Debenhams to sponsor Neighbours on Channel 5

High street store Debenhams is to use TV sponsorship for the first time, signing a year-long deal to sponsor Australian soap 'Neighbours' on Channel 5 for an undisclosed sum from today.

In the trailers for the sponsorship, made by creative agency JWT, Debenhams mirrors Neighbours' credits by shooting their vision of a British Ramsay Street.

In addition to on-air trails, Debenhams' interactive online TV channel Debenhams TV, which launched in October last year, will showcase each ad and allow customers to buy any items they have seen in the ads.

The sponsorship, negotiated by Aegis media agency Carat, will be supported by digital activity, including presence on the Channel 5 websites Five.tv and Holysoap.five.tv, and a full social media campaign.

The womenswear, menswear and childrenswear featured in the ads will be tagged in stores and online with the phrase "as seen on TV". 'Neighbours' actors will also be offered Debenhams clothes to wear on promotional UK trips.

Jane Exon, head of marketing operations at Debenhams, said: "The partnership makes perfect sense for Debenhams. 'Neighbours' is an exciting, longstanding, family-friendly programme and very popular with our customers."

According to a spokeswoman for Debenhams, 'Neighbours' has on average 5.4 million viewers each week. The idents will be shown before and after the programme and on both sides of the commercial breaks.

Greg Barnett, commissioning editor for entertainment, daytime and soaps at Channel 5, said: "In the past year 'Neighbours' has gone from strength to strength celebrating 25 years and 6,000 episodes and subsequently its audience has grown.

"It's a fantastic family-focused daily drama which UK viewers hold close to their hearts. We’re delighted to be working with such a big family brand as Debenhams. The partnership will offer fans some amazing opportunities in 2011 so keep watching."

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