AWEurope: Consumers aren't stupid, they can smell ad-funded TV says Dixons

Dixons head of advertising Benjamin Kaye has told an audience at Advertising Week Europe 2014 that the brand's partnership with Channel 5 to fund 'The Gadget Show' has proved invaluable to the brand.

AWEurope: ad-funded TV content comes under scrutiny
AWEurope: ad-funded TV content comes under scrutiny
Customers are not stupid, they smell it and that’s no good for me. If they stop watching then I lose the brand effect

Kaye said: "There are not many people who haven’t heard of us, but we have had certain credibility issues in the past. Rubbing up against a credible programme like 'The Gadget Show' has worked for us."

Channel 5 sales director Nick Bampton said this new model of funding had "completely changed and revolutionised Channel 5 over the past few years".

"For us content lies at the heart of what we do. A few years ago, people had big questions about Channel 5. Now, three years on, because of our content strategy, we have transformed what we’re all about."

According to 'The Gadget Show' production company, Dixons did not want to be involved in the editorial element of the programme. The strength of the show and the relationship is in its independence, said North One Television chief executive Neil Duncanson.

"A danger of the past is that advertisers have sought to involve themselves in editorial. However, that is an area where Ofcom would be involved. AFP is the polar opposite of what we’re doing with Dixons"

The distinction between this funding model and Advertiser Funded Programming is clear – with the former, there is simply no discussion about the brand getting involved in editorial discussions, said Bampton.

Kaye added: "The problem with AFPs is that consumers don’t really want to watch those programmes. If no one watches, then it won’t do anything for you. The Gadget Show is a great performing show with a lot of people watching - and that fits in with our requirements. We’ve found that sweet spot.

"Customers are not stupid, they smell it and that’s no good for me. If they stop watching then I lose the brand effect.

"You see sponsorship deals and think, 'why has that brand associated with that lot of content?'. For me, it’s all about brand fit. We’d only want to work with a vehicle that enhances the brand and gives us relevant content on our own platform," he said.

Kaye believes that this funding model will "catch on". "There is an awful lot one can do with it. We think we can work harder still with the sales drivers and further outside the actual programme."

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