The Daily Telegraph has linked with Carlton’s upmarket drama Kavanagh QC in the first broadsheet newspaper sponsorship of an ITV series.
The Telegraph is running an interactive scratchcard game with the sponsorship based on characters in the series. Kavanagh begins next Monday (February 26). TV spot advertising and below-the-line promotions will push the scratchcard from this weekend.
The Telegraph is known to be devoting its advertising spend to tactical and promotions-based activity, rather than brand-building, this year because of budget cuts caused by increased paper costs and the cover price war last year.
“We’re into whatever sells more newspapers,” says the Telegraph’s promotions director Paul Woolfenden. He wants to associate the Telegraph brand with the values of the Kavanagh character – honesty, integrity and pursuit of excellence.
The deal was negotiated by Woolfenden and Carlton UK Sales head of sponsorship David Prosser.
The Telegraph will get a 15-second opening sponsor credit, six break bumpers and a ten-second closing credit on each of the six Kavanagh episodes to run from the spring.
The series, featuring Inspector Morse star John Thaw, attracted average audiences of 13.5 million during its first series.
ITV is still looking for sponsors for a package of one-off and shortrun dramas such as Prime Suspect IV and Inspector Morse specials. One-off and short-run dramas are thought to be losing out because of their limited duration.
The Midland Bank is understood to have come close to a deal worth 2m to sponsor a number of drama strands, but the deal is now on hold.