A new study by British TV station Channel Four has revealed that viewers actually trust a show’s sponsor more than they do an actual advertiser.
As always, any research by TV networks needs to be taken with a grain of salt; however, Channel Four’s research was reportedly compiled by 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.
The primary findings of the study included:
- 89 per cent saw brands that sponsor TV as more trustworthy than other forms of advertising
- Sponsorship had the highest cut through with two-thirds of the notoriously difficult to engage 16-34s
- 79 per cent accepted and expected sponsorship as part of the TV experience and 80 per cent of viewers stated that sponsorship credits act as the cue to their programme viewing
- 76 per cent of viewers thought that TV sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising and in turn 91 per cent perceived sponsoring brands to be more premium
- 68 per cent wanted to see more of sponsorship as a form of advertising. This rose to 80 per cent if the viewer was exposed to a product category they were actively in the market for
- 91 per cent believed sponsorship is the future of advertising
- Amongst those who recalled the sponsorships 54 per cent stated that they were more likely to buy a sponsor’s product
Commenting on the results, Channel Four’s head of digital and partnership innovation, Jonathan Lewis, 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,” he said.