditional drama scene with a humorous twist”, reveals Nightingale. The Axa Insurance, Axa Sun Life and Axa PPP Healthcare brands all feature.

Axa UK will launch its next TV advertising campaign in late autumn. It is also holding a Pro-Am golf tournament for partners, brokers and financial advisors in August.

The French-owned company is best known in the UK for its four-year sponsorship of the FA Cup. However, it relinquished its sponsorship in 2002 to Nationwide, which signed a £35m, four-year contract.

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