C4 reveals results of biggest ever TV sponsorship effectiveness study

Category: News Release

  • TV viewers trust sponsors as part of viewing experience and are more likely to buy their products
  • Wickes, Domino’s and Lexus reveal sponsorship results
  • Lexus and Domino’s renew Drama on 4 & Hollyoaks sponsorships
  • New guidelines for marketers to ensure absolute efficacy of TV sponsorship

Channel 4 today announces results of the most comprehensive study into the effectiveness of TV sponsorship ever conducted; findings reveal it delivers value across all brand metrics and drives positive viewer perceptions.

At a time when the industry is faced with increasing concerns about brand safety, accountability and transparency on some media platforms, new research has found that TV sponsorship is the perfect environment for brands to align themselves with the positive attributes of the shows that audiences actively seek out.

To gain a holistic overview of TV sponsorship Channel 4 commissioned independent research agency Consumer Insight to aggregate 107 individual Channel 4 sponsorship studies across its flagship programme brands and strands, including 257 waves of research that involved speaking to over 80,000 viewers over the past five years. Extensive analysis of this, combined with innovative research from Differentology discovered the following:

  • Sponsorship is Trusted: 89% saw brands that sponsor TV as more trustworthy than other forms of advertising
  • Sponsorship particularly appeals to young audiences: sponsorship had the highest cut through with two thirds of the notoriously difficult to engage 16-34s
  • Sponsorship is perceived as an intrinsic part of the viewing experience: 79% accepted and expected sponsorship as part of the TV experience and 80% of viewers stated that sponsorship credits act as the cue to their programme viewing
  • Sponsorship confers a premium on the sponsoring brands: 76% of viewers thought that TV sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising and in turn 91% perceived sponsoring brands to be more premium
  • Sponsorship is seen as the future of advertising: 68% wanted to see more of sponsorship as a form of advertising. This rose to 80% if the viewer was exposed to a product category they were actively in the market for
  • Sponsorship is seen as progressive: 91% believed sponsorship is the future of advertising
  • Sponsorship sells: Amongst those who recalled the sponsorships 54% stated that they were more likely to buy a sponsor’s product

Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation, Channel 4 said: “As an industry we haven’t talked about sponsorship for a while and it’s clear that recent generations of agency planners and buyers have not been exposed to its true potency. Although we’ve always known what sponsorship delivers for brands we lacked the proof. As the biggest survey of its kind this new research provides that proof. Some of the findings have left us pleasantly surprised, especially the positive perceptions around audience acceptance and relevancy amongst young audiences. At a time when brand safety and the need for accountability are paramount to advertisers we are delighted to see that TV sponsorship provides a reliable, transparent and effective platform for a host of brand and marketing communications challenges.”

Case study results

A selection of brand partnerships results from this extensive study included Domino’s sponsorship of Hollyoaks, Lexus’ sponsorship of the Drama on 4 strand and Wickes’ sponsorship of Channel 4 ‘s biggest programming strand Homes on 4: