For years now we’ve been faced with sponsorship adverts before the titles of our favourite TV shows begin. In fact, some brands have become synonymous with a TV show.

We perhaps all would associate Domino’s Pizza with The Simpsons, Ford with Sky Sports Football. But why do they do it? After all, watching the football doesn’t lead to cravings of buying a new car.

Reaching The Right Market

For many brands it’s about reaching the right market. Many brands target shows in which suits the brand they’re advertising. For example, Jackpot Joy, a popular bingo brand, sponsor Tipping Point, a daytime TV quiz show in which the viewership is dominated by housewives and stay-at-home mothers, the site’s premier target market.

According to figures compiled by Nielsen show, Gambling companies spent nearly half a billion pounds on TV advertising in the last three and a half years. The spend increased from £81.2 million in 2012 to £118.5 million in 2015, a rise of 46 per cent.

A recent study found that the personality fit between a sponsored show and the viewer watching it was over 50% higher than someone not watching it. What’s more, it’s certainly more targeted than thousands of drivers passing by a bus shelter every day.

The Trust Factor

There’s also the trust factor. We’re much more likely to trust a brand that is associated with Coronation Street than we are in a local newspaper advert.

Firstly, there’s the fact that a TV sponsor would have to sit down and negotiate a deal, ultimately meaning they’re real people, passing suitability tests and such like.

Then secondly, it is also a sign of ‘costly signalling’. As TV sponsorship tends to be a costly affair, having an advert on television is considered by the audience as a sign that the brand is doing well and has money. In turn, a person is then more likely to trust the brand.

Does It Work Though?

Statistics show that it does work, and is of course the reason we’re seeing more sponsorship on TV shows than ever before.

According to a survey by YouGov, 78% of viewers of a sponsored TV show are likely to recommend a brand, particularly if the brand is the right fit.

Of course, Betty Crocker sponsoring Top Gear would have very little impact. However, if the brand was to sponsor The Great British Bake Off, that would be an entirely different story.

What’s more, the longevity of a sponsorship campaign also plays a huge part. For brands sponsoring a show for over three years, they’re much more likely to see positive recognition, identification and, ultimately sales.

That’s because the length of time makes them synonymous with the TV show, a show you like and therefore you’re more likely to enjoy the brand.

A sponsorship campaign that lasts under a year on the other hand will be quickly forgotten and in some cases even suggest that the brand is less trustworthy than those who sponsor for longer.

Additionally, if another brand were then to come along and sponsor that particular show, it would quickly destroy the legacy of the previous one.

Matt Hill, the Research and Planning Director at Thinkbox said, “People judge you by the company you keep, and this is at the heart of TV sponsorship’s power.”

Which could not be more true.