Paramount & The Marketing Scientist Group explore the effectiveness of TV program sponsorships

October 12, 2023

>>> See all business cases

In the ever-evolving world of advertising, staying ahead of the curve is essential for marketers seeking to engage their audiences effectively. Recent research, conducted over several years by the Marketing Scientist Group and Paramount ANZ known as the “Science of Sponsorship,” has unveiled compelling insights into innovative advertising strategies.

This research demonstrates that while traditional TV commercials (TVCs) have long held a dominant role, advertisers should consider embracing TV program sponsorships as a more potent alternative.

These sponsorships, when executed with depth and precision, exhibit a remarkable ability to enhance brand and advertising metrics. Integrated content within these sponsorships is a particularly potent tool for capturing and retaining viewer attention, and it even contributes to the development of mental availability—a pivotal factor in brand growth.

Why It Matters

Adopting a forward-thinking perspective, advertisers should explore avenues beyond the conventional TVC format and delve into TV program sponsorships, as this research underscores their effectiveness in brand promotion. The depth of sponsorship and the integration of content significantly impact brand metrics. Moreover, TV program sponsorships have demonstrated their superiority over traditional TVCs in ad-supported streaming environments, a trend that aligns perfectly with the increasing prominence of streaming platforms.

The Research Study

The foundation of these groundbreaking insights rests upon an extensive quantitative survey and viewing experiment that engaged 2,200 Australian TV viewers aged 18-69. These participants were exposed to varying combinations of brand and ad placements within popular TV series, providing a rich source of data and findings.

One of the research’s key findings highlights the importance of incorporating multiple sponsorship elements to enhance brand and advertising metrics. A critical observation is that increasing the “opportunities to see” a brand directly correlates with heightened viewer attention.

Deeper sponsorships, in particular, shine for their ability to offer more “opportunities to see” brands. This extended exposure translates into increased viewer attention. Participants in the study had the opportunity to engage with more seconds of brand-integrated content, relevant billboards, and TVCs, ultimately resulting in heightened attention.

The research delves into deeper memory measures, placing a specific focus on mental availability—the likelihood that consumers will recall an advertiser’s brand when making purchase decisions. Deeper sponsorships significantly enhance mental availability, increasing mental market share compared to the control group. Furthermore, these sponsorships boost agreement with key campaign messages.

The Dominance of Integrated Content

Integrated content emerges as the most potent sponsorship element for maintaining viewer engagement and bolstering essential brand metrics. It effectively drives purchase intent, encourages agreement with campaign messages, and captures viewer attention. Participants also responded more favourably to sponsorship perceptions when integrated content was a component.

Implications for Advertisers

These research findings represent a significant leap in our understanding of the effectiveness of TV program sponsorships, offering valuable insights for advertisers:

  • Embrace a Multifaceted Approach: Advertisers should consider incorporating multiple sponsorship elements to enhance brand and advertising metrics.
  • Recognize the Potential of Deeper Sponsorships: While deeper sponsorships may necessitate a higher initial investment, the results demonstrate a commensurate improvement in brand and ad metrics.
  • Leverage Integrated Content: Integrated content emerges as the most effective element, capturing attention and building mental availability.

Traditional TVCs, while likely to remain a convenient option for advertisers, may no longer be the most effective choice. This research underscores the compelling effectiveness of deeper TV program sponsorships. Despite potentially higher costs, these sponsorships offer substantial returns on investment. Even billboards, when combined with standard TVCs, outperform the traditional TVC format. Integrated content, though resource-intensive, provides a unique medium to captivate viewer attention and build mental availability, ultimately driving brand growth.

In conclusion, this study serves as a compelling call to action for advertisers to explore TV program sponsorships as a strategic and effective advertising approach. It’s time for advertisers to look beyond traditional TVCs, unleash their creativity, capture viewer attention, and achieve remarkable results. In essence, it’s time for advertisers to “get with the program.”