Downton Abbey deal marks Tesco Finest’s first TV sponsorship

Tesco has penned a seven-figure deal with ITV to sponsor period drama Downton Abbey, marketing its Finest range’s first ever TV sponsorship.

Downton Abbey
Seven-figure Downton Abbey deal marks Tesco’s first ever TV sponsorship.

The sponsorship will promote the Finest range and will run throughout the series’ return this autumn across broadcast, mobile and online platforms.

Idents are being created by Tesco’s lead advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, although no further details have been given about what the creative might look like and where the sponsorship may appear beyond broadcast.

In a blog post, Tesco head of food advertising Angela Porter says: “It’s a strong partnership with ITV. We both felt there was a perfect fit of values – high production credentials, quality, accessibility and enjoyed around the world. Around two thirds of Downton Abbey viewers, 8.3 million people, do the main food shop and it’s the kind of series that our customers like to settle down to enjoy with a treat and immerse themselves in the story.”

Tesco says it sells more than 12 million Finest products a week and has found during the economic downturn, customers have turned to the range to treat themselves. Its latest multi-million pound marketing campaign, “Love Every Mouthful”, currently features a number of Finest products as part of a bid to improve perception of the quality of its food offering. 

Tesco replaces P&O Cruises, which was lead sponsor of the programme’s third series last year. 

ITV says the third series of the drama consolidated with 12 million viewers and a 40 per cent share of the live TV audience.

Mark Trinder, ITV commercial and online sales director, says: “The coming together of two of the UK’s most high profile brands this Autumn in Tesco Finest and Downton Abbey makes for a high-impact partnership. The package is a great example of how partnering with ITV can enhance a brand’s appeal to the benefit of our customers and viewers.”

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