Sponsorship / Product Placement
TV sponsorship offers brands a unique opportunity to form a close relationship with a programme separate from commercial breaks, enabling a sponsor to link its brand to the values and themes of a programme. Many TV programmes are successful brands within their own right. A successful sponsorship can result in the brand which is sponsoring the programme benefitting from the perceived values that the programme delivers.
TV sponsorship can be used to promote a particular product or to promote brand awareness in general.
Sponsorship credits stand apart from commercial breaks. A programme sponsor is identified by a sponsorship sting which runs just before the programme opening credits and again immediately after the programme end credits. In addition to this, a programme sponsorship includes further sponsorship stings, which wrap around any commercial breaks that air during the programme. Because the sponsorship stings are placed so close to the programme, this ensures optimum viewer attention. Sponsorship stings are shorter than traditional advertising spots. They are generally either 7 or 10 seconds in length. Because sponsorship stings are short, it is best to keep the message simple.
What can a brand sponsor on TV?
A brand can sponsor a programme, a strand of programming such as a weekly movie slot or a particular day-part on a channel.
How to choose the right programme to sponsor
Choosing which programme to sponsor very much depends on the objectives of the sponsorship and what a specific brand wants to achieve.
TV Sponsorship can do a lot of things. It can help to promote / build awareness of a new brand or product; it can boost awareness of an existing brand; it can help to build a deeper affinity between a brand and its consumers; it can help to change consumer perception of a brand etc. The sponsorship objective is a crucial starting point in determining the right programme or strand of programming to sponsor.
The second most important thing to consider when determining what programme might be suitable for a particular brand is the target audience.
Once a brand has chosen the right programme to sponsor, the sponsorship creative is the most crucial element to get right. The creative needs to link itself in some way to the programme being sponsored so that viewers understand the relationship between them.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is the body responsible for the regulation of broadcasting in Ireland. The rules pertaining to Sponsorship in Ireland are contained within the General Commercial Communications Code issued by the BAI. The code is available for download on the BAI website. To access it, click here
What is Product Placement?
Product Placement is when a company pays a TV channel or a programme-maker to include its products or brands in a programme. Product Placement can be visual, verbal or a combination of both. It works very differently to TV advertising and sponsorship as the audience is exposed to the brand or product in a natural setting within the programme or movie.
Relevant Product Placement, when executed in a subtle way in keeping with the editorial content of a programme can add depth and reality to a programme as it reflects real life and the brands we use every day.
Product Placement has existed for almost as long as television itself and marketers have been using it extensively in the US market for quite some time. Until May 2011, paid Product Placement was prohibited in Irish programming, with free Product Placement also limited. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has since changed its rules, opening up a new market for Irish advertisers alongside traditional advertising and broadcast sponsorship.
Broadcasters must include a written announcement before programmes containing Product Placements and display a logo containing the letters PP before and during programmes. They must also list in the end credits the names of companies that have provided products and services included in a programme.
Where can a brand place their product?
Paid Product Placement is allowed on all TV stations in the following genres of film / programming:
- Films made for cinema release and for TV
- Light entertainment programmes
Paid-for Product Placement cannot feature in children’s programmes or in shows where more than 20% of the content is news or current affairs-related. It is also prohibited in religious programmes, documentaries and docu-dramas.
Sponsors of TV programmes are now allowed to place their products and services in programmes that they sponsor, except in the case of children’s programmes.
Product Placement Guidelines
On Monday 2nd May 2011, a new code for Product Placement in Ireland came into effect. The details are included within the General Commercial Communications Code issued by the BAI. The code is available for download on the BAI website. To access it, click here