Midland re-books 3m ITV drama as part of 20m rebranding drive

Midland Bank is to re-sign its 3m deal to sponsor ITV’s drama premiers showcase as part of a 20m rebranding campaign.

New sponsorship credits created for the deal will fit with the Midland’s new corporate identity campaign, which breaks on March 10 with former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton starring in the ads.

The drama premiers season consists of 16 drama serials that run to less than three episodes each. They are described by ITV “as appointment to view” programming and include upmarket dramas such as Rebecca, targeted at an ABC1 audience. The deal was created by Carlton Sales’ sponsorship unit and New PHD’s sponsorship division Drum PHD.

Selling the drama series to one sponsor was originally inspired by Mobil’s longstanding sponsorship of Masterpiece Theatre, a series of quality dramas on the US Public Broadcasting Service.

The sponsor credits have been changed in line with the new ad campaign, which brings back the “Listening Bank” line. The Midland’s blue couch is being dropped from the sponsorship and TV commercials. The creative work for both are by St Luke’s.

ITV is understood to be planning to create more “showcase” opportunities where it groups one-off comedies under one sponsorship deal. A similar deal was struck in 1995 when Lil-lets sponsored a run of previously shown films under the “Leading Ladies” tag.

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