Public dislike `intrusive’ TV sponsorship

Broadcast sponsors pursue ever more intricate and longer sponsorship credit sequences at their peril, according to research published next week by The Sponsorship Research Company.

Viewers believe a sponsor’s “intrusion” should be kept at a minimum and pains should be taken to guard against credits resembling conventional advertising, the findings show.

Criticism was levelled at broadcast sponsorships with extended credits, such as Diet Coke’s initial involvement in ITV’s Movie Premieres season.

Qualitative research involving 12 discussion groups was conducted across the UK to gauge public attitudes to TV sponsorship, assess the extent to which sponsors are perceived to influence content and discover the impact of new sponsors.

Sponsorship is viewed as distinct and separate from conventional advertising, the findings show. It is seen as being part of the programme, working in a different way to advertising.

The study also found that sponsorship is seen to “benefit everyone”, and that creativity in sponsorship credits is of secondary importance.

“What’s clear is that creative execution must reflect the common values of the programme and sponsor,” says The Sponsorship Research Company marketing director Graham Saxton.

There was greater scepticism of TV sponsorship when corporations rather than brands were involved, he adds. While this, in part, reflects other activities sponsors did or did not run to support their on-screen association, it also indicates TV sponsorship can be a more effective means of communication for already familiar brands.

Knowledge Bank

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